Problems like diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, itchy skin, and even frequent hairballs can be a sign of trouble in your cat’s gut microbiome. A diverse, well-balanced gut microbiome is essential for almost every aspect of your cat’s health and well-being. But when important groups of bacteria are missing or out of balance, some of the gut’s important functions stop working. If your cat suffers from digestive symptoms or skin issues, gut microbiome testing can often reveal the underlying cause.
What Is Gut Microbiome Testing for Cats?
Gut microbiome testing means examining the bacteria and other microbes found in an individual stool sample. The bacteria in your cat’s stool sample offer a snapshot of their gut microbiome, the complex community of bacteria and other microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract.
How It Works
Our at-home KittyBiome™ Gut Health Test kit makes it easy:
Order a Gut Health Test Kit.
Find out what’s really going on inside your cat. (The cost of the kit may even be covered by your pet insurance.)
Collect a sample.
The kit includes everything you’ll need to collect two pea-sized samples of your cat’s poop. Be sure to register your cat’s sample and enter the six-character ID code printed on the instruction guide and/or sample tubes.
Send us your sample.
The kit includes a postage-paid envelope for US residents.
We analyze your sample.
Using DNA sequencing, we identify the types and proportions of all the bacteria living in your cat’s gut and compare the results to our healthy reference set.
Receive your report.
In 2–3 weeks, you’ll receive an email notification that your test results are ready and can be accessed via our online Pet Portal. The interactive report also includes personalized recommendations to improve your cat’s health.
Video Tour: What’s in the Test Report?
This video tour walks you through an actual KittyBiome Gut Health Test report for Lilac, a 16-year-old cat experiencing vomiting and diarrhea.
What Can You Learn about Your Cat’s Health from Gut Microbiome Testing?
Our KittyBiome Gut Health Test provides you with useful insights that no other current veterinary test can offer. If your cat has digestive problems, itchy skin, or immune system issues, those symptoms are often related to a gut microbiome imbalance. You will receive a detailed report with results you can use to help resolve symptoms and improve your cat’s health and happiness for a lifetime.
Find out what’s going on inside your cat’s digestive system:
Your cat’s unique microbial community
Using DNA sequencing, we identify all the types of bacteria living in your cat’s gut, giving you a detailed picture of their unique gut microbiome.
If important bacteria are missing, the gut microbiome is out of balance. Identifying imbalances early allows you to make changes to your cat’s diet or lifestyle that can improve or even prevent symptoms.
Your cat’s diet
Each gut microbiome is unique. Different cats need different dietary adjustments to support the growth of specific beneficial bacteria. Food recommendations based on your cat’s individual results will help you make simple changes that can improve their gut health and overall wellness.
A comparison of your cat’s results with the healthy reference set reveals whether your cat is missing any important bacterial groups. If so, that absence may be a result of antibiotic use, diet, illness, or other factors.
Microbiome testing can quickly identify any problematic groups of gut bacteria. These may be pathogens that don’t belong in a healthy cat’s gut or normal members of the microbiome that have grown too numerous.
In addition, gut microbiome testing can provide your veterinarian with useful data and actionable next steps, whether or not your cat has already been diagnosed with a health condition (like IBD or allergies).
What Happens after Your Cat’s Gut Microbiome Test?
Once we’ve analyzed your cat’s sample, you’ll be able to access the results online in an interactive report. We give you a lot of information about your cat’s individual gut microbiome, so don’t worry if you feel like you could use a little help understanding it all!
If your cat’s gut microbiome is already diverse and well-balanced, it will look a lot like the healthy reference set. That’s great! But if not, the report will explain whether the best solution for your cat is to Add beneficial bacteria, Remove harmful bacteria, or Rebalance the existing bacteria populations. Learn more about restoring your cat’s gut health:
Are AnimalBiome’s KittyBiome Gut Health Tests Legitimate?
Like anything unfamiliar, gut health testing raises a lot of questions, and we often get asked whether it’s legitimate.
Tens of Thousands of Poop Samples
After analyzing the fecal microbiome (poop) samples from tens of thousands of cats and dogs, we can definitively say that AnimalBiome’s gut microbiome tests are legitimate, providing accurate, actionable results. Just ask our customers: they’ve given our KittyBiome Gut Health Tests hundreds of four- and five-star reviews.
Our Healthy Reference Set
We maintain the largest database of cat microbiome samples in the world. And based on our analysis of that large database, we’ve identified a “reference set” of all the types of bacteria we can expect to find in the gut of a healthy cat.
A pea-sized sample of cat poop contains roughly 1 billion bacterial cells. To test your cat’s gut health, we extract DNA from the bacteria in their sample, then use DNA sequencing to identify the different types of bacteria living in your cat’s gut, which we compare to our healthy cat reference set.
A Well-Established Diagnostic Tool
Gut microbiome testing is a well-established diagnostic tool in human medicine, where studies have found that gut microbiome dysfunction is associated with an amazing variety of health conditions—including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), type 2 diabetes, and depression. In cats too, problems with the gut microbiome have been identified as a factor in numerous health issues, including IBD, diabetes, atopic dermatitis, and obesity.
That means looking closely at the gut microbiome can give us valuable information about what’s going wrong when your cat develops symptoms like diarrhea, frequent hairballs, or itchy skin. (Microbiome testing is an especially useful tool if your cat has been treated with antibiotics, which are known to cause both short- and long-term changes to the bacterial community in the gut microbiome.)