Tag Archives: NomNomNow

Frankie Versus Chris – The Microbiome Showdown


I recently received Frankie’s microbiome report from NomNomNow and thought I would compare his report to Chris’s. I wrote about Chris’s report here so if you haven’t seen it, it might be better if you look at that first. I don’t want to repeat it here but simply talk about the differences between the two reports I have so far. Floki’s report is not yet completed. As I mentioned before, I was given these test kits in exchange for an honest review.

I did not yet look at Frankie’s report except to take screen shots for this post so I will comment on each section individually as I compare the reports.

It looks like Chris scored a little better on Composition and Diversity getting 9 out of 17 and 2 out of three respectively but they both scored in the normal range. I did mention on Chris’s report that it was unclear what the numbers 17 and 3 represented but I didn’t mention that it is also unclear what the difference between composition and diversity is. I would think a good composition score means a high diversity.

Chris’s gut bacteria was dominated by one specific type, Bacteroides (73%), while Frankie’s is dominated by two types, Bacteroides (46%) and unclassified bacteria in Enterobacteriaceae family (29%). Normally I would say having two dominant bacteria is better than one but the Enterobacteriaceae family include pathogens such as Salmonella and E-coli. It also includes benign varieties as well so there is not enough evidence to make a judgement here.

Frankie scored in the low but normal range in the Firmicutes family. Chris scored higher but still relatively low.

Frankie and Chris both scored low in the Actinobacteria family. Since this bacteria is associated with weight loss, I made the comment that this might contribute to Chris’s weight gain but since Frankie is skinny I don’t know what to think.

Both Frankie’s and Chris’s level of Fusobacteria is high but there is little information about it. so there is no point in speculating about weather this is good or bad.

Frankie and Chris are both low in Prevotella and High in Bacteroides, with Chris being a little higher than Frankie in Bacteroides. Since they seem to help digest carbs and since both Chris and Frankie eat a fair amount of dry food, perhaps they are necessary. It should be noted that Frankie eats more wet food than Chris but he also tends to puke after eating wet food which then makes him eat more dry food because he is hungry.

Frankie scored a bit higher in the richness category than Chris did but they were about the same in evenness. Their overall diversity score was almost identical.

I see now that making this a competition was pointless for a couple of reasons. There is still a lot that is unknown about gut bacteria in pets and there are variables such as genetics and diet that may influence the level of benefit from each species of bacteria. If I had to pick a winner I would say that Chris’s microbiome seems slightly better than Frankie’s but they both could use improvement.

I still believe this test is useful since a lot is know about gut health and more is being learned everyday. The test also gives us a general sense of our pets overall gut health. For example, The dominance of one or two bacteria tells me I should supplement my cat’s diet with probiotics to help even that out. I mentioned before that I wanted to do that but delayed buying anything until after I sent Floki’s sample in.

I am interested to see Floki’s report. I think he eats (and keeps down) a higher percentage of wet to dry food and I wonder if that will make a difference on his report. I guess we will see.

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One Small Poop for Cat, One Giant Leap for Cat Health


Recently I recieved microbiome test kits for pets from a company called NonNomNow. The test kits are called “Insights” and I got them at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review. You can read about why I think testing the microbiome is important on my previous post about this product here.

The kits arrived about ten days ago but it took that long for me to actually witness a cat pooping. Finally, this morning I saw Chris in the box. I wanted to retrieve his poop before he buried it but I was two seconds too slow.

The kit comes with two swabs and two vials. I was momentarily confused by that but then I assumed there were extras in case of mistakes. After reading the directions I saw that this was the case. The kit also comes with a small resealable bag to put the sample in and a pre-labeled return envelope. It also comes with a card that has the registration number on it and a place to write your pet’s name in case you have more than one pet like I do.

Once you have acquired the poop, the next step is to insert the cotton swab into it and rotate. If needed you can use it as a scoop to get about a pea-size piece.

Then place the tip of the swab in the vial, which contains a small amount of liquid, and then push down on the top of the swab. This will eject the tip.

The next step is to screw on the lid and shake. Then put the vial in the enclosed resealable bag.

At this point the directions say to apply the barcode sticker to the bag but the sticker came pre-applied. This concerned me a little but I assumed the directions were written at a time when the label came separate. The next step is to place the bag in the supplied envelope and seal it.

Finally, go to the website listed on your card to register your test kit.

Once registered the only thing left to do is drop off your test kit at the post office and wait for the results, which should take two to five weeks. When the results come back I will share them with you as well as my thoughts about it.

What do you think? Is this something you would be willing to try?

NomNomNow’s Microbiome Test Kit


Recently I saw on the blog “Cat Chat with Caren and Cody” a post about a microbiome testing kit called “Insights” from the company NomNomNow. You may remember I reviewed their cat food which I thought was a healthier option than commercial canned food. I commented on the blog that I thought the Microbiome test was a useful idea and was then contacted by NomNomNow about doing an honest review in exchange for test kits.

I really did think it was a very useful test and I would like to find one for humans too. I have been learning about natural health for over a decade and I have learned that your microbiome is the core of good health. If your microbiome is healthy, you are healthy and vise versa.

In case you haven’t heard the term before, your microbiome is the collection of organisms that inhabit humans and animals alike. These organisms, which include bacteria, fungi and viruses, perform vital functions in our bodies. In humans, these organisms actually outnumber the total number of human cells in the body. Probably their most important contribution is that they help us to digest our food and assimilate the nutrients from that food. If you don’t have a good balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut, you won’t be able to process food properly. This can not only lead to loss of essential vitamins and minerals but the undigested food can get into the blood and be treated like a foreign invader, causing inflammation and a host of health issues. This can also lead to overweight as excess toxins that can’t be processed by the liver are stored in fat cells.

So you can see why knowing the state of your pets gut health can allow you to make informed decisions about what you can do next to improve your pets overall health. You could also provide this information to your vet but I don’t know how well veterinarians are trained in understanding gut health. Human doctors that prescribe antibiotics with reckless abandon don’t seem to have a clue. Antibiotics kill both the bad and good bacteria and they are often the main culprit in throwing the microbiome out of whack. Often, a general probiotic can help but knowing the exact state of your pet’s microbiome can help you, and hopefully your informed vet, formulate a specific treatment plan. You can then retest to see how it is working. If you want more information, there are several articals on the NomNomNow website that you can read here.

Our kits arrived on Wednesday and the cats were interested in it before I even opened the box.

Floki and Frankie inspect the box from NomNomNow

Frankie didn’t even give me a chance to remove the contents.

The box included three tests kits and a couple of samples of food. This was probably why they were so interested in the unopened box.

NomNomNow Microbiome testing kits and treats

Once I removed the contents Chris became very interested in the box.

He tried very hard to dig his way through. Perhaps he thought the treat factory was on the other side.

The treat samples that were in the box were labeled “Chicken, Nothing Else” and “Beef, Nothing Else.” I opened the chicken and dumped it out for our cats to try. It was basically chicken jerkey and Chris was very interested, which was surprising considering Chris is missing eight teeth. The pieces, I thought, were too big and I decided to break them up after I already put them out. Floki was also interested but Frankie seem only mildly interested, almost indifferent. I guess you can’t please everyone. Perhaps he would have been more interested if Floki wasn’t there stealing his food.

The next morning I saw a large piece of partially chewed jerky on the floor, which was surprising because I thought I broke up all the pieces and I thought they finished eating them all. I walked into the Florida room and found another large piece of jerky next to a ripped up bag. I guess I forgot to put the beef jerky treats away.

Now I have to get poop samples to send in. This has proved to be difficult with three cats. I can’t just pull a sample out of the litter box because I need to know which cat left it. So far, after almost three days, I have not witnessed a cat pooping. Once I get a sample I will write about what needs to be done to prepare the sample and send it in.