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Best Cat Litter For Odor Control (2024): With Dust Free And Clumping Options

Posted in: Cat Litter - Last Updated: January 8, 2024 - Author: Jess Caticles
Posted in Cat Litter 
Last Updated: March 16, 2022  
Author:  Jess Caticles

Cats generally prefer unscented, naturally clumping litter. Unscented litter is best because your cat's sense of smell is much stronger than ours. Fragrances can upset your cat and cause inappropriate elimination. 

Clumping litter is preferred because you're able to remove waste and keep the box clean. Cats require and deserve a clean bathroom.

cat using purple litter box

Regular scooping and cleaning is a must, regardless of the litter that you choose. So, what is the best cat litter for odor control?

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Ultra Odor Control Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter

Our choice for the best Overall Odor Control Litter you can buy for your cat!

BLUE Naturally Fresh Ultra Odor Control Litter, 26 lb

Best Cat litter for Odor Control: Our Top 3 Picks

1. Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Ultra Odor Control Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter - Best Overall Pick

Naturally Fresh has created an alternative to clay litters with this one made from walnut shells. It clumps naturally, it's biodegradable, and it's fragrance-free. Even with multiple cats, there is no cat smell. There is also no dust, it is light, pours well, and is certainly the litter you need in your life!

BLUE Naturally Fresh Ultra Odor Control Litter, 26 lb

Pros:

  • Natural
  • Clumping
  • Fragrance-free
  • Grown in the USA
  • Biodegradable
  • Walnuts are safe for cats

Cons:

  • In my experience, it can get dusty if not cleaned regularly
  • No added scent, but there is still a slight scent to it
  • Can be toxic to dogs if ingested

2. Dr. Elsey's Premium Clumping Cat Litter - Premium Pick

Dr. Elsey's Premium clumping cat litter is intended for multiple cat households. The bag lists natural clay as its only ingredient, it is unscented, and it clumps. Desperate for a dustless, yet effective litter? Purchased this one if you are looking for a litter cure. Voila! It works!

Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter - Ultra - 99.9% Dust-Free, Low Tracking, Hard Clumping, Superior Odor Control, Unscented & Natural Ingredients

Pros:

  • Ingredients are listed
  • Unscented
  • Clumps
  • Multiple cats

Cons:

3. NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer - Budget Pick

NonScents cat litter deodorizer contains crystalline clinoptilolite zeolite sourced from the US, according to the manufacturer. Zeolites are porous minerals with high absorbency which can be great for controlling litter odor. It is free from chemical additives which will keep your cat safe. It is much longer-lasting than other odor control litters on the kitty market. A money saver!

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer - Litter Box Odor Eliminator - Less Scooping Extends Kitty Litter Lifespan - Fragrance-Free Formula Eliminates Unpleasant Cat Odors - Fresh Scent Litter Pans

Pros:

  • Sourced from the US, according to the manufacturer
  • Natural
  • Ingredients are listed on the bottle
  • Great for trapping litter odor

Cons:

  • Many people say this smells like bleach
  • Small packaging and may be expensive in the long run
cat smelling open topped litter box

Some Additional Picks

4. World's Best Cat Litter, Scented Clumping Litter Formula

World's Best makes corn litter in many varieties. This specific formula is intended for multiple cat households, it clumps, and it's scented with lavender oil. Multiple cats can most often mean much more clean-up — but not with this fast-acting natural odor control litter which requires little scraping.

World's Best Cat Litter, Scented Clumping Litter Formula for Multiple Cats, 28-Pounds

Pros:

  • Clumps
  • Multiple cats
  • Little scraping required

Cons:

5. Fresh Step Multi-Cat with Febreze Freshness

Fresh Step makes multiple forms of clay cat litter. This option has Febreze Freshness added to maintain litter odor control for multi-cat households. It doesn't end up all over the house from being tracked through by their kitty paws. Even though it's like sand there are no clouds when cleaning out the litter.

Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter, Multi-Cat Odor Control, 18.5 lbs

Pros:

  • Clumps
  • Apparently Febreze is safe for cats
  • Great for Multicat households

Cons:

  • Ingredients are not listed on the box, only vague "advanced technology" claims
  • Cats prefer unscented litter

6. Fresh Step Extreme Scented Litter

Here is another example of Fresh Step's use of Febreze for multi-cat households. It is very easy to scoop out and is very low tracking. Does what it's supposed to and the packaging is on point too. It really does assist in eliminating unwanted smells keeping your house as fresh as a daisy.

Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter, Extreme Mountain Spring Odor Control, Extra Large, 37 lbs total (2 Pack of 18.5lb Boxes)

Pros:

  • Clumps Well
  • Good for Multicat housholds
  • Febreze is safe for cats

Cons:

  • Ingredients are not listed on the box, only vague "advanced technology" claims
  • Cats prefer unscented litter

7. Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Platinum Clumping Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer is another company that makes clay clumping cat litter. This specific box is designed for multi-cat households and claims it is dust-free. It smells good, it's light and soft and there's barely any dust! It's very easy to scoop as well. This is a game-changer.

ARM & HAMMER Cloud Control Platinum Clumping Cat Litter 37LB

Pros:

  • Clumps
  • Allergen-free light scent
  • Easy to scoop
  • Light and soft texture

Cons:

  • Cats prefer unscented litter
  • Ingredients are not listed, only vague "advanced technology" claims
two ginger cats in and out of a hooded litter box

Who Should Buy a Cat Litter for Odor Control?

Odor control is especially important for homes with more than one cat.

Cats are territorial creatures and prefer a clean smelling bathroom. You do too, right? It can be difficult to keep up with scooping out the litter box so odor control comes in handy. If the litter box is not up to your cat's standards, he may go outside the box. 

Cats can also develop serious health issues if their bathroom is dirty. These can be tough issues to correct, so start the right way with proper cleaning and the best odor control litter.

As well as considering an odor controlling cat litter, it's worth trying a cat litter deodorizer, as these can help eliminate odor even more effectively. Best practice, if cat litter smell is a big issue in your home, is to try both.

A cat litter designed to prevent odors and for multi-cat homes is ideal.

This litter is ideal for when you cannot clean the box straight away. Cats prefer a clean, stink-free bathroom. Multi-cat households can benefit from odor control litter because it pleases the cats. These litters are designed with multiple cats in mind. 

Also, the rule of thumb is to have one litter box per cat, plus one extra. Your cat's safety and well-being should always come first. Sure, it may be more cleaning work. But, if your cats get sick or develop behavioral issues because the box isn't clean enough, that will be even more work.

If your cat litter box is in a bathroom, hallway, entryway, or enclosed area.

You don't want your house to stink so odor control litter is beneficial to you too. Odor control litter will keep the smell out of the cat's litter box and out of your home.

Best practices to purchase cat litter with odor control properties.

Make sure there are no harmful chemicals or toxic ingredients added to the litter. Cats are sensitive creatures. Some litters are vague with the ingredients. Always read the labels and reach out to the company if you have further questions. Your cat's safety comes first.

Odor control goes beyond using fragrances, as you’ll want to limit stinky smells and not just mask them. Most fragrances only mask the odor smell. You'll want to find an odor control litter that absorbs the smell. This will keep the litter box smell down best.

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Ultra Odor Control Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter

Our choice for the best Overall Odor Control Litter you can buy for your cat!

BLUE Naturally Fresh Ultra Odor Control Litter, 26 lb

Features to Consider

Number of days the odor control will work for

Again, regular scooping and cleaning is a must. However, if you're unable to scoop daily, check the box to see the number of days the odor control will work for. Aim to clean the box before that time runs out. This is best for your cat, and it will keep your home free of litter stink.

Clumping cat litter

Clumping cat litter makes it easier to scoop out waste. This will keep the box clean and fresher. Clumping litter tends to be cheaper in the long run since you don't have to throw everything out. Removing the waste from the box daily is the best way to keep litter odor at bay. This will make your cats happy and safer too.

Additives. Are there any?

Always check the entire litter label to see if there are any additives. Many odor control additives can create litter box aversion in cats. This is because the additives are not natural. The cat's natural litter box is the desert. We should mimic this as best we can to keep our cats happy and healthy.

Activated charcoal or carbon

Activated charcoal is created from carbon-rich materials burned at high temperatures. It's used for its natural absorbing powers in filters, respiratory masks, and by the medical community to help treat overdoses. This is a wonderful and more natural way to control litter box odor.

You can create a DIY litter air freshener with activated charcoal and a cheesecloth if you can't find a litter that already includes it.

Fragrances

Some fragrances are dangerous and potentially toxic to cats. Unfortunately, some litters don't cite which fragrance is used. The box or bag may just say "lightly scented" or "with added fragrance" without noting the source. This is why it's important to read the entire litter bag or box and contact the manufacturer if anything is unclear.

All-natural ingredients

Some cat litters only utilize natural ingredients to prevent odors. This is best for your cat and you too. Some natural materials are used in litters for their extreme clumping and absorbing abilities. The more natural you can get, the better.

Low dust or not?

Cats prefer litter that is not dusty. Dusty litter is dangerous for your cat's respiratory system, and it's dangerous for you too.

Granule size

Most cat litters for odor control have a small to medium granule size. Cats prefer soft granule sizes that are soft. This is better for their paws and comfort.

black cat sitting in blue litter box

FAQs

How do you keep cat litter from smelling?

Use naturally clumping litter and remove waste matter more often using a scoop. Regular scooping and cleaning is the best way to keep the litter box from smelling. Scoop daily and clean out the box completely weekly. Use hot water and gentle soap without harsh fragrances. 

Keep in mind, the cat's sense of smell is much stronger than ours. So, they are more sensitive to fragrances and scents.

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You can use a specialty cat litter designed for odor control. Natural odor control cat litter is another helpful tool if you're unable to scoop daily. Always make sure there are no harmful and toxic additives. These additives can cause litter aversion or serious health issues.

You can use additives, such as litter deodorizers, to hide the smell. Activated charcoal is the most natural additive. It has a powerful absorbing ability and will lock in litter odor.

How does odor control cat litter work?

Odor control cat litter typically has an ingredient that helps to stop smelly bacteria from growing and spreading. Natural ingredients absorb litter and the smell. It locks everything into the clump which is removed by you, ideally daily. Regular scooping and cleaning is the best way to keep the litter box from smelling.

How do you deodorize cat litter?

There are some cat deodorizers that you can add to your cat’s litter box to improve its smell. Activated carbon is your best bet. You can add activated carbon to the cheesecloth to create an air freshener pouch to put near the litter box. This will absorb the litter odor and keep the smell out.

Some pet owners have had success using a small amount of baking soda. However, some studies show that cats prefer activated carbon to baking soda. If you use something that your cat does not like, this will lead to litter aversion. Litter aversion is a difficult behavioral issue to solve. Start right with natural remedies to keep your cat safe and happy.

Unfortunately, some cats will stop using a litter box that has a lot of artificial fragrances in it. Cats are sensitive to smells and many fragrances are dangerous to cats. Artificial fragrances can be toxic so it's best to avoid these.

Why does my cat’s litter box smell so bad?

Over time, the urea in urine turns to ammonia, which only adds to the smell. If you don't scoop regularly, these smells build up and contaminate the rest of the litter in the box. This is why clumping litter is crucial. 

Non-clumping litter requires you to mix the contaminated litter with clean litter. Clumping litter allows you to remove the waste from the box, keeping the rest of the litter clean and stink-free.

If the litter box is not properly cleaned out, the smell only builds up further. If you don't clean out the box completely, the stink will stick to the box. Also, plastic traps bacteria. It's best to clean out the box completely weekly and replace plastic boxes at least yearly. Proper litter box maintenance is a must if you don't want the box to stink.

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Ultra Odor Control Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter

Our choice for the best Overall Odor Control Litter you can buy for your cat!

BLUE Naturally Fresh Ultra Odor Control Litter, 26 lb

Best Cat Litter for Odor Control: The Verdict

The best way to eliminate litter box odor is with regular scooping and weekly cleaning. Cats prefer and deserve a clean litter box. A clean litter box will help prevent litter aversion, health issues, and inappropriate behaviors. Remember that plastic traps bacteria so plastic litter boxes should be replaced at least yearly.

The best litter for odor control is unscented, naturally clumps, and uses ingredients that lock in odors naturally. Artificial fragrances and scents are dangerous to cats. Cats prefer unscented litter because their sense of smell is extremely strong. 

Clumping litter is a must. This allows you to remove waste easily, and this keeps the litter box clean. If you have multiple cats, you should have one box per cat, plus one extra. Cats are territorial creatures and prefer private bathrooms. The extra box comes in handy if you cannot scoop straight away.

The best option for litter odor control is Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Ultra Odor Control Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter. Walnuts are safe for cats, and this brand claims they use walnuts grown in the USA. This litter clumps naturally, and there are no fragrances added. It also boasts that it's a great option for multi-cat households.

Your best line of defense against litter odor is to keep the box clean. This is what your cat prefers and deserves. A clean box will keep the smell out and keep your cat happy and healthy.

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About the author

Jessie Lott is better known as ‘Jess Caticles’, after the blog of that name where she helps cat owners who want to better their cat’s lives through proper nutrition. Jess is a Clinical Pet Nutritionist who has written a best-selling course on how to switch your cat to a raw food diet.

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