What does vitamin B do for cats?

What is vitamin B used for in cats? A balanced diet is vital for your pet's health, but a lack of B vitamins can cause very clear conditions.

Vitamin B is essential for the correct physical and mental development of the cat, because it intervenes both in its muscles and in the nervous system. Specifically, vitamins B1, B6, B9 and B12 have a very important function in the cognitive development of the animal, since they are transformed into an amino acid called homocysteine, and its lack produces a gradual deterioration of the nervous system, in addition to cardiovascular and renal problems, and other frustration of metabolic processes. Now you probably think that a balanced diet is essential for your pet, which is why it is essential to properly supplement the feed so that no nutrient or vitamin is left out of their diet.

However, cats suffering from some type of digestive disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease or chronic pancreatitis, can have serious difficulties absorbing vitamin B. This is easily identified in their behavior, if they do not have an appetite, spend the day lethargic day and shows diarrhea or constipation, it is likely that vitamin B is not present in its development and that it is due to an absorption problem in the digestive system.

Is lethargy an unequivocal symptom of a lack of vitamin B?

It is true that cats spend a great deal of time each day sleeping or simply resting, more than 14 hours a day in some cases. But once they wake up they tend to be active, curious and quite clear-headed. The sleep cycle of cats is never deep, so they are able to go from sleep to action in a matter of seconds, however, a cat that has a health problem caused by a lack of vitamin B may constantly show tired. Also, when he gets close to food, he will probably refuse to smell it. These are clear symptoms that something strange is happening to you. Specifically, lethargy is not an unequivocal symptom of a vitamin B deficiency, but is also related to diabetes, kidney disease or food poisoning.

If your cat has suffered from a disease related to the digestive system that has decreased its intestinal function and nutrient absorption, it is likely that vitamin B12 is not fulfilling its function even though it is included in its diet. When cats have a reduced absorption of this vitamin, their bodies begin to have severe deficiencies and can develop colon cancer (with small cell lymphoma), inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis and liver disease.

How to alleviate a vitamin B deficiency?

The feed does not provide too much vitamin B, we will find it especially in fresh meat, very specifically in the liver and other viscera. Despite this, you can also find it in dietary supplements that you can add to your diet, however, if your cat has a digestive problem, it will better absorb the vitamin that comes from natural foods than from compounds.

All B vitamins, such as Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9) or cobalamin (B12), are water soluble, which it would be contrary to other fat-soluble ones, this means that when the body detects an excess of this vitamin it can easily expel it through the urine, so an overnutrition of vitamin B does not have to be a problem, within reasonable margins.

More benefits of vitamin B

Although we have already commented that the lack of this vitamin can cause different diseases and critical conditions for your pet, not only is the damage caused by its deficiency important, but also the general benefits it provides, such as the stimulation of the metabolism, which makes the cat has more energy, as it makes better use of the nutrients it ingests and this makes it feel more in tune with its environment, and therefore happier. On the other hand, it is a vitamin that favors the proper growth of skin and hair.

The immune system is one of the main beneficiaries of this vitamin. In addition, the cat’s cognitive development will be more complete with this correctly digested vitamin, since it is essential for the nervous connections that are in charge of strengthening its memory and that contribute to making its behavior more structured and more consistent with its instincts. This also favors the cat’s stress levels to drop, as it will perceive greater control and security in its actions and in the attitude with which it faces the day to day. This synaptic strengthening process in which vitamin B is involved is part of the biochemical balance of the nervous system, and for it to take effect it must be aligned with other vitamins and nutrients, so a well-targeted diet is of enormous importance for the health of the animal.

But what foods provide the precious vitamin B?

Although there are vitamin compounds that provide the necessary amount to complement the animal’s diet, it is true that it is easier to digest if it is integrated into fresh food. You will generally find vitamin B in fresh meat, more specifically in the viscera of other animals. It is also in pork, rabbit, chicken or turkey meat. Fish also provides this nutrient, tuna, salmon, sea bass or sardines are good examples of foods of marine origin that will help your cat strengthen this vitamin.