Development of Oral Microbiome in Kittens
- Julie K. Spears, PhD
- Nestlé Research Center, St. Louis
- As kittens switch from milk to a commercial diet during the pre-weaning period (2-8 weeks from birth), the oral microbiome rapidly changes.
- At 8 weeks, there was a significantly greater variation in bacterial species and a higher relative abundance of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes populations compared with those seen at 2 weeks.
- The oral microbiome is imperative to maintaining optimal oral health in cats. As dietary changes during the pre-weaning period are associated with changes in the oral microbiome, nutritional intervention during this period could help shape and improve the oral health of cats.