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3 Reasons Not to Use Baking Soda in Cat Litter

Bad news. Sprinkling baking soda into your litter box to control odor isn’t a good idea. In fact, it may end up doing the exact opposite of what you want it to do and could even potentially harm your cat.

Sure, adding a little of it to your cat litter seems like a smart idea. After all, it’s commonly used around the house as a natural cleaner, and even a simple Google search will serve up information on why it’s OK to use with litter.

The truth is, adding baking soda to your litter box can lead to some unintended consequences and even some potentially harmful side effects for your cat.

1. Baking Soda Can Make Your Litter More Dusty

One of the most common litter box challenges reported by cat owners involves the presence of dust. If this sounds like you – then definitely don’t use baking soda in your litter box. Mixing some in can actually lead to even more dust.

That’s because the average particle size of baking soda is small enough to become airborne when your cat paws digs in the litter box.

“Baking soda is a fine powder that works well for baking and cooking, but it doesn’t work well for keeping litter dust-free”

World’s Best Cat Litter™ Insights & Innovations Team

2. Baking Soda Can Lead To Negative Odor Control

While baking soda is great at absorbing odors in your fridge, it actually has the opposite effect in the litter box. Why? Because science.

The Science Behind Litter and Smells

The pH of your cat litter is crucial to controlling odor.  To prevent ammonia gas (that eye-watering stench that litter boxes sometimes have) from being released, you need to keep the pH below 8.0.  Natural litter made with whole kernel corn has a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0.  The problem is, baking soda has a pH of 8.4, and the average clay cat litter has a pH of between 8.0 and 9.0.  Sprinkling baking soda into your litter increases the pH levels and can actually encourage ammonia to be released in your house.

“Baking soda is great at absorbing odors in your fridge, but it actually has the opposite effect in the litter box.”

World’s Best Cat Litter™ Insights & Innovations Team

And if you think you hate the smells, a cat’s sense of smell is estimated to be 14 times more acute than a human’s. 

3. Baking Soda Can Cause Health Problems

As mentioned earlier, adding baking soda can cause the release of ammonia, which not only smells, but also can be detrimental to your cat’s respiratory health.

Ammonia is an irritant gas.. When humans get exposed to high levels of ammonia it can lead to sinus problems, upper airway irritation and even eye irritation. Research even suggests that long term and repetitive exposure to high levels of ammonia can increase risk of lung disease – so why would you want to expose your cat to the same risks?

If you’re looking for a simple way to control odors and keep your cat safe – do yourself and your cat a favor and avoid adding baking soda into your litter box. Instead, find yourself a naturally-safe cat litter that promises all the things that matter most to you – such as odor control, dust, and the health and wellbeing of your best bud.