Baking soda is useful for more than just baking. You could use it to scrub the toilet or eliminate stubborn stains.
It’s no surprise that, given its ability to eradicate unpleasant odors, we’ve considered using it to mask the lingering scent of kitty litter in the washroom. But is it okay to give cats baking soda? To that end, let us delve in.
Is Baking Soda Safe for Cats?
To be harmful, baking soda would have to be consumed in very large quantities by your cat. The high sodium content of baking soda poses the greatest threat because it can lead to a potentially fatal electrolyte imbalance.
Baking soda can be used safely in the home if certain measures are taken.
What Is Baking Soda?
Having baking soda on hand means you can whip up a batch of cookies whenever the craving strikes. Sodium bicarbonate is a mineral found in nature, but most people know it better by its more familiar name, baking soda.
Sodium bicarbonate is a base that produces a chemical reaction when exposed to an acid (such as buttermilk, yogurt, or vinegar), per the Nutrition Sciences Department at North Carolina State University.
Chemical leavening is the process of using carbon dioxide gas to cause dough or batter to rise when baking.
Sodium bicarbonate can be used to clean floors, bathtubs, and sinks without scratching the surface. A common method for deodorizing carpets is to sprinkle baking soda on them, wait a while for it to sit, and then vacuum it up.
Given their versatility, having a box or two on hand is a must, but cat owners should be aware of the risks involved.
Is Baking Soda Toxic to Cats?
Yes, in a nutshell, that is possible. Because of their smaller size, even just one or two teaspoons of baking soda can be fatal for a cat.
Baking soda is not toxic in normal amounts, but cat owners should still exercise caution when leaving it out in the open.
“I know that baking soda can be very harmful in large amounts, but I don’t think that small amounts would be too harmful,” says Tram Melgar, RVT of PetNest Animal Hospital in Frisco, Texas.
Our feline friends are typically less likely to eat something they shouldn’t. Dogs are more common than cats among those who consume baking soda. ”
Sodium bicarbonate tastes somewhat salty and bitter. The saltiness of the food may entice a curious (or hungry) cat, even if a picky eater rejects it.
Signs and Symptoms of Baking Soda Toxicity
The American College of Veterinary Pharmacists lists the following symptoms as indicative of baking soda toxicity in cats:
- Abdominal distress
- Extreme dehydration
- spasms of muscle
- Problems breathing
- Vigorous respiration
- Tremors and/or convulsions
Sodium bicarbonate is a salt, too. Untreated, high levels of sodium in the body can lead to electrolyte imbalances and health issues.
What To Do If Your Cat Eats Baking Soda
If you know or suspect that your cat has eaten baking soda, you should contact your vet immediately and try to determine how much of the substance was consumed.
Even though your cat won’t get sick from a small dose, you should still keep a close eye on it and give it plenty of water in case it starts passing gas or throwing up.
You shouldn’t wait for your cat to show symptoms of toxicity before getting professional help. It’s best to deal with any issues as soon as possible.
Are These Common Uses of Baking Soda Safe for Cats?
In the Litter Box—It Depends
Baking soda’s reputation as a natural odor neutralizer has led some kitty litter manufacturers to prominently feature it on their product packaging.
Choose a litter that already contains baking soda as a neutralizing agent rather than adding more.
“Unless they are under two months old, kittens have no interest in eating the litter. Melgar claims that modern baking soda litters are safe for [cats] because they are less concentrated.
On Your Cat’s Bed—Not Safe
“I do not advocate for it. Melgar warns that whenever a cat comes into contact with something, it will want to lick it.
They will lick their fur and ingest the chemicals, so avoid using strong perfume, cologne, or detergent. ”
Deodorizing the Carpet—Safe
Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet (with your cat safely confined in another room) and leave it there for a while to absorb the odors.
Just make sure to give the area a good vacuuming before letting your cat back in there. Your cat might get some baking soda on its paws, but it probably won’t be enough to hurt it.
Killing Fleas—Not Safe
As I’ve mentioned before, cats groom themselves, and if you use baking soda on their fur, they may end up eating too much of it. Before using any flea treatment, you should always check with your veterinarian.
DIY Cat Toothpaste—Not Safe
Cats can’t use baking soda as toothpaste like larger dogs can because of their smaller size. They would probably end up with an upset stomach from eating too much. If you want to brush your cat’s teeth, try something else.
Cat First Aid—Not Safe
We don’t recommend using hydrogen peroxide as first aid for a cat. Melgar asserts that felines are exceptionally perceptive. “Warm water would be the best thing to treat with if you have any accidents and can’t get to the vet. ”
Consult your veterinarian before administering any homemade remedies, and use caution when dealing with baking soda and your cat.
Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder
Despite their seemingly similar names, baking soda and baking powder are actually two entirely different chemical compounds.
Baking powder is a combination of sodium bicarbonate and an acid, while baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder’s acid component is activated by heat and moisture during cooking.
You shouldn’t use baking powder, which can be toxic to cats, in any of the suggestions given here.
You should exercise caution when using baking soda around your pet, despite the fact that it has many useful applications in the kitchen, the bathroom, and elsewhere.
Even though baking soda isn’t toxic in small doses, giving it to your cat could be disastrous.
This is especially true for kittens and smaller cats, as the toxic dose required for them is lower.
You shouldn’t use baking soda to get rid of fleas on your cat, but it has many other useful applications. It works wonderfully on carpets, pet beds, and other surfaces to eliminate pet odors. The teeth of your cat can be cleaned with it, too!
Even though it helps reduce litter box odors and is safer than some other options, such as adding essential oils, it’s still probably not the best choice for the box.