Best Cat Litter For Odor Control

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Best cat litter for odor control

Saying that we all love our cats is not a groundbreaking statement. They're all our little angels! However, it's a never a pleasant experience to walk by your cat's litter box and catch a whiff of their recent bowl movement.

Fortunately, there are many different kinds of cat litter available that are specially made to contain and eliminate even the worst odors. However, with tons of options out there, there's also a ton of different aspects of that litter to consider, which can be overwhelming.

That's why we've compiled a list of the best cat litter for odor control, in addition to a comprehensive buyer's guide to better understand what goes into a good cat litter.

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   Product

OUR #1 RATED

Ever Clean
Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Litter

An excellent all-around litter that not only eliminates odors but is also very easy to scoop and clean efficiently.


Arm & Hammer
​Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer's secret baking soda formula helps to make this litter extremely effective at trapping odors and clumping well.


Fresh Step
Extreme Odor Control Scented Litter

Effective litter paired with the great Febreze scent. This litter eliminates odors and keeps the room smelling wonderfully fresh.


Purina
​Tidy Cats Glade Clumping Litter

An excellent value combined with effective odor control defines this litter. It also lacks dust and doesn't track around the house.


Dr. Elsey's
​Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Litter

An all-natural litter that's both hypoallergenic and safe for you and your cat while remaining notably effective as a litter.

Is Scented Cat Litter Better Than Unscented?

The cat owner community has been debating whether scented or unscented cat litter is better for quite a while. However, whichever litter is "best" for you and your cat entirely comes down to personal preference.

First of all, does the litter work for you? If the litter is scented, is it too powerful and even nauseating when you walk past it, or is it very mild? Most scented cat litters are quite conservative with their scent, so it's generally not an issue for most people.

You'll also want to consider your cat's preferences. Now, you can't directly ask your cat whether or not they like the litter you got them, so you'll have to do some observing. If your cat sniffs the litter box and walks away or misses the litter box on purpose, then there's a chance that they don't like the litter. This doesn't mean it's because of the scent, though.

As far as effectiveness goes, unscented and scented cat litter generally performs the same. In fact, most of the popular litters come in both scented and unscented variants, so you'll be able to choose whichever one you prefer.

Common Types Of Cat Litter

  • Clumping clay - This is one of the more popular kinds of litter. Clumping clay litter is generally may from bentonite, which is an absorbent clay that clumps when exposed to liquid. While this litter does make litter box cleaning and scooping easy, it is pretty dusty and non-biodegradable.
  • Non-clumping clay - This litter is made from a clay other than bentonite, meaning that it absorbs urine but doesn't clump. Small bits of moist litter can be left behind when litter is scooped, making the smell a bit worse and requiring more frequent scoops. However, this litter is generally cheaper and more favorable to cats.
  • Silica gel crystals - This litter is made from tiny beads of silica gel - the same type of beads found in the moisture control packets in foods and medications. Silica gel litter is very absorbent and controls odor well, but it can be more expensive and uncomfortable for cats to stand on.
  • Pine - One of the most natural litter options available, pine litter is generally made from recycled and heat-treated lumber scraps. This litter controls odors with its nice pine scent, but isn't very good at clumping and can require frequent changing.
  • Recycled paper - Paper is about as natural as you can get! This litter is made from recycled paper and is turned into granules or pellets. Paper is very absorbent, dust-free, and biodegradable, but only granule paper clumps.

Tips For Eliminating Litter Odor

You could have the absolute best cat litter for odor control, but it will only be partially effective if you're not taking other factors into consideration. Taking action on these 5 tips will make your cat's bathroom situation much more gentle on your nose.

  • Choose a good location - Litter boxes are both unattractive and unappealing to the nose. Therefore, it's in everyone's best interest to keep them out of view and away from a commonly visited room. However, you don't want to tuck it away too much, though. Place the litter box is a well ventilated area that won't make a cat feel confined. This will help to disperse the smell of the litter box while keeping your cat comfortable
  • Clean the litter box thoroughly - You should always try and keep your cat's litter box as clean as possible. Scoop out waste as soon as you can in order to eliminate odors before they have a chance to spread. You don't have to do this daily, though. With one cat, you can get away with scooping the box twice a week. When thoroughly cleaning the litter box, remove all the litter and scrub it with soap and warm water. There are always odor eliminating sprays that you can use on particularly smelly boxes.
  • Utilize air fresheners - The litters listed on this page do a great job at eliminating odors, but you can even go beyond that. Air fresheners that plug into the wall are a great choice, as they constantly keep a room smelling nice and are relatively inexpensive. Additionally, you can look into cat litter deodorizers, and these come in powder or spray form that can be applied to any litter and eliminate odors. Make sure that the smells aren't too strong, though, as cats like to use scent to mark their territory and may not like their box if they can't smell themselves.
  • Use enough litter - A lot of people simply don't use enough litter! This is largely due to not wanting to waste litter and therefore money, but it really hurts odor control. Your litter box should be filled with at least 2 to 3 inches of litter to ensure that all liquids are captured before reaching the bottom of the litter box. Even the best odor eliminating litters can't work if they can't capture all of the liquid.
  • Use a better litter box - Odor boxes that are designed around odor containment or elimination can obviously help in controlling bad smells. Covered litter boxes are a simple solution to this problem and do a great job of containing bad owners. Additionally, self-cleaning litter boxes clean out the litter tray regularly so that odors don't have time to get bad.

What Defines The Best Odor Control Litter?

While there are a ton of different kinds of odor-controlling cat litter available, they still should live up to the same standards as other litter. Here are some of the main traits of the best cat litter for odor control:

  • Great clumping - Cat litter that clumps well is essential if you want to save a lot of money. Clumping litter allows you to scoop only the dirty litter instead of having to replace most of the litter during every cleaning. It also makes the process of scooping the litter box much easier.
  • Controls odor - Of course odor control is important -- it's what this post is all about! The best cat litter for odor control generally uses either activated carbon or baking soda to eliminate odors on contact. The best way to control odor is by eliminating it as soon as it's created.
  • Absorbent - Absorbency is an extremely important factor in odor control. When a litter is very absorbent, it traps fluids before they can reach the bottom of the litter tray. This allows them to contain the odor and prevent them from escaping and reaching your nose.
  • Dustless - Not very many litters are going to be entirely dustless. However, you should strive to get a litter that has a little dust as possible, as it's in the best interest of you and your cat's health. Excessive dust can cause respiratory issues, and it's also just messy.
  • Trackless - Trackless litter means that it doesn't stick well to the bottom of your cat's paws. This prevents your cat from tracking it all around the house, causing an annoyance in addition to a minor health concern.
  • Nice texture - You should also consider how a cat litter feels on the bottom of a cat's feet. The best cat litter isn't jagged but is instead decently fine and soft to where it's comfortable to stand on for the better part of a minute.

What Is The Best Cat Litter For Odor Control?

Not all cat litter is created equal -- especially in terms of odor control. That's why we've compiled this list of the 5 best cat litters for odor control and ranked them based off of performance, value, and overall quality of the litter. Every cat is different in their preferences and bowel movements, but it's safe to assume that most cats and owners will love each of the litters listed below.

our #1 rated

OUR TOP PICK

Ever Clean

Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Litter

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Ever Clean is one of the most well-known cat litter brands out there, and they've created an incredible litter that lives up to the high standards that they've set. This cat litter contains a mix of activated carbon and antimicrobial agents to help battle and eliminate odor with an effectiveness that is rarely seen. Additionally, it's 99.9% dust-free and 100% scent-free which makes it an excellent choice for people and cats that are sensitive to dust. On top of that, the absorption and clumping of the litter is optimized to trap urine and prevent odor from escaping for up to 10 days of freshness.

An overwhelming majority of cat owners love this litter and its effectiveness. In fact, a lot of owners have said that they smell absolutely nothing from their litter box, even when they're sitting right near it. They also love how good this litter is with clumping, as it's very easy to scoop out only the soiled pieces.

The functionality of this litter is on point for a good majority of cat owners, but a handful have experiences some issues. The two main things that people notice is that it doesn't clump well sometimes, and it also struggles to cover up some odors. Now, these problems are rare, and it's not clear how some owners have these issues while most don't, but it's still one of the best cat litters for odor control available.

PROS​

  • Excellent odor eliminating abilities
  • Almost entirely dust-free and 100% scent-free
  • Clumps well and is easy to scoop

CONS

  • Sometimes doesn't clump or mask odors well.

our #2 rated

Arm & Hammer

Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Baking soda is one of the most commonly-used methods for reducing odor in cat litter boxes. Additionally, Arm & Hammer is known for their excellent backing soda products. Therefore, it only makes sense that Arm & Hammer would create a cat litter that's phenomenal at sealing in odors. In fact, their baking soda formula is patented, meaning that you won't find this effectiveness in other brands. Not only is the odor control ridiculously good, but it's also constructed very well. The clumping of this litter is second to none, and it is 100% dust-free for happy and healthy lungs. On top of all of this, Arm & Hammer has a 7-day guarantee, removing any risk of purchasing this litter.

Much like all the litters in this list, this litter is enjoyed by most of the owners that chose it for their cat. It's a common theme in reviews for owners to point out how well it locks in odors and keeps houses smelling clean. The clumping ability is also very noteworthy, with tracking now being a thing of the past for most owners.

Most owners note that this litter does everything that it says it will and so much more. However, a couple outliers do exist. The main complaint people give is that it doesn't clump too well, resulting in awkward cleaning. Some other owners don't like the added scent in this litter, stating it's too strong. Once again, these owners are in the minority, with most not experiencing any of these problems.

PROS​

  • Great at eliminating odors
  • Great clumping with no tracking
  • Works for multiple cats

CONS

  • Some owners don't like the added scent

our #3 rated

Fresh Step

Extreme Odor Control Scented Litter

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Fresh Step, an already fantastic cat litter brand, partnered with Febreze to bring this litter to fruition. This partnership has given an effective cat litter a scent that keeps your household not only smelling fresh, but smelling good. If you're looking for a cat litter that smells as good as it functions, this is the one for you. Not only does it smell great, but it functions as a great litter, too. The clumping of this litter is solid for an odor fighting litter, and the dust levels are very low, too. The clumping and lack of dust isn't as good as the two litters listed above, but it comes very very close. At this point, you're deciding if you want to put an emphasis on better smells or better cleanliness.

Again, most cat owners absolutely love this litter, stating that it's the best one that they've used. The odor control is easily the best that many have tried, and it easily eliminates odor from multiple cats. It also clumps well and almost no owners have issues with the dust levels of the litter.

Ironically, the main concern of owners that are dissatisfied is about the lack of odor blocking abilities. Some owners note that the odor blocking doesn't work, and others state that the smell of the litter itself isn't very nice. Regardless, most owners do like the smell of this litter and say that it controls odor well.

PROS​

  • Clean, pleasant Febreze smell
  • Good clumping with low dust
  • Antimicrobial agents to stop odor-causing bacteria

CONS

  • Odor control doesn't work for some owners

our #4 rated

Purina

Tidy Cats Glade Clumping Litter

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Just like Fresh Step and Febreze collaborated on a litter, Tidy Cats and Glade have done the same thing. They're not only similar in concept, but they're similar in execution, too, with this litter sharing a lot of the features of the other one. The odor coverage is very good on this litter, removing bad odors and keeping the room smelling faintly like Glade air freshener. In fact, this is the litter that I personally use for my cat, and it allows me to keep the litter box anywhere in my house without smelling awful. It's also virtually dust-free and clumps decently well, making it a nice, well-rounded cat litter.

Owners of smelly cats, even ones that have 7 cats in a household, love this litter. The value is almost unbeatable, and the great odor elimination requires you to change the litter less frequently which saves even more money. Additionally, owners note that there's an awesome lack of dust and clumps excellently for the most part. Tracking is also basically eliminated.

The main concern with this litter is in regards to its clumping abilities. While most owners don't have an issue with the clumping, me included, a couple note that the urine sinks to the bottom of the litter tray and is hard to scoop out. Usually these reviews state that the litter didn't use to be like this, so there's a chance that they received a bad batch.

PROS​

  • Great at hiding odors
  • Awesome value
  • Virtually no dust

CONS

  • Absorption and clumping is sub-par for some people

our #5 rated

Dr. Elsey's

Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Litter

Quality

Value

Our Rating

This litter has rightfully earned its place on our list of the best cat litter for odor control, and not just because of its odor protection capabilities. This litter takes an all-natural approach to its ingredients, which isn't something done by many other litters. It's also hypoallergenic and lacks irritating dust and perfume. The lack of added scent means that this litter entirely depends upon its clumping abilities to lock in the odor, but it does this very well. The odor-blocking abilities aren't the best in this litter, admittedly, but the natural approach can make it a great choice for sensitive cats or health-conscious owners.

Owners are more than pleased with this litter as one that's minimally-invasive. The lack of scent, dust, and tracking makes it an excellent choice for households that don't want those issues (and who does?). Most allergies aren't a problem when this litter is used. Additionally, even though it's not the absolute best on the market, it still clumps very well and locks in odors quickly.

A couple owners don't think that this litter does enough in terms of locking in odors and clumping. For people, the litter either didn't hide smells at all or didn't clump in a way that was easy to scoop out of the box. Need I say -- most owners didn't have these issues, but a couple did. However, the hypoallergenic properties are undeniably good.

PROS​

  • Hypoallergenic litter
  • Lacks irritating dust and perfumes
  • Clumps and locks in odors well

CONS

  • Some owners note that the odor blocking doesn't work well
  • Some tracking issues

Our Choice

There are a ton of different kinds of cat litter available, and each one comes with its own unique benefits. Every cat and human is different, meaning that there should be a bunch of different litters to meet all of their specific needs. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't a few litter options out there that are simply the best for odor control, hands down.

Therefore, after analyzing all of the cat litter available, we've determined that the best cat litter for odor control is the Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Litter.

This unique litter is incredibly effective at locking in and eliminating odors in a litter box of one or multiple cats. Not only does it deal with odors, but it has virtually no dust and is very easy to scoop due to its great clumping abilities.

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Zach David
Zach David
Zach is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. He was born into a family with a dog named Murphy, and since then has owned several other dogs, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners.

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