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Home > Cats > Can You Put Baking Soda in Cat Litter? Vet-Reviewed Risks & Safety Guide

Can You Put Baking Soda in Cat Litter? Vet-Reviewed Risks & Safety Guide

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Most people have probably heard of cat litter that uses baking soda. As it turns out, baking soda’s chemical properties cancel out pesky acids that emit odors, including those in cat urine. Now that other litter manufacturers are catching on to this simple ingredient’s robust odor-control power, it’s got people wondering: Is baking soda safe to put in cat litter?

Unfortunately, no. Baking soda is not the best solution for a smelly litter box. Read on to learn more.

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Risks of Using Baking Soda in Your Cat’s Litter Box

Baking soda may seem like the perfect solution for eliminating odors in a little box, but it has some risks you should be aware of:

  • Gastric upset: When ingested regularly or in large amounts, baking soda can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. With particularly large ingestions at one time the toxicity may be more serious and cause tremors or seizures.
  • Excessive dust: Since it’s powdery itself, baking soda makes dusty litter even more dusty, which may be a dealbreaker for some folks.

If you think your cat may eat the baking soda, it’s best to leave it out of the equation. If you think your cat won’t be interested you can sprinkle a layer of baking soda underneath the kitty litter and closely monitor your pet.

sick cat vomiting the food
Image Credit: Tom Wang, Shutterstock

Are Some Types of Cat Litter Less Smelly Than Others?

Yes, some types of cat litter are better at controlling odor than your average clay litter due to the special ingredients used. If you’re still using regular litter because it’s cheap or because you don’t know what’s better, we’re here to help you out. Let’s skim the most popular alternatives to clay litter you can use but keep in mind that your cat may have their own litter preferences and reject certain litter types.

  • Wood pellets: Made from compressed pine or other fragrant woods, pellet litter is highly absorbent but generates a fair bit of dust. Plus, it tracks easily if your cat isn’t careful.
  • Wheat: Made from crushed wheat, this litter has the advantage of being soft and absorbent, and it controls litter odors well, but it’s hard to find and expensive compared to regular litter.
  • Silica gel: Not to be confused with the toxic crystalline silica, silica gel cat litter is expensive but has excellent absorbency and odor control properties.
cat beside litterbox
Image Credit: Alexandra Morosanu, Shutterstock

How Can I Keep the Litter Box From Getting Smelly?

  • Clean it daily. Cleaning a litter box is not a fun chore, but it is the most effective way to eliminate odors. A clean litter box will also maintain your cat’s health!
  • Use a litter deodorizer. If you have multiple litter boxes, consider getting a litter deodorizer that can help take the edge off in between cleanings.
  • Get high-quality litter. Sometimes, it is worth spending a few extra dollars to get a good quality litter.

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Cleaning out a litter box is definitely not a chore anyone enjoys. But it is the only 100% effective way to eliminate odors. Cleaning out the litter box does not just involve scooping clumped litter and feces. It also involves changing the litter entirely and even washing the litter box with pet-safe soap and water. Yeah, it is not fun, but a clean litter box will help with your cat’s health as well as the smell of your home!

Featured Image Credit: focal point, Shutterstock

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