Even though your cat may be affectionate, the things they leave in the litter box probably aren’t. Which cat litter brands can pet parents rely on to mask those oh-so-smelly scents? Many cat litter products make the claim that they will eliminate foul odors and leave your home feeling fresh. Since the first tamed cats began kneeling over sand or sawdust to relieve themselves, that question has been on cat lovers’ minds. From the clay granules Edward Lowe originally introduced 75 years ago to everything from wheat to walnut shells, pinewood to paper, clumping clay to crystals, and beyond, the solutions have changed along with the industry.
Within the next ten years, the market for cat litter is expected to surpass $10 billion worldwide, according to a recent Research and Markets analysis. But the question still stands: Of all the choices accessible to pet parents, which cat litter is best for masking or, even better, entirely eliminating the odor of your cat’s waste? Depending on what matters most to you, your cat, and your family, the answer may change. We’ve compiled a list of the finest cat litters for odor control because of this, including products made with only natural components, strong enough to be left in place for weeks at a time, and safe enough to use with kittens.
Here is all the information you require about this market for sweet-smelling cat litter so you can select the ideal litter for your specific cat and for odor.
Best Cat Litter for Odor: Our Top Picks
We selected the odor-control cat litters below after carefully examining customer feedback, availability, pricing, and my personal experience as the leader of a household with two cats and extremely high expectations for keeping a stink-free home! What made the cut is as follows:
The best overall cat litter for odor control
Our Pick: Tidy Cats Free & Clean
Tidy Cats is not only the top-selling cat litter brand; it was also the first. It is reliable, cost-effective, and readily accessible at almost every grocery store. Since its introduction in 1954 by cat litter pioneer Ed Lowe, Tidy Cats has led the way in cat litter trends. Its “Free & Clean” formulation is no different. Instead of just masking unpleasant odors, this unscented clumping clay cat litter incorporates odor-absorbing activated charcoal. Our two cats didn’t emit any ominous odors that we could notice. Additionally, it is fragrance-, dye-, and low-dust-free, which in our opinion makes it a well-rounded top pick.
- Fights odors with TidyLock technology, featuring activated charcoal
- promises odor control for 10 days when used as instructed.
- Available in a range of sizes, including bulk bags and lightweight jugs
- It’s manufactured without synthetic smells or colors, making it suitable for cats with sensitive skin.
- 99.9% dust-free
- Affordably priced
Things to consider
- As is the case with clay litters, some tracking can be expected
Best Clumping Litter for Odor Control
Our Pick: SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
This all-natural, grass-based cat litter from SmartCat clumps so quickly and tightly that odors have little time to escape, despite the fact that clay-based cat litter is best known for clumping. In addition, it is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, giving it an advantage over conventional clay cat litter. It is extremely soft on paws and is made from 100% grass grown in the United States, making it a fantastic option for kittens as well.
- Because it is formed of grass, it is renewable and biodegradable.
- Clumps on contact seal in microorganisms that cause odors.
- Free of GMOs, chemicals, clay, and fragrances
- Soft, sand-like texture cats love
- Because of its extreme lightness, it is simpler to scoop and transport.
- 99% dust-free, making cleanup a breeze
Things to consider
- This litter frequently tracks readily outside of the litter box, according to several reviews.
Best non-clumping litter for odor control
Our Pick: Pretty Litter
Although Pretty Litter is arguably most known for its color-changing crystals that allow you to keep tabs on your cat’s health, same crystals also do a fantastic job of stifling the smell of the litter box. Pretty Litter crystals don’t clump at all since they are made of super-absorbent silica gel (yep, just like the tiny desiccant packets used in shoe boxes, purses, and countless other products). Instead, the unscented crystals absorb liquids and odors, keeping unpleasant odors inside. This results in less upkeep, less mess, longer-lasting litter, as well as a better-smelling home for you and your cats, even if you still have to scoop and get rid of any solid waste.
- Utilizing crystals that change color when your cat urinates, Pretty Litter manages odors and warns you of potential health risks.
- A formula that doesn’t clump needs less maintenance and scooping. The litter just needs to be changed once every month.
- Crystals are up to 80 percent lighter than the leading clay cat litters
- 99% dust-free and resistant to tracking
- Ships free to your door with a subscription.
Things to consider
- Depending on the number of cats, subscription fees can be expensive, ranging from $22 to $60 per month.
- Get used to seeing green crystals; healthy urine has a yellow-to-green tint.
The best non-tracking cat litter for odor control
Our Pick: Skoon All Natural Cat Litter
Skoon’s non-clumping cat litter “pebbles,” which the company refers to as ultra-absorbent, odor-controlling, microscopic little sponges, come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. These pebbles easily handle liquid waste since they are made of diatom, a biodegradable and extremely absorbent material; all you have to worry about is scraping out the particles. The scale of the pebbles is greater than that of conventional cat litter, so they don’t attach to cats’ paws and get tracked throughout your home, which is the best part. Even the option with a finer particle size meant for automatic litter boxes is non-tracking. Overall, this low-maintenance litter will appeal to both parents and cats.
- Absorbent diatom pebbles eliminate odors
- Hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and with a low amount of dust
- Large pebbles won’t stick to cats’ paws and stop them from tracking.
- is available both unscented and with smells like lemon and lavender.
Things to consider
- Some reviewers complained that there was more litter-related dust than they had anticipated.
- There is a fine-grain mix available for this litter if your cat dislikes the larger pebbles.
Best Smelling Odor-Control Cat Litter
Our Pick: The World’s Best Cat Litter
Due to how subjective fragrances are, scented cat litter can be challenging to perfect. However, the clumping cat litter with a maize base from World’s Best reaches the ideal balance. The brand uses natural botanical oils to provide mild (but potent) and pleasant floral perfumes like lavender and lotus blossom instead of strong artificial fragrances. However, smells aren’t the only way to combat litter box odors. The litter granules are manufactured from whole-kernel corn, which is inherently absorbent and quickly and thoroughly captures waste and odors. As a result, it fights odors well while being more environmentally friendly than clay substitutes.
- twice as long as regular clay litter in the litter box.
- uses natural botanical oils rather than artificial chemicals or fragrances
- Sewer and septic systems can safely handle flushable litter (though check local ordinances)
- Pleasant but not overpowering aroma
- 99% dust-free
Things to consider
- Pricey, but the manufacturer claims that you only need to use half as much as with other litters.
Best Natural Odor-Control Cat Litter
Our Pick: Healthy Pet’s Oikocat Litter
Although there are many natural cat litter solutions available, ökocat is the best because it is designed to be high-performing and environmentally friendly. Since “öko” is German for “eco,” it should come as no surprise that this environmentally friendly cat litter incorporates plants to ward off odors. Without the need of additional chemicals, dyes, or aromas, cocat’s precisely cut wood fibers naturally absorb odors and prevent the formation of ammonia by preventing enzymes from reacting with waste. Your cat’s litter box has a natural aroma that is fresh thanks to a blend of spruce, fir, and pine.
- made with fiber that has been ethically salvaged from sustainable forestry
- Thanks to a unique mixture of plant fibers, clumps form naturally and quickly.
- smells natural and fresh
- Low dust and difficult to track
- White paper pellets and a completely dust-free mixture are packaged in smaller cartons.
Things to consider
- At more than $1 per pound for the typical litter, this German-based company is a little on the pricey side.
- safely flushing
Best Odor-Control Litter for Kittens
Our Pick: Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract Litter
You may believe that “cats are cats.” Why do kittens require a unique litter? However, curious kittens may be more likely to chew on their litter than to utilize it as a potty. In addition to being gentle on little paws, Dr. Elsey’s kitten-specific formula is nearly dust-free and all-natural to shield sensitive kittens from potential allergens. Because adorable, cuddly kittens are also capable of making unexpectedly foul litter box deposits, the clumping mix provides outstanding odor control, which is great. Additionally, the litter contains a herbal attractant that is intended to entice kittens to the litter box. This is crucial when teaching your cat to use the litter box so that they don’t urinate all over the house.
Additionally, we’d like to highlight Purina’s Yesterday’s News, which contains recycled paper and is safe for curious cats that want to eat pellets.
- created for kittens from eight weeks to one year old
- veterinarian-formulated by Dr. Elsey, himself
- contains a natural herbal attractant for kittens to help with litter-box training.
- includes a free booklet addressing typical problems called Litter Box Solutions.
Things to Consider
- To encourage continuous usage of the litter box beyond the first year, Dr. Elsey advises moving to Cat Attract.
- Certain customers said the mix was dusty and less absorbent than some adult cat litters from the same brand.
What is Odor-Control Cat Litter?
Typically, odor-controlling cat litter functions by concealing or neutralizing irritating odors; occasionally, it employs a combination of both strategies.
Kitty litter frequently contains chemicals like carbon or silica gel to mask odors. These innately fragrant, very porous substances take in moisture and odor molecules and lock them inside. Scented cat litter combats unpleasant scents by introducing more palatable ones in order to conceal them. However, if the artificial fragrance is too overpowering, it can make your cats stop using the litter box altogether. Additionally, the kind of cat litter used might influence how well odors are eliminated. For instance, clumping cat litter produces solids when cat urine is added, making it simpler to remove and dispose of offensive waste.
Cats can have strong feelings about the brand of kitty litter you use, just like some people prefer one brand of toilet paper over another. Some cats might prefer a softer litter surface, but those with more delicate noses might object to strong odors. It has been reported that certain cats can get allergic to the dust that comes with clay litter. The good news is that pet owners today have access to such a wide variety of kitty litter options that you’re sure to find an odor control cat litter solution that will suit your cat’s preferences and keep your home smelling fresh.
What to Look for in Cat Litter for Odor Control
The cat litter you choose will have an influence on your cat, your finances, and your entire home. Therefore, it’s crucial to comparison shop and try out a few options before settling on the one you’ll rely on to stop that dreadful litter box odor. Here are some crucial considerations to bear in mind while you decide:
- Initially, keep in mind that cat litter cannot perform miracles. Maintaining and replacing the litter in your cat’s litter box has a significant role in keeping unpleasant scents under control, regardless of the materials or techniques the brand uses to control odors.
- There are recipes made specifically for numerous cats if you live with them. Even the best multi-cat litter, meanwhile, has its limitations. Use several litter boxes, and be sure to clean them as often as you can.
- Many types of litter, like traditional clay cat litter, are not biodegradable, making them a bad alternative for people who care about the environment and their pets. Investigate the expanding selection of cat litters manufactured from natural components such as pine chips, nutshells, corn, and wheat as an alternative.
- Even though some cat litters claim to be flushable or safe for septic systems, flushing cat feces is not always permitted. It is prohibited in California because it can have a negative impact on the sea lion population. Before flushing any type of cat waste, make sure you are aware of the rules in your area.
- Cats, like people, can be allergic to dust and odors. Look for synthetic silica-based litters or unscented natural kitty litter that absorbs odors rather than disguising them.
- Many clumping cat litters include crystalline silica dust, which is a recognized carcinogen. How big of a risk this poses to people and animals is not yet understood. If you are worried, choose a formula that is low in dust or completely dust-free to minimize any possible dangers.
- A non-clumping litter may be advantageous for cats with other medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney illness, to enable pet parents to more closely monitor urine output.
Tips for Using Cat Litter for Odor Control
Whatever kind of cat litter you use to eliminate odors, experts concur that there are several things you can do to make sure you receive the greatest results for a pleasant-smelling home. Here are some tried-and-true success tips:
- Maintaining and cleaning your cat’s litter box on a regular basis is the best strategy to eliminate odors. Scooping every day is essential for reducing offensive odors, especially in homes with many cats. As an added advantage, replacing clay litter only needs to be done every two to three weeks if you scoop every day, which also saves you money.
- Always use your best judgment when it comes to changing the litter in your box, regardless of the schedule suggested by the cat litter manufacturer (aka, your sniffer). The food of your cat, the environment, and humidity are just a few of the many factors that might influence how effectively litter operates. Therefore, dome boxes could require more regular cleaning than other types.
- If your cat is willing to use it, a litter box with a hood can help keep the smell in check and keep curious dogs out of your cat’s personal space. Another alternative for odor control is automatic litter boxes that collect and confine foul waste. Just be sure to get a cat litter that is made for self-scooping litter boxes because ordinary cat litter frequently causes these boxes to jam.
- If you use a litter liner to simplify cleanup, be careful that your cat could get hurt if its claws get tangled up in the sturdy plastic lining.
- It might be preferable to stick with the litter you and your cat choose unless it is really necessary to change it. Cats dislike change, particularly when it comes to how they use the restroom. If you do decide to change the type or brand of cat litter you use, do it gradually over time. Your cat can quit using the litter box if you suddenly switch the litter, which could result in unpleasant messes all around your house.
- Cat urine and feces contain microorganisms that are hazardous to humans, even if you’re using the best cat litter money can buy. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable and should delegate litter box tasks until after the baby is delivered.