Is Sodium Bentonite Cat Litter Toxic or Cause Urinary Problems Cats?
Should you use litter with sodium bentonite? Is sodium bentonite dangerous for your cat? This common cat litter additive has been a source of concern for many loving pet owners. Today I want to give you a vet's perspective on its safety.
Chemically speaking, sodium bentonite is natural. It is most commonly found in clay beds and is known for its ability to absorb moisture and swells to many times its original size. This makes it a very useful additive for cleaning spills. It also can enhance the clumping properties of cat litter.
It is this absorbent quality that concerns some owners and makes them question whether their cats should be exposed to it. It is estimated that sodium bentonite contributes to 15 million pounds of non-biodegradable waste each year. But what effect does it have on your cat?
There are few formal studies so far on the effects of sodium bentonite on cats. However, this does not mean that it is necessarily safe or unsafe. One thing to consider is that some cats do not like litter with any additives at all, even ones that are technically not dangerous, and will refuse to use litters that irritate their sensitive noses or eyes.
In this vet's opinion, if your cat shows any signs at all of eating foreign material such as litter, paper, or fabric, it is best to avoid litters with sodium bentonite. This is because ingesting even a small amount of material can cause an impaction in the stomach or intestines. These blockages can require expensive and painful surgery to remove, and can be fatal if they are not treated quickly.
Most cats are likely to eat foreign material at least once. Small amounts typically pass through their digestive tracts unharmed but if the material swells, like sodium bentonite can, it can cause severe problems. Therefore, if you do choose to use litter containing sodium bentonite it is very important to monitor your cat regularly to ensure that they are eating and using the litter box properly.
Litter additives can be dangerous to cats if eaten. Sodium bentonite has not been studied enough to determine whether it poses a threat to cats, but a vet's advice is to stay on the safe side and use it with caution.
I hope this has helped you learn whether sodium bentonite is safe for cats.