All My Children Wear Fur Coats was honored to welcome special guest, Anna Skaya, founder and CEO of Basepaws. Basepaws is currently the world’s only company that does DNA sequencing for cats, much like the DNA sequencing for humans and for dogs.
The future of cat DNA testing can be found at Basepaws.com. You can get to know your cat’s wild ancestry, it’s domestic breed characteristics and most importantly, your cat’s genetic markers that may provide a window into your cat’s health and wellness history.
Basepaws was founded by Anna Skaya, a four-time entrepreneur and cat lover. After meeting with respresentatives from 23 and Me, she decided to launch Basepaws to explore the world of cat genetics. There are two primary reasons to test your cat’s DNA: 1. Learn about all of your cat’s breed history and the different types of breeds that make up your cat and his or her personality. 2. Test for 40 different traits or health markers that can give a view into the health history of your cat and their predisposition to certain diseases. Our DNA speaks loud and clear when it comes to identifying underlying disease.
Getting your cat’s DNA isn’t hard. There are essentially four steps: 1. Order the kit online at Basepaws.com. Right nowt here are some holiday specials when you order more than one kit. 2. Swab your cat’s mouth to get some cheek or tongue cells with the provided test kit. 3. Return the kit to the Basepaws lab in Los Angeles, CA. 4. Receive your report in about 6-9 weeks. You can view a sample report for Anna’s cat Koko online. Your report will provide information on breed groups, the wildcat index and important health markers.
Anna feels strongly that cats are underrepresented in the health care field. Testing your cat’s DNA is a great way to get to know your cat better but also to provide important data so that we can all benefit from each cat who participates in building the data base. If your cat has a specific health condition you may be eligible to participate in a research study. Find out if you qualify by visiting the research page at Basepaws.com.
Basepaws was featured on Shark Tank in May 2019. Check out this video for more information. Two sharks got into a “cat fight” and Basepaws was offered a deal from both.
There’s no better time than now to order your Basepaws DNA kit for your cat.
Today’s guest was Melissa Jenkins, Program Coordinator of Operation Catnip, located in Alachua County, Gainesville, Florida. Operation Catnip recently celebrated 20 years of service to the cat community. Along with their dedicated students, volunteer veterinarians and community volunteers they have helped to care for more than 56,000 cats since their inception in 1998.
We learned a lot today about the mission of Operation Catnip. Their life-saving work improves the lives of cats and the communities they live in. They are committed to a number of initiatives including the spaying, neutering and vaccinating of free-roaming (community cats), preventing the birth of kittens, mentoring other programs around the country and training veterinarians to save America’s cats.
What exactly are community cats? Essentially, they are unowned, “free=roaming” cats that are not confined to a yard or a house. They can be well-socialized, friendly and loving. On the other hand, a feral cat speaks more to the behavior or socialization status of a cat as opposed to where it lives. Feral cats are defined as untamed and evasive, generally not interested in a relationship with humans. Sometimes the lines defining these different categories get blurred because some owned cats are allowed to freely roam their neighborhoods. Owned cats can become lost, thus becoming a stray. If they live in the wild for an extended period of time, they may become feral. Sometimes, formerly feral cats can become tamed.
There are programs throughout the United States designed to reduce or manage the populations of community cats. These programs include Trap Neuter Return (or Release, known as TNR), Shelter Neuter Return (SNR) and Return to Field (RTF). Each of these programs has the goal of sterilizing the community cat so it can no longer add to the cat population and then returning it to the location where it was found or trapped. Cats that are returned (as opposed to simply released to an unfamiliar area) to their home communities have a chance to live out their lives as free-roaming cats.
Another novel solution is the concept of Working Cats. A Working Cats is one that can be adopted to a family where its home environment will be a barn, stable, garage, office, retail store or warehouse. These will not be your typical indoor cats that never go outside. Instead, they will likely have an outdoor or indoor/outdoor habitat. Go green! Get a Working Cat to help you control your outdoor rodent or pest populations.
From an estate planning perspective, there are many kind people who support community cats. If something happens to them; either disability or death, what will become of the cats? That's why organizations like Operation Catnip need your support.
If you want more information about Operation Catnip, visit their website or seek them out on social media on FaceBook. You can make a donation to help support their mission.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Founder/CEO