Is Sodium Bentonite dangerous to cats?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – is sodium bentonite dangerous to cats?

Billy B.


Thanks for your question Billy. You wrote asking if Sodium Bentonite is dangerous to cats. As you may know, sodium bentonite is a common ingredient in clumping litter that acts to absorb liquids and clump. This ingredient has been very popular as it was the backbone of the scoopable litter generation as cat lovers moved away from clay litters.

For years, everyone thought scoopable litters were the best. Then five or six years ago, there were reports of problems related to the scoopable litters. Most problems were related to inhalation of the dust that can irritate some cats predisposed to asthma or ingestion of the litter, which can cause problems. It is possible for the litter to “clump” in the intestine causing a gastrointestinal foreign body that could require surgery. This is more common in kittens and relatively uncommon.

For this reason, scoopable litters that contain sodium benzonite are not recommended for kittens or any cats that is inclined to ingest litter.

An article that might be useful to you is Choosing the right Litter for your cat.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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