The Best Cat Litter Deodorizers

The dreaded cat litter, a necessary evil? Not anymore. Thanks to the great advances over the decades, there have been plenty of tools created to help control odor from cat litter. Litter deodorizers help remedy the smelly issue by either neutralizing the scent altogether or masking it with a much more pleasant fragrance. In order to find the best little deodorizer for you and your furry friend, there are a few questions we asked ourselves: does it eliminate the odor or mask it? How long will it last? Is it strong enough for multiple cats? Our favorite deodorizer was the Litter Genie Plus Pail, which kept the dirty litter tightly enclosed to trap the smell. It also was built to last and holds nearly 20 pounds of waste. But if you're looking for an option to use on the litter until it's time for clean-up, take a look at NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer which neutralizes odor upon contact and lasts weeks at a time. Keep reading for a detailed guide on the best litter deodorizes on the market today.

Litter Genie Plus Pail

More play, less hassle

This is a device that physically blocks off the smell of cat litter, as it stores waste matter in a sealed container for up to two weeks.
Best Overall

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Storing cat litter in a container is convenient for the fast removal of smells. The main advantage is that you are not simply spraying a substance over the litter tray to mask odors, rather removing the source of the problem completely. The design makes it easy to clip the bag and empty again requiring little effort to operate. The refill lasts ten weeks for one cat so it is ideal for owners who have busy lifestyles. Once full, the bags are clipped off, so the smell isn’t released back into your home.

Pros:

  •  The bags that come with this litter container are extremely durable. Holding up to 19 pounds of waste, you can feel confident that they won’t break during clean-up.
  •  This choice also features a sturdy scooper that will last you quite some time. The handle is solid, a bit longer, and the scoop is coated with Teflon so nothing sticks to the surface.

Cons:

  • This device is more of a temporary holding measure rather than a finite solution.

Fresh Step Scented Litter with The Power of Febreze

No such thing as too many cats

With its built-in odor neutralizer in the form of Febreze, this cat litter solution is suitable for multi-cat homes.
Best For Multiple Cats

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The inclusion of Febreze is excellent as the spray version of this popular odor-neutralizing product is usually what people would use to cover smells on its own. As everything is self-contained within the litter mix, owners do not need to add any other products which will save time, money, and effort. The formula is also tight-clumping for easy removal of waste matter and is suitable for busy litter trays.

Pros:

  • This litter is virtually dust-free which helps to prevent those little paw print marks on your tabletops and furniture.
  • We love that this litter is designed with tiny, fine pieces that not only clump together well but should last longer as there will only be clumps where needed.

Cons:

  • If you find that you dislike the perfumed scent of Febreze, then this formula may not appeal to your senses.

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer

Think inside the box

This additive-free deodorizer is able to effectively eliminate odors in cat litter boxes.
Best Additive-Free

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This product does not use a fragrance that may cause sensitivity or irritation in the cat’s skin. The product was developed to effectively eliminate the odors that are commonly found in cat litter boxes. No harmful ingredients are used in the formula, which ensures the user’s cat will not be exposed to any potentially toxic ingredients when this product is used in the cat litter box. The product comes in small bottles. An eight-pound bag is also available, which is perfect for people who own multiple cats.

Pros:

  • While some products only claim to be fragrant-free, this option truly neutralizes the odor without an artificial scent. It’s formulated so that after just one use, miraculously, you won’t smell much of anything at all.
  •  We appreciate that a little definitely goes a long way, so you don’t have to use half of the container in one go.

Cons:

  • The product does get somewhat pricier when buying a single bottle at a time.

Fresh Step Advanced Simply Unscented Clumping Cat Litter

Easy on the nose

For those who wish to neutralize cat litter odors without the use of scent, Fresh Step has created a marvelous unscented cat litter deodorizer.
Best Unscented

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Traditionally, cat litter deodorizers work by adding in heavy scents to simply mask the smell. Understandably, this technology doesn’t suit everyone, not least because some cat owners do not want to expose their animals to strong synthetic perfumes. To combat the issue, Fresh Step has created an unscented version of their cat litter that works as an all-in-one system. The formula is also free from dyes and is 99.9% dust-free.

Pros:

  • This unscented litter produces very minimal dust and reduces the amount that’s tracked around for a nearly litter-free home.
  •  It also encourages very tight clumps that won’t break up during scooping, which can be a gamechanger for cats that have one favorite spot in the box.

Cons:

  • The package weighs 37 pounds so use caution when lifting and carrying.

Fresh Step Scented Litter Mountain Spring Scent

Odor control at its finest

This pack features sophisticated extreme clumping technology and boasts a lovely scent.
Freshest Scent

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The combination of the extreme clumping action and the Mountain Spring scent that’s powered by Febreze works in tandem to eliminate odors. The clumping technology also aids in the easy removal of waste from the litter tray, as well as absorbing liquid better. The formula provides ten days of odor control including protection against the smell of ammonia. Also included in the mix is activated charcoal, which traps and eliminates odors and is also great at fighting bacteria.

Pros:

  • The fresh scent of this litter is impressively gentle and enjoyable and even does the job for a multi-cat household.
  • You may also notice that there will be less litter, if any, stuck to the bottom of your furry friend’s paws, so you and your kitty are happy.

Cons:

  • With such great clumping power, you may have to top the litter up more often.

What Really Matters

Removal of Foul Odors

While cats provide companionship and are treasured members of the family, the fact remains that as living creatures they will excrete waste. Dealing with cat waste material is one of the realities of being a pet owner, and as they usually do so indoors via a litter tray, it can create some strong and unpleasant smells.

The whole purpose of cat litter deodorizers is that they work to remove or at least reduce unpleasant odors produced after your cat has visited their litter tray. The removal can be physical in the form of a storage container to be emptied at a later date. Alternatively, you can also neutralize or mask the smell using a litter mix or spray.

Removing smells is important not least because you want your home to smell clean and fresh. As litter trays are often placed in the kitchen, it can create a putrid aroma if the smells are not neutralized effectively. So, when selecting a cat litter deodorizer, the removal of odors is a top priority.

Product Type

As previously touched upon, there are different types of cat litter deodorizers. Firstly, you need to think about whether you want a device that stores the cat litter away from the tray or if you want a product that sprinkles directly into your existing litter mix that works when it comes into contact with waste matter. Some brands create their cat litter with an inbuilt deodorizer, which is convenient as it stops the odors at the source rather than reacting afterward with a spray or storage device.

Great Scent

While the main goal of a cat litter deodorizer is to remove unpleasant smells, scent, in general, is a very personal thing. Everyone prefers a different scent type and strength, so keep this in mind when making your choice. For example, do you want the product to have a floral scent similar to that of a plug-in fragrance device? While this may be pleasant to some, you also have to consider whether your animal would like it, especially if it contains many heavy, synthetic chemicals.

Other formulas work to neutralize the smell without adding a detectable scent on top. For those who are sensitive to smell (such as those who suffer from migraines) this type of formula might be more suitable. In addition, removing the waste from the equation via a storage facility is also a method of neutralizing smells without having to add a fragrance in to do so.

What’s in Right Now?

Given the global shift across most industries to move away from harmful chemicals and excessive plastic in packaging, it’s perhaps no surprise that when it comes to cat litter deodorizers, owners are favoring natural alternatives–baking soda and charcoal, for example, both of which are natural substances and are also commonly used in hygiene products such as in toothpaste.

The main advantage of using natural formulas for your cat is the overall creation of a more pleasant experience. Your cat has strong scent receptors and if the human finds that the smell of the deodorizer is heavily fragranced, this will be even more so for your cat. Wherever possible, natural ingredients should be chosen to help the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a cat litter deodorizer?

If your current cat litter mix isn’t protecting your home against unwanted smells, then the benefits of using a cat litter deodorizer are that it will remedy this. It’s important to address the issue as it’s unpleasant for everyone who is in close proximity to the litter tray–including your cat. If smells continue to build, this can encourage flies. It can be difficult to remove foul odors even with ventilation. By getting on top of the problem, you can ensure your home smells clean and fresh.

Is it better to use an inbuilt cat litter deodorizer or use a separate one?

If you tackle the source of the problem, there isn’t the need for an additional product. However, if you are happy with your current cat litter and it doesn’t have a deodorizer, you may be apprehensive to switch. After all, your cat needs to be comfortable using it and you are the one who cleans it up. The good news is that many brands have expanded their range to feature formulas that have an inbuilt deodorizer. Some cat owners may prefer to have a separate product in case the original runs out or fails to work adequately.

What other steps can I take to reduce the smell of my cat litter tray?

It’s recommended that you change your cat litter mix every ten to fourteen days. If the smell is a concern, then it makes sense to increase the frequency at which you replace the litter mix. If you have multiple cats, it’s even more important to keep on top of this, especially if they don’t have separate trays, which ideally, they should have to avoid territorial issues.

Other than switching your cat litter to include a deodorizer in the formula, there are some other steps you can take. If your litter tray is currently placed in a prominent area of the home, then moving it elsewhere (ideally where there is a lot of ventilation) can aid in reducing odors.

While dealing with litter trays is a downside to being a cat owner, it can’t be ignored. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of your home is the best way to prevent odors of all origins.

About the Author

Leslie Hughes

Montana native Leslie has over ten years of experience caring for cats and wants everyone to see the good in them. She knows that cats get a bad reputation sometimes, but she also knows just how loving these creatures can be. Leslie also has a passion for health, wellness, and the environment, so you can trust her to suggest products that are of the highest quality for your feline friends and the planet.

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