Baking soda is a useful ingredient that most people keep in their kitchen, and it can be used for a multitude of things, from baking to homemade cleaning supplies. Because of its ability to absorb and reduce bad odors, many people use it in places like stinky refrigerators and litter boxes to help contain odors. It is safe for you to use baking soda around your cat, though? Is it safe for your cat to consume if they get a hold of some? As a general answer, in small amounts, baking soda is safe for cats. Here’s what you need to know.
Is Baking Soda Safe for Cats?
If consumed in small quantities, baking soda is safe for cats. It’s also safe to use around cats. However, if your cat consumes large amounts of baking soda, this could be dangerous. If, for some reason, your cat manages to get into a box of baking soda and eat a large amount, they should immediately see a vet. Toxicity occurs with baking soda at around 2–4 teaspoons per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram is equivalent to 2.2 pounds.
Signs of baking soda toxicity include vomiting, which is usually the first notable symptom, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, seizures, tremors, confusion, and shortness of breath. Signs of baking soda toxicity can occur up to 3 hours after consumption of the baking soda.
Safe Uses for Baking Soda
While toxic in large quantities, there are multiple uses for baking soda that can be beneficial in a home with cats. Some people sprinkle baking soda in their litter boxes and mix it in with the cat litter. Because baking soda is basic and cat urine is acidic, the baking soda neutralizes the acid in the cat urine, reducing or eliminating the foul odor altogether.
Since it’s highly effective at absorbing yucky smells, it can also be sprinkled on carpets to help reduce pet smells. Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet or rug, allow it to sit for 20–30 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Using baking soda on the furniture or floor where your cat had an accident can help absorb the leftover smell, reducing the likelihood of your cat pottying there again in the future. Keep your kitty out of the room while the baking soda sits, though. You can add baking soda to your laundry at ½–1 cup per load. This can help absorb some of the pet odors in your bedding, as well as your cat’s bedding.
Baking soda can be used directly on your cat as part of a dry shampoo or regular bath routine. As a dry shampoo, simply brush your cat, sprinkle baking soda on their fur and distribute it thoroughly, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then brush it out. Avoid letting your cat lick itself while the baking soda sits. Baking soda can be mixed with warm water and used as a regular pet shampoo as well.
It’s best to avoid letting your cat consume baking soda simply because it is toxic in large enough amounts, and it has minimal nutritional value. Baking soda can safely be used on and around your cat, though. There are multiple uses for this beneficial ingredient, but always use it with caution to keep your pets safe.
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