AnimalBiome releases groundbreaking gut health study in domestic cats

AnimalBiome recently announced the publication of a new study led by its Chief Science Officer, Dr. Holly Ganz. Entitled “The Kitty Microbiome Project: Defining the Healthy Fecal ‘Core Microbiome’ in Pet Domestic Cats,” the study shares details on a healthy fecal microbiome dataset for domestic cats and an analysis of how different environmental influences impact the gut health of cats.

According to a news release, the Kitty Microbiome Project began as a citizen science project on Kickstarter in 2015. Participants submitted over 1,800 fecal samples from their pet cats. AnimalBiome’s scientific research team analyzed fecal bacterial communities (termed ‘microbiome’) of pet domestic cats to understand the range of gut microbiome variation found in healthy cats in North America.

The study also investigated whether differences in these communities were significantly associated with the age, diet, or the living environment of individual cats.

Study results

More than 300 different kinds of bacteria were identified in the fecal microbiome of pet cats. From these, 30 different bacterial groups were found in most healthy cats that represent the core healthy microbiome. Researchers said it is valuable to identify which groups of beneficial bacteria occur in the core microbiome in order to monitor for effects of the environment, diet, disease and medications.

The study also found that bacterial composition depended upon the diet of the cat, their age and whether the cat lived in a private home or a shelter. By establishing the expected range of microbiome composition within a healthy population of cats, this study provides valuable insights for veterinarians, pet owners and pet-related industries.

  • Diet: Cats fed kibble had a slightly but significantly greater amount of beneficial core bacteria compared to cats not fed any kibble. Cats fed raw food had fewer groups of beneficial core bacteria compared to cats fed diets that included kibble.
  • Age: The number of beneficial core bacteria decreased significantly with age in healthy cats.
  • Environment: Where a cat lives has an impact on fecal microbiome composition. Beneficial core bacteria were better represented in cats living in homes compared to those in shelters.

The study referenced above was published in November 2022 in Veterinary Sciences, Volume 9, Issue 11.

About AnimalBiome

AnimalBiome is the world’s leading pet microbiome research company with award-winning innovative solutions such as the first-ever at-home gut microbiome test for cats and dogs. AnimalBiome has curated the largest databases of companion animal gut microbiome samples in the world to date. AnimalBiome has completed more than 40 studies with universities, pet food companies, and private research organizations since its inception in 2016. AnimalBiome’s products for KittyBiome, DoggyBiome, and AnimalBiome Veterinary, seek to assess, restore and maintain healthy microbiomes in pets. 

Visit to learn more or contact the company at

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