Owning and caring for a cat is, for the most part, a pleasant experience until it comes to cleaning out the litter box. Choosing a cat litter that keeps odors at bay is essential for a happy and healthy home.
We know from firsthand experience that selecting the proper odor-blocking litter can be difficult and frustrating. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with additional things to consider like absorption rate and safety for your cat. We’ve put together this list of reviews to help you find the best cat litter for no odor to make your decision easier.
The 5 Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
1. Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter
Dr. Elseys’ Premium Clumping Cat Litter contains clay that clumps very easily, so any cat urine or feces that come in contact with the litter absorb instantly. The result is a litter box that doesn’t give off the typical litter box odor, especially if you have a mechanical litter box that automatically turns over the contents.
This litter is a medium-grain litter which helps with absorption and isn’t dragged out of the box easily on your cat’s fur. This means less clean up around the litter box for you, and who doesn’t like fewer cleanup requirements?
The grain size combined with the fact that this litter is hypoallergenic and mostly dust-free is also a huge help if you or a family member has allergies to cat litter, as most of it will remain contained in the box and not become airborne.
Even though this litter is excellent for odor reduction, it doesn’t contain unnatural perfumes designed to disguise the scent of cat feces or urine, so it’s also healthier for your cat to use daily.
Dr. Elsey’s is budget-friendly, and once you clean out your litter box after using, you’ll find that less of the litter goes to waste due to how well it clumps. This means less sifting and less wasted litter for you.
The fast absorption means the litter can harden on your cat’s paws if they’re wet when they enter the litter box, and this hardening can also lead to some difficulty cleaning the litter box if it hardens to the bottom. However, the additional effort cleaning was worth it for us not to have the odors we got with many other products.
2. World’s Best Cat Litter
World’s Best Cat Litter is an excellent choice for cat owners looking to get rid of litter box scents in their homes, as odors are virtually non-existent with this litter.
This is an eco-friendly litter made with all-natural ingredients that don’t include chemicals or perfumes, so it will undoubtedly be one of the healthiest litters available for your cat. Because this litter is environmentally friendly, it is flushable, which means most of the cleanup can happen right in your bathroom, and you won’t have to carry heavy bags of litter out to the garbage. It’s also lightweight and easy to scoop, so cleanup is easy.
It clumps exceptionally well even with larger quantities of urine, so if you have a diabetic cat or multiple cats, this litter may be perfect for you.
World’s Best Litter consists of larger pieces, so you won’t see your cats tracking much of it out of the litter box, but some dust in the bag may come out on their paws. The mixture of larger pieces and dust is likely what leads to the litter clumping so nicely, and the clumps stay together well too, so you’ll still find that cleaning is quick and straightforward.
The presence of litter dust can be an issue for those who are allergic, and it can become airborne easily, especially with cats who like to dig. The dust can also lead to some of the litter hardening on the bottom of the litter box, which can make cleaning time a bit more challenging, but the larger grains mixed in do help prevent this from being a major issue.
While this litter covers cat odors very well, it does have a unique scent that could be unpleasant for some people. We assure you it is far better than the alternative!
3. Feline Pine Original Unscented Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter
Don’t let the words “non-clumping” deter you from considering this litter, as it works surprisingly well for odor control. This litter is not made from clay like many clumping litters and instead is made from pine fibers. The result is a litter that doesn’t clump but naturally hides scents very well.
Feline Pine litter smells like pine, and it’s made without chemicals or perfumes. It doesn’t have that standard litter smell, and it’s safe for your cat to use daily. The natural pine smell makes this one of the best odor cat litters out there! Most importantly, the odors from your cat’s urine and feces are absorbed by the wood pellets with ease, so you’re left with a fresh scent from your litter box.
The pine fibers are incredibly absorbent, so this litter shouldn’t be flushed, and the pieces are relatively small, so you can expect some light tracking out of the box.
Perhaps one of the most significant points in this litter’s favor is that it will never get stuck to your cat’s fur when they squat. If you’ve been a cat owner for some time, you’re likely well-acquainted with “litter butt,” which is when clay litter clumps to your cat’s rear end. This issue is eliminated with this litter entirely.
Since this isn’t made from clay, it also contains no dust at all, which means this litter won’t ever become airborne, the dust won’t be tracked out on your cat’s paws, and it’s an excellent choice for those who are allergic to traditional litter.
This litter is very absorbent which means cleaning is a bit more difficult due to the weight, and it will need to be cleaned more often so you can remove the soggy litter and replace it with fresh litter that your cat can scratch or dig to cover after use.
4. Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control
Fresh Step is another clay-based litter on our list, which means that it’s super absorbent. This cat litter clumps exceptionally well, which results in a reasonably easy-to-clean cat litter. We didn’t experience any “cementing” of wet litter on the bottom of the litter box, which is another point in favor of an easy cleaning procedure.
There is a low amount of dust in this litter, but if you’re looking for a completely hypoallergenic litter, this one won’t be the best for you. The dust may become airborne when pouring or if your cats dig, but you likely won’t find your cats tracking small particles around your house.
The pieces of litter are medium-sized, which also helps prevent the tracking of litter on your cat’s paws.
The litter is lightly scented with a Febreze smell, which is certainly more pleasant than most scented litters. The best part about this litter by far is its ability to disguise the odors associated with cat urine and feces completely.
This litter is very sticky when wet, so you may find some litter caught on your cat’s rear from squatting, and if they happen to have wet feet when entering or leaving the litter box, you’re likely to have to find that the litter cements onto those wet surfaces. This could be an issue and require additional cleaning for you.
If you’re concerned with using scented litter, you may also want to opt for an odor-free alternative, especially if you find that your cats won’t use scented litter.
5. Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Ever Clean is a clay-based litter that is unscented and doesn’t include any chemicals or perfumes that could be harmful to your cat. It clumps very quickly when it comes in contact with any moisture, and this helps seal in odors from urine or feces rapidly, which means fewer scents escaping into your home. This litter is an excellent choice if strong or frequent odors are a common problem for you, as it seals odors quickly and efficiently.
The clumps are often large, so you may find yourself going through this litter more rapidly than you would with other products, and it is a bit pricier than other litters to begin with. The clumps stay together very well, which means less frustration for you when removing and disposing of them. A downside of rapid clumping, however, is that you might find that some of this litter cements to the bottom of your litter box, making clean up a bit more time-intensive.
There is a fair amount of dust in this litter, and while that is a big advantage when it comes to clumping and absorption, it can create quite the mess for you! If you are allergic to or irritated by dust, you’ll want to avoid this litter, and if you do buy it you should be prepared to do some extra cleanup outside of the litter box. Your clean up will likely be worse if you use an automatic litter box or if your cats tend to dig.
The pieces of litter are also on the smaller end, so it’s quite prone to tracking as well. Given how rapidly it clumps, your cats are likely to have “litter butt,” and you may find yourself removing clumps of litter that catches in the rear end hair while squatting.
Our “Pick of the Litter”
Cat litter may seem like a simple product, but finding the right one can be difficult when considering all of the options and features available. For the best cat litter for odor control, we recommend Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter. It’s affordable, safe for your cat, and it’s a great blend of all of the essential features we’ve discussed. You’ll find that this litter has a strong odor-blocking formula, and it also reduces tracking and mess around your litter box.
Whichever litter you choose, we hope that this list of reviews and things to look for in your chosen litter will help make your buying process more manageable.
Finding the best cat litter for smell can be a challenging process that tests your patience, and you’ll likely find yourself buying bags or boxes to test them only to find they don’t work as you had hoped.
There are a few things you need to consider when looking for the best cat litter for odor control that can help you save time and money.
How Well the Litter Locks in Odor
First and most importantly, you need to find a cat litter that seals in odor. Your litter choice can be excellent in all other areas of comparison, but if it doesn’t get the job done, it’s not worth your time or money.
Most cat litters will claim that they reduce or hide odors, but you’ll want to pay careful attention to how quickly the litters clump and how absorbent they are. These factors play significant roles in your litter’s odor-disguising abilities, so be on the lookout when choosing a litter.
Absorbs Moisture Quickly
While absorption helps fight odors, it can also create additional problems for you when it comes to cleaning. If your litter absorbs quickly and efficiently, you’ll end up with nearly an odorless litter box, but more absorbent litters tend to cement at the bottom of your litter box and can be challenging to clean.
Litters that absorb quickly can also mean they solidify on your cat’s feet if they are wet, and they can lead to “litter butt,” which is when litter clumps to your cat’s rear end. Rapidly absorbing litter might make your cleaning process more time consuming, so you’ll have to consider the benefits and drawbacks of different absorption rates.
Makes Clean Up a Breeze
Beyond odor control, you’ll want to consider how easy the litter will make your cleaning process. Many litters are made of clay and contain clay dust. These dust particles can not only cause allergic reactions for you, but they can also create a severe mess.
High dust percentage will mean lots of airborne particles when pouring or when your litter box turns the litter over if you use one that is automatic. These dust particles can spread surprisingly far from the box during cleaning or if your cat tends to dig, so be mindful of the dust concentration when searching for a litter.
Contains Small Litter Pieces
You’ll also want to pay attention to the size of the litter particles. Most clay litters will contain some amount of dust, but the pieces of litter can also vary in size and have a big effect on how easy cleaning will be. Small pieces can easily get caught on your cat’s fur and can be tracked outside of the litter box, and this can lead to a big mess for you. Depending on how small they are, that mess can extend into multiple rooms of your home.
While larger pieces are usually less absorbent than smaller pieces, they typically help to reduce tracking much more. Absorption and tracking will often be trade-offs, so you must consider both carefully and choose the appropriately sized litter for your situation.
You will want to consider your cat’s needs here as well. According to this article, your cat will likely prefer a smaller substrate in their litter and may even choose not to use a litter that is too large.
You might think this is enough to consider, but there’s still more! You’ll want to pay attention to how well your litter clumps, which can be independent of the absorption rate. Clumps that stick together even while cleaning can make your job easier, as no one wants to fish out small crumbles of used cat litter. Clumps that stick together mean you can scoop out and throw away the used cat litter quickly and easily.
Scented vs. Unscented
Lastly, you’ll want to decide if you want a scented or unscented litter. As with all of the other factors, there are pros and cons to each. Odorless litter is more likely to be healthier for your cat, as it doesn’t include chemicals or perfumes. Unscented litter may be worse at covering the smells of cat urine and feces, and some odorless litter can still have a distinct “litter” smell, so if you may opt for a scented litter.
You should make sure that any scented litter you choose doesn’t include any harmful chemicals, and we always recommend trying scented litter in small quantities first before committing to a large bag or bulk box. Some cats are sensitive to scented litters even if there are no harmful chemicals included, so depending on your cat, you may find that they opt not to use scented litter. At least they’ll make that option easy for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are scented litters bad for my cat?
A: Not necessarily. You should review the ingredients of a scented litter to ensure there are no harmful chemicals included that could pose a threat to your cat. There are many scented litters available that are safe for your cat, and it’s just a matter of finding one that works for you.
However, you should be aware that your cat may not take well to scented litter, so try it out in a small quantity first to see if they’ll use it.
Q: Can unscented litters really cover up litter box smells?
A: Absolutely! A litter’s absorption rate and ability to clump will ultimately determine how well your litter conceals odors. If you use a super absorbent litter that’s unscented, you likely won’t experience many smells coming from your litter box, if any, at all.
Q: Should I just buy the most absorbent cat litter?
A: The answer to this question really depends on your personal preferences. If your only goal is to prevent cat odors from escaping the litter box, then the most absorbent and fastest absorbing litter will be best for you, as your litter will quickly and permanently absorb scents. However, these kinds of litters can make cleaning your litter box more difficult and time-intensive, so odor blockage and clean up are often trade-offs that you’ll need to consider when choosing a cat litter.
Q: Are non-clay litters better for blocking odor?
A: It’s not so much that non-clay litters are better or worse. Some non-clay litters, including the one we reviewed above, are great for blocking odor and can even make your litter box area smell rather pleasant. These litters often absorb quickly and become significantly heavier. This means cleaning will be more strenuous, and you’ll likely have to replace litter more often.
With clay litter, you can usually do daily clump removal and weekly litter changing, but with wood or other non-clay products, you’ll likely have to swap out all of your litter more often than once a week.
Q: Is dust-free litter best for odor control?
A: Usually, small particle litter will be best for controlling odor, but you’ll likely find that the additional clean up and airborne litter particles make them impractical for use. Using a litter that is a combination of small pieces with some dust included, even a small amount, will likely be best. This will optimize absorption and odor blockage, and it will also make clean up easier and tracking of litter less likely.