Best Cat Litters for Odor Control: Keeping Your Home Smelling Fresh

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Finding the best cat litter for odor control can be a daunting task for many cat owners. With so many different types of cat litters available on the market, from clay litters to natural litters, it can be hard to know which one will effectively control odors coming from the litter box. Brands like Fresh Step and Dr. Elsey’s are known for their odor control capabilities but there are many other options available for cat owners who want to keep their home smelling fresh.

In this article, we will show you the top 6 best cat litter for odor control that will significantly support you in maintaining hygiene in your living space.

What’s the Best Cat Litter For Odor Control in 2022?

  1. Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter, Unscented
  2. Fresh Step Advanced Cat Litter with Gain Scent
  3. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Cat Litter, Fresh Home Scent
  4. Cat’s Pride Total Odor Control Premium Clumping
  5. Scoop Away Multi-Cat, Scented Cat Litter
  6. Fresh Step Litter with Fragrance of Febreze

Comparison Chart Odor Control Cat Litter

Product Name Type Scented Clumping Dust Level Odor Control
Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter Clay No Yes Low Superior
Fresh Step Advanced Cat Litter with Gain Scent Clay Yes Yes Low Good
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Cat Litter Clay Yes Yes Low Good
Cat’s Pride Total Odor Control Premium Clumping Clay No Yes Low Superior
Scoop Away Multi-Cat Clay Yes Yes Low Good
Fresh Step Litter with Fragrance of Febreze Clay Yes Yes Low Good

Types of Cat Litter for Odor Control

Clumping litter

Clumping litters are made from clay or sodium bentonite, which forms tight clumps when it comes into contact with moisture. These clumps can be easily scooped out and disposed of, leaving a fresh and clean litter box. Clumping litters typically have superior odor control properties compared to non-clumping litters.

Crystal litter

Crystal litters, also known as silica gel litters, are made from silica gel, a type of sand that is highly absorbent. They form small crystals when they come into contact with moisture, which help to lock in moisture and odors, keeping the litter box fresher for longer. Crystal litters are typically more expensive than other types of litters, but they are also highly effective at controlling odors. Some crystal litters are also flushable, making them more convenient for disposal. It’s good to mention that some cats may not like the feel of the crystal litter on their paws.

Natural litters

Natural litters are made from materials such as corn, wheat, paper, or wood. These litters are typically biodegradable and more environmentally friendly than traditional clay litters. Natural litters can also have natural odor control properties, and less dust and tracking compare to traditional litters. However, they may not be as effective at controlling odors as clumping or non-clumping litters.

Scented litters

Scented litters are made from different types of materials and infused with various fragrances to mask any unpleasant odors. Some scented litters are effective at controlling odors, while others simply mask them temporarily. It is important to note that some cats may be sensitive to certain scents, so it is important to choose a scent that is not too strong or overwhelming.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cat Litter for Odor Control

Scented vs unscented

Scented cat litters come with added fragrances to help mask odors and make the litter box more pleasant smelling. Unscented cat litters, on the other hand, do not contain any added fragrances.

Some cat owners prefer scented litters as they can help to mask odors, while others prefer unscented litters. Consider if you or your cat have any allergies to certain scents before purchasing a scented litter, your cats may not like the smell of the scented litter and may avoid using the litter box. Unscented litters are a good option for those who are sensitive to fragrances or prefer a natural smell.

Dust level

Dust level is an important factor to consider when choosing a cat litter for odor control, especially for cats with respiratory issues or cat owners who have allergies. Some litters produce more dust when they are used, which can be inhaled by both cats and humans. This can cause respiratory problems and worsen allergies. To avoid this problem, it’s best to look for low-dust or dust-free options when choosing a cat litter.

These types of litters are made with special formulas that produce less dust when they are used. Some examples of dust-free litters are corn-based, paper-based, or crystal litters, but some natural litters may produce more dust than others.

Clumping vs non-clumping

Clumping vs non-clumping is another factor to consider when choosing a cat litter for odor control.

Clumping litters are made from clay or sodium bentonite and form tight clumps when they come into contact with moisture, making it easier to scoop out and dispose of solid waste. This helps to keep the litter box fresh and reduces the buildup of odors. However, clumping litters are not biodegradable and should not be put in compost pile or flush down the toilet.

On the other hand, non-clumping litters are typically made from natural materials like corn, wheat, or pine which do not form clumps when they come into contact with moisture. These litters need to be changed more frequently to ensure that the litter box remains fresh and hygienic. They are often more environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

Natural vs non-natural

Natural litters are made from biodegradable materials such as corn, wheat, paper or wood. These litters are considered more environmentally friendly than non-natural litters, as they break down naturally and do not contain any synthetic materials. They can also have natural odor control properties and produce less dust compared to traditional litters. However, natural litters may not be as effective at controlling odors as non-natural litters like clay or silica gel. They may also be more expensive than traditional litters and harder to find in certain areas.

On the other hand, non-natural litters are typically made from synthetic materials such as clay or silica gel. These litters are highly effective at controlling odors, but they are not biodegradable and can take a long time to break down. They may also produce more dust compared to natural litters.

Price

Consider your budget and the cost of the litter you are considering. Some types of litters may be more expensive than others, such as crystal litters. While they may be highly effective at controlling odors, they may not be a cost-effective option for some cat owners.

Crystal litter

Crystal litters, they are highly absorbent and effective at controlling odors, but they may be more expensive than other types of litters and some cats may not like the feel of the crystals on their paws.

#1: Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented – Best overall smell control

Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter

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Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter, Unscented is formulated with Activated Carbon. They work well in eliminating smelly odors on contact when mixed with the granules.

Includes antimicrobial agent

The ingredient of this litter includes an antimicrobial agent that inhibits the growth of bacterial odors. That’s why there will be no lingering odors after about 10 minutes of you using it or your pet peeing and pooping.

If you’re worried about scooping time, this will be an ideal choice for a simple and quick process. It comes with an enhanced formulation that makes the litter clump hard when you scoop, which leaves no mess, and the remaining part is still clean after that.

Clumping quickly

Right after the cat pees or pooping, this cat’s litter clumps quickly. You even don’t see the pee reach the bottom of the box if you fill it with the proper depth of litter. As a result, this litter will keep the continuous freshness all day long for both the cat’s box and your room.

Non-scent, perfect for cats with allergenic

When your cat has a sensitive nose, unscented litters make them feel more comfortable when defecating. Although non-scent, its good moisture absorption and clumping ability significantly reduce the stink.

Compared to other items such as Precious Cat, Ever Clean costs the same amount. However, it is more appreciated when it has great odor control without added perfumes.

Cost-saving cat litter

We call it a cost-saving cat litter as you don’t need to change the litter regularly. As mentioned above, it will clump hard and quickly reduce wasting. According to laboratory results, with a 10L size box, you can utilize this one for up to 2 months.

A little bit of dust

Although Ever Clean advertised that this is dust-free, we found it still had dust during use. Nevertheless, the dust is not too much, and you don’t need to worry about this.

One note for you when using it is its high tracking. The usual distance is about 5 to 6 feet from the cat box. You can prepare a little mat to solve this problem.

Drawback

Compared to other items on this top list, Ever Clean Extra Strength can be heavy and dense. Pay more attention when holding or moving it if you have a weak back.

Pros
  • Long-lasting for longer using time
  • Effective odor control with activated carbon and antimicrobial agent
  • Clumps hard and quickly
  • Scent-free for sensitive cat
  • Low dust for clean space
Cons
  • Not flushable
  • Tracking a little bit

Fresh Step Advanced with Gain Scent

Fresh Step Advanced Cat Litter with Gain Scent

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We appreciate Fresh Step Advanced Cat Litter with Gain Scent as the best litter in fighting bad odors among its sister products. It is better than Fresh Step Simply – an item from the same company in the same range.

Combined with Ammonia Block Technology

The activated charcoal plays the main role in trapping and eliminating the bad smells in your space. Combined with Ammonia Block Technology, it blocks urine stink to keep the room clean and fresh during your day.

Quick absorbency contributes to reducing bad smells. When you observe it, you will see that it’s extremely absorbent and clump quickly, especially with urine.

Light scent with Gain Original fragrance

This isn’t unscented litter, but it won’t bother your pets when they use the box. Its paw-activated Gain Original fragrance is comfortable, fresh, and clean for kittens and your family.

10-days odor control guaranteed

The manufacturer guarantees that it can work well with up to 10 days of odor control. After use for a long time combined with scooping daily, we found it’s quite long-lasting and effective for many days but not up to 10 days like what they said.

Dusty but minimal tracking

Although it’s labeled “low-dust”, the amount of dust is too much than the Ever Clean above. We don’t recommend it if you or your cats are sensitive to dust.

Sometimes, the litter got out of the kitty box but not too much. It’s one of the minimal-tracking items we’ve tried when there are fewer things stuck in kitten toes.

Drawback

It isn’t lightweight as we expected. It’s also a bit heavy when scooping, so this one may be at the average weight.

Other options

Pros
  • Activated charcoal for effective odor control
  • Quick and hard clumping
  • Absorb urine well
  • Gains scent that leaves a fresh and clean atmosphere
  • Low-tracking for clean space
  • Long-lasting for up to 10 days
Cons
  • More dust than advertised
  • At an average weight

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal, Fresh Home Scent

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Cat Litter

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Patented Clump & Seal™ Technology and partnered with the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Micro-sealing granules are an outstanding ingredient that seals and block litter box odors. It comes with a specific Patented Clump & Seal™ Technology to destroy the bad smells right after the cat defecates. These micro-granules form a tight seal around the odor, and then they destroy it with the Fresh Home litter’s specially-formulated stink eliminators. Plus, it has partnered with the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda — which further absorbs all those nasty smells.

Rock-solid clumping

We highly recommend this best odor control for heavy-duty missions with strong smells because the plant-derived particles make it clump quickly and hard. Rock-solid clumps allow micro-particles to form a hard block. They prevent the smells from spreading through your room.

Safety reported

And, despite its strong ingredients for odor control, they’ve reported that the litter has no adverse effects on their cats. You might as well expect such a kind of safety, as this Fresh Home odor-controlling litter contains no animal by-products. Plant-derived particles “clump and seal” both the moisture and odors even before your cat leaves the litter box.

Easy to pour and carrying

Despite that, it isn’t a problem in scooping and clean. It contains wood fiber; it’s 50% lighter than other types for easy pouring and carrying.

Light scent

Many people are concerned about the scented item, but this one will change your mind. Although it’s scented, the proper amount and natural fragrance make your space fresher, and cleaner, but not overwhelming.

7-day control guaranteed

This litter is pretty affordable with a long-lasting feature for those who don’t want to invest too much in the litter. It will save your money and reduce wasting even when you scoop daily and clean the box regularly (up to 7-day control).

No cloud dust

Although its granule-litter is small in size, there was no cloud when we poured it out. This is an advantage that makes you prefer it over Fresh Step Advanced. To have this dust-free effect, the brand applies its new Technology in manufacturing and adds new ingredients.

Messy

When our cats got out of the box, their legs were covered with granules. it’s scattered over the floor when it’s pretty messy within a 4 to 5-foot radius.

Drawback

Due to its tracking, the litter will stick to its paws, which is a challenge to all cat’s parents when scooping and cleaning the box.

Pros
  • Light and natural scent
  • Enhance the coverage and odor control effectiveness
  • Create rock-solid clumps for easy to scoop and clean
  • Patent Clump & Seal technology blocks and destroys litter box odors
  • Dust-free for sensitive pets
  • Long-lasting and 50% lighter than regular clumping litter
Cons
  • Easy to stick to cat paw
  • Tracking that can create a mess

Cat’s Pride Total Odor Control Premium Clumping Litter

Cat's Pride Total Odor Control Premium Clumping

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What we like most about this litter is the fine texture, which is similar to sand. This creates quick clumps for more convenience in scooping and filling the new one. However, you should pay more attention as it’s easy to break and fall apart.

Blocked odors effectively

Patent Max Power formula traps and lock the odors immediately and work well for ten days. That’s why you won’t feel the strong or bad odors each time your cats use the box.

Lighter 25% than clay

Natural porous creates a light-density clay that is 25% lighter than other items on this list of best cat litters for odor control at the same amount. This feature makes it easy to pour and store. With 15 pounds of litter, you’ll receive the same uses as a traditional 20-pound one.

Natural and light scent

We prefer natural and fresh scents like what Cat’s Pride offers. We were very unhappy with the mix of strong fragrances and the stink of urine or feces. It creates a feeling of warmth and discomfort throughout the room.

If we fill it at about 3-inches deep, the litter can last three weeks or more a bit. We changed the litter every 3 to 4 weeks with daily scooping. During that time, We filled the box up with a new layer to prevent the urine reaches the box’s bottom.

Cloud dust

As it’s fine and made from clay, you may have to face some clouds when pouring it out. With active cats constantly messing around the box, you’ll have to clean the floor up more regularly.

Stick to cats’ paws

There is not much litter stuck on the cat’s leg when they get out of the box, but this isn’t a low-tracking one. Once we deep cleaned and washed the box, too many litter sticks on the kitten’s paws challenged us to remove them and clean the floor.

Drawback

It would be better if it’s lower tracking and reduces the amount of dust. You should pour slowly and regularly clean to have a better user experience.

Other options:

Pros
  • Fine texture
  • Quick clumps with high absorbency
  • 25% lighter than a traditional litter
  • Natural and fresh scent without fragrance
  • Long-lasting for 3 to 4 weeks
  • Reasonable price with handy packaging
Cons
  • Much dust when pour
  • Average tracking that will stick to cat’s legs

Scoop Away Multiple Cats Odors, Scented

Scoop Away Multi-Cat

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Scoop Away Super Clump Unscented Cat Litter does an excellent job of odor control. Although it’s a scented product, there is no artificial scent included so you can rest assured about your pet’s health.

Absorb immediately

Its Patented Ammonia Shield will prevent the uncomfortable odor-causing bacteria from spreading and growing. Thanks to this, the liquid waste is also absorbed immediately.

You’ll receive the 5x protection in your box with this Scoop Away. Super-fine granules combined with antimicrobial agents will eliminate all the odors on the contact. There will be no ammonia smell in your room anymore.

Light scent

Proper scent with a light and comfortable fragrance effectively cover the bad and strong scents. It won’t be so intense that it makes you feel dizzy, but it won’t be too weak or overpowered by the stink of feces and urine.

It’s ideal for the sensitive nose when it causes no allergies or respiratory disease. But you can reconsider if your cats aren’t keen on fragrance litter.

7-day long-lasting effectiveness

All litters from Scoop Away are guaranteed with 7-day long-lasting effectiveness. We call it an economical choice when we don’t have to face and dump. When we scoop it daily, we refill the box with 1/2 bag once a week.

Low dust champion

If you’re looking for a low-dust item for your fresher and cleaner space, this one may not be a perfect choice. Ever Clean Extra or Arm & Hammer litter will be more worth considering as a formidable opponent in dust-free features.

Low tracking

This Scoop Away item can be the champion of low-tracking litter. We found it supports us a lot in cleaning when we don’t have to face any messes around the cat’s box.

Drawback

As it’s a scented cat’s litter, you can reconsider if your cat is sensitive to this. It comes with average dust, a big drawback for sensitive respiratory systems.

Pros
  • Inhibits bad-odor-causing bacteria by Patented Ammonia Shield
  • Immediately absorb liquid waste
  • Effective odor control
  • Low-tracking for a clean floor
  • Easy to use, clean, and refill
Cons
  • Its smell isn’t suitable for all cats
  • A bit dusty

Fresh Step Litter For Cat with Fragrance of Febreze Odor

Fresh Step Litter with Fragrance of Febreze

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Similar to Fresh Step Extra, this Fresh Step Scented Litter includes activated charcoal that deodorizes your whole space. It’s a 10-day odor control guarantee from the manufacturer.

Clump is so tight and solid

The clumps are tight and solid, which is great for cleaning up. It won’t break up easily, leaving any mess, no stinky crumbles, and speed up your scoop and cleaning process.

Absorb urine effective

Fast absorbency will minimize foul scents from cat urine. Once the cat is defecating, it won’t get slimy or stick to its paws, and this makes it become the best odor control for cleaning up.

Easy storage, long-lasting

The 14lb box is ideal if you have 1 to 2 cats. Small size is easier to use and store as you don’t need to make an effort to bring it from place to place. When you just need to change the litter each 3 to 4 weeks, one box is long-lasting for about two months or more.

Strong scent for stinky litter box

When we used Fresh Step Advanced and Scoop Away and then changed to Fresh Step scented, it’s clear that the scent of this litter is a bit stronger than the two we mentioned. Certainly, it won’t stink badly, but it isn’t ideal if you prefer a fresh-scent or unscented atmosphere.

Low-dust formula

The low-dust formula allows you to keep the clean air and clean the floor all the time, from pouring out to cleaning it up. There are no white clouds or fine dust in the air. It will not stick to clothes, or furniture or affect the respiratory system.

A little bit of tracking

Sometimes, you’ll see the litter drops on the floor or stick to your pet’s paws when they jump out from using the litter box. It’s just a small amount and doesn’t happen regularly, so this isn’t a significant problem.

Drawback

If this has a lighter scent, we’ll appreciate this litter more. But for those who don’t mind the scent, it’s worth your attention.

Pros
  • Specially formulated for the stink litter boxes
  • Fight litter box odors
  • Create tight and solid clumps
  • Easy to scoop and use
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • The scent is a bit strong.

How to Properly Maintain and Dispose of Cat Litter

  • Regularly scoop and dispose of solid waste from the litter box at least once a day. This helps to keep the litter box fresh and reduces the buildup of odors.
  • Change the entire litter box every 2-3 weeks, or as recommended by the manufacturer. This helps to ensure that the litter box remains fresh and hygienic for your cat.
  • Regularly clean the litter box with warm water and a mild detergent. This helps to remove any built-up odors and bacteria.
  • Use a litter deodorizer or baking soda to help control odors between litter box changes.
  • Using a litter mat in front of the litter box can help to catch any excess litter that may be tracked out of the box.
  • Dispose of used litter properly. If you are using a non-clumping or natural litter, it is best to add it to your compost pile. If you are using a clumping litter, it should not be added to compost pile or flush down the toilet as it can cause a clogging. You can check with your local waste management department for the best way to dispose of used cat litter in your area.
  • Be sure to keep the litter box in a well-ventilated area to help control odors.
  • For multi-cat households, ensure you have enough litter boxes to accommodate all of your cats.

Conclusion

 

And that’s all about the top odor control cat litter. What do you think about them? Consider carefully to find out the most suitable one for your lovely pets.

Overall, we highly recommend Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Cat Litter, Fresh Home Scent to all cat’s parents. It’s outstanding with many advantages that support you in using and cleaning. Preparing a little mat is an applicable solution for reducing the tracking of this litter.

By the way, don’t forget to take a look at our buying guide and FAQs part before making the final decision!

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Alix Wilson

Alix Wilson is Veterinarian at Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine. She has always had a passion and love for animals. She attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine for her undergraduate degree. Alix graduated from Ross in 2005. Follow me on: Linkedin

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