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Does Baking Soda Kill Fleas on Cats? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

baking soda in a glass bowl
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Vet approved

	Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

Veterinarian, BVSc MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Baking soda is an effective and inexpensive home remedy for many problems, and you may have heard that baking soda can kill fleas on cats. The idea being that baking soda creates an environment that the fleas cannot survive in and that it works by drawing out the moisture from their exoskeletons and dehydrating them, ultimately killing them. However, although safe to use around cats, baking soda has largely been proven to be ineffective at killing adult fleas or their larva and eggs, and there is little scientific evidence that it actually works. So, no, baking soda does not kill fleas on cats.

cat paw divider

Safety & Effectiveness of Baking Soda

Baking soda is generally safe to use around cats, it should not be used on your cat’s fur, since it can be toxic if ingested when grooming themselves. Baking soda won’t be as powerful or effective as other flea treatments, either. Flea shampoos, sprays, and medications are going to be the most effective way to reduce the number of fleas on your cat’s body and repel future infestations.

What Are the Components of an Effective Flea Control Program?

A comprehensive flea control program consists of four components: prevention, treatment, cleaning, and monitoring.

  • Prevention includes using a flea preventive product like a topical treatment or oral medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Treatment involves using an insecticide to kill adult fleas on your cat as well as in their environment.
  • Cleaning involves vacuuming carpets and furniture regularly, washing your cat’s bedding in hot water, and disposing of vacuum bags.
  • Monitoring involves checking your cat for fleas on a regular basis to catch any new infestations early.
applying flea treatment to cat
Image Credit: Csaba Deli, Shutterstock

What Types of Products Do I Need for a Complete Flea Prevention Program?

For a complete flea prevention program, you should use a flea preventive product such as a topical treatment or oral medication prescribed by your veterinarian. You should also use an insecticide to kill adult fleas on your cat as well as in their environment. Finally, cleaning the carpets and furniture regularly and vacuuming frequently will help to keep fleas from returning.

You can use baking soda during the cleaning stage to help potentially kill fleas on furniture and carpets and freshen them up. Some people find it helps, but this is strictly anecdotal and not scientifically proven. Most find that they still need to use another product like an insecticide or topical flea preventative to actually kill fleas and prevent fleas on your pets and your furniture. Talk to your vet before experimenting to see what works best for your pet.

Does Baking Soda Work to Control Fleas in Carpet?

Although baking soda probably won’t be effective at killing fleas on cats, it can be an effective and safe way to control fleas in carpets because it may suffocate the fleas. Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet and let it sit overnight. Vacuum up the baking soda the next day, along with any dead fleas that have been killed. Repeat this process weekly to help prevent future infestations.

woman applying salt in carpet
Image Credit: Robert Kneschke, Shutterstock

What Should I Do If My Cat Has a Severe Flea Infestation?

If your cat has a severe flea infestation, it is best to seek help from your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to recommend the best course of action for treating your cat’s fleas. This could include using an insecticide or topical flea preventative. Additionally, your veterinarian might recommend additional steps such as cleaning carpets and furniture or using a flea spray in hard-to-reach areas.



Many people think that baking soda works to kill fleas by drawing out the moisture from their exoskeletons and creating an environment which is inhospitable for them. However, baking soda is neither a safe or effective home remedy for killing fleas on cats. While it may not be as powerful as other treatments, baking soda can potentially be used to help control fleas on carpets and furniture, but you need a comprehensive flea control program consisting of other methods like shampoos or sprays for effectively treating and preventing fleas on your cat.

Featured Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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