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B12 Vitamins for Cats with FIP Are Important for Recovery

vitamins for cats

When taking care of an Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) afflicted cat, maintaining proper care of their health is a very important factor. This expands to the vitamins for cats, and an important one that cats also have is vitamin B12. In this article, we will be explaining the importance of the B12 vitamin for cats.

What Is B12?

Cobalamin is another term for vitamin B12, which is the collective name for a class of substances with vitamin B12 action. These substances stand out because to their 4.5% cobalt concentration, giving them the name “cobalamin” (cobalt + vitamin).

Where does it come from?

Foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs, and liver, are sources of B12. However, a cat with FIP probably needs supplements.

What does B12 do?

B12 serves a number of purposes, all of which are crucial for a strong immune system:

  • B12 encourages red blood cell production (the development and maintenance of red blood cells). To stop anaemia, B12 levels must be adequate.
  • B12 preserves the health of the nervous system (nerve cells and normal myelination –the fatty sheaths that cover and protect nerve endings). For nerve and cognitive processes, it is crucial.
  • B12 maintains the health of the intestines to ensure adequate food digestion and absorption as well as the metabolism of fats and carbs. The intestines need B12 to work at their best, but they can’t absorb it (from food) if they are damaged or ill, so it creates a bit of a catch-22.

What are the signs of B12 deficiency?

Clinical symptoms of a B12 deficiency include diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, malabsorption syndrome, constipation, gas, weight loss, exhaustion, and lethargy. Some of the symptoms listed here are fairly common FIP side effects and are very well known. Your cat’s health can be enhanced if it consumes enough B12.

Additionally, cognitive impairment and limb weakness are linked to B12 insufficiency. Again, when FIP affects the neurological system, similar symptoms are usually seen.

  1. The cycle of depletion.

The GI (gastrointestinal) tract is one of the body’s many processes that is affected by the inflammatory disease FIP. The pancreas, spleen, and liver are frequently impacted. The liver’s B12 supplies will be rapidly depleted if your immune system is compromised. A cycle of deteriorating B12 deficiency results from B12 shortage in the liver, which also causes intestinal cell shrinkage and loss of nutrients (including B12 itself). This is the dilemma we touched on previously in the piece.

  1. The looming risk of anemia.

Your cat’s RBC production is hampered, which causes anaemia. Lack of B12 inhibits and reduces the body’s capacity to make blood and increases blood cell apoptosis. In other words, your cat becomes anaemic when B12 levels plummet. Your cat’s capacity to resist the illness (or anything else) significantly declines once he gets anaemic.

  1. Further weakening of immune resistance against FIP.

It is crucial to emphasise that low levels of vitamin B12 make people more susceptible to infections and diseases and are highly bad for the nervous system, which can lead to neurological problems and severe and perhaps irreversible nerve damage. In reality, cobalamin deficiency is a frequent cause of metabolic encephalopathy, one of several types of encephalopathy linked to a primary illness (such FIP) that impairs blood-brain barrier processes and normal brain function. Lethargy, sadness, ataxia, anorexia, and occasional vomiting are a few of the vague clinical indications that, in severe situations, might cause neurological illness and blindness in cats.

It is commonly known that FIP cats frequently have anaemia or are on the verge of having anaemia, and some show neurological symptoms of the condition. Another component of the catch-22 blowback is that your cat may be less able to store sufficient amounts of B12 as a result of FIP, which could make the symptoms of the condition worse. Unless you stop this cycle and add the critical vitamins, there is no way to win.

Ways for cat to artificially obtain B12

B12 injections.

In most nations, cobalamin is easily accessible without a prescription. For cats up to 5 kg in body weight, a subcutaneous injection of 250 g of cobalamin is advised. We advise weekly injections for FIP cats until the anaemia clears up and RBC values stabilise. Additionally, B12 can be given through subcutaneous fluid treatment. Your cat may find this procedure more comfortable because B12 injections hurt!

B12 oral supplements.

Methylcobalamin should be taken since it improves liver performance significantly. Cats can take B12 supplements that are marketed for people. 500mcg (0.5mg) per day would be an excellent starting dose, however you can give up to double that amount. Although it may seem high, just a small portion is actually absorbed. Think about taking a multivitamin supplement designed for cats that also contains iron (for anaemia).


Don’t undervalue natural sources of B12; if you can, give your cat roughly a spoonful of fresh meat, liver, or fish each day. The snacks might even be enjoyed by your cat, and a little goes a long way.

Benefits of B12: vitamins for cats

B12 helps red blood cell formation (the development and maintenance of red blood cells).

To stop anaemia, B12 levels must be adequate.

B12 preserves the health of the neurological system (nerve cells and normal myelination –the fatty sheaths that cover and protect nerve endings).

For nerve and cognitive processes, it is crucial.

B12 encourages gut health for improved food digestion and absorption as well as the metabolism of fats and carbs.

10 Signs of B12 deficiency

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Lack of appetite
  4. Issues with food absorption
  5. Constipation
  6. Gas
  7. Weight Loss
  8. Fatigue/ Lethargy
  9. Stomach Pain
  10. Diarrhea

Dosage of vitamins for cats B12 during FIP treatment

Every week, up to 250–500 microgram (mcg) for mature cats who are not anaemic.

For the right dosage for kittens, please consult with your veterinarian.

It may be necessary to give cats with severe anaemia up to 1000 mcg each week. GS-441524 with Vitamin B12 alone might not be adequate in cases of severe anaemia. It could be essential to administer additional weekly B12 injections. Speak with your veterinarian.

Dosage calculation when using GS-441524 + B12

With or without vitamin B12, the dosage for GS-441524 is the same.

Example: A 3 kg cat that has been diagnosed with the WET form of FIP.

The dose for FIP in its wet form is 6 mg/kg. Daily injection of 0.9 ml of GS-441524 is equal to 3 kg x 6 mg/kg 20 mg/ml. The recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 is 45mcg (0.9ml x 50mcg/ml). This cat will get 315 mcg of vitamin B12 every week.

Why Cats with FIP need Vitamin B12

High risk of anaemia.

During an illness of FIP, cats frequently develop anaemia. A B12 deficiency speeds up blood cell deterioration and limits the body’s natural ability to create new blood. Cats who have low B12 levels become anaemic. The ability of cats to resist the FIP virus and other infections is significantly reduced once they become anaemic.

Weakened immune system.

Inadequate B12 levels increase the body’s vulnerability to infections and diseases and are particularly detrimental to the nervous system of cats. This causes neurological symptoms to manifest more quickly and can result in severe or irreparable nerve damage. A primary disease (like FIP) that interferes with normal brain functioning and blood-brain barrier systems is a common cause of encephalopathy, which includes metabolic encephalopathy, one of several types of encephalopathy. B12 deficiency is a major cause of this encephalopathy. Lethargy, sadness, ataxia, anorexia, and occasional vomiting are a few of the vague clinical indications that, in severe situations, might cause neurological illness and blindness in cats.

It is well documented that FIPV-infected cats frequently exhibit anaemia or anaemia-like symptoms. Many people have neurological signs. This is an example of a classic negative feedback loop: FIP infection develops more quickly when B12 levels are inadequate. FIP makes it harder for cats to maintain enough B12 in their bodies.

Rapid depletion of nutrients

Since FIP is an inflammatory condition, it may damage the liver, GI (gastrointestinal) tract, pancreas, and spleen when a cat is diagnosed with it. The liver quickly uses up its stored B12 when the immune system is compromised. When B12 levels in the liver are low, intestinal cells will shrink and the body will have trouble absorbing nutrition. This will set off a loop that makes the B12 shortage worse.


How can B12 improve my cat’s overall well-being?

Haematology, chemistry, and/or blood tests can be used to gauge your cat’s health progress. However, you should observe adjustments in your cat’s routine behaviour, such as more vigour, less lethargic tendencies, and improved hunger. It’s crucial to keep in mind that cats cannot comprehend their illness or the reasons for it. All they are aware of is a generalised sense of being ill. Their treatment regimen may benefit from using B12 in order to reduce their suffering and enhance their quality of life.

Can B12 help cure FIP?

No. There isn’t. B12 is NOT a FIP treatment. But it helps your cat’s immune system perform vital tasks. You need all the assistance you can get if you want to give your cat a chance to fight the virus. If you don’t take every precaution to increase your chances of success, you can’t expect to achieve your goals with the primary treatment.

In conclusion, managing FIP involves more than only providing a primary treatment, such as PI, FOI, etc. As the cat’s guardian, it is your responsibility to maintain and improve the immune system in order to provide your cat the best chance of surviving. It is not an easy task given the size and severity of FIP. All that us owners can do is use every weapon at our disposal to fight as long and as hard as we can. In this conflict, every advantage counts, and B12 is a crucial weapon. You never know what seemingly insignificant but ultimately important course of action might finally make a substantial difference. Give your cat a chance to succeed.

Why might a kitten need a B12 injection?

Vitamin B12 is ingested by cats naturally through their food. Unfortunately, many kittens have trouble in the gut correctly absorbing nutrients and can quickly become B12 deficient. Because of this, kittens may not benefit from oral supplements; instead, an injectable vitamin will be a more dependable way to guarantee this.

An injection of vitamin B12 may be beneficial for kittens with the conditions listed below as a component of their supportive care regimen:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Malabsorption
  • Inappetance
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Lethargic state
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
  • FIP
  • Panleukopenia

While B12 cannot address these problems on its own, it can help maintain the kitten’s immunological and digestive systems as they go through treatment and recuperation.

Supplies Needed

  • Veterinarian-provided injectable B12
  • Sterilez 1cc syringe
  • 25g needles
  • Sharps dispenser

Even though B12 does not directly help a cat improve from their FIP condition, it can help by supporting your cat’s immune system, and can indirectly help a cat recover from the sickly condition. With that, more cat owners should know about this and frequently give their cats B12 to improve their conditions, whether healthy or sick.

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