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The 7 Best Cat Litters For Odor Control

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When it comes to choosing supplies for your furry baby, finding one of the best cat litters for odor control is usually at the top of the list. And the major choices come down to what the litter is made from and whether it clumps or not. Keeping smells at bay while maintaining easy scoop-ability are often major considerations when choosing a cat litter, especially if the litter box is in the main living area of your home.

What To Look For When Choosing A Cat Litter For Odor Control

When it comes to different types of litter, you’ll find formulations made of clay, wood, or even walnut shells. Also, think also about whether you’d like clumping cat litter or if you’d prefer something non-clumping: Clumping litter makes for easier cleanup, while non-clumping tends to be better at odor control. Clay is the most common choice that almost always clumps, but it’s not the most environmentally friendly option. Wood or walnut tend to be more sustainable but can be more expensive and harder to find — especially when you want a formula that clumps. Sand or crystal litter, typically made from silica gel crystals, is super absorbent and effective at odor control but does not clump.

Also, consider if you'd like a litter with added scent, or if you’d prefer your cat have unscented materials. In general, veterinarians discourage the use of perfumed litter, as the perfume may deter cats from using the litter box. For this reason, most litters listed here absorb or neutralize waste odors rather than masking them. Finally, if you have a cat litter you already like but don’t love its odor-fighting abilities, you can buy a deodorizer you simply sprinkle on top to reduce the stink.

You’ll also want to consider whether you’d like your cat’s litter to offer additional features. You’ll find ones with probiotics in the mix, which work as a chemical-free way to neutralize odors at a bacterial level. Another option is a class of cat litters that change color if the material detects changing biological markers in your cat’s urine to keep you better informed about your kitty’s health. Remember, though, that cat litter can't replace regular vet visits, so these types of litter are meant to be used in conjunction with regular care.

Shop The Best Cat Litters For Odor Control

In a hurry? Here are the best cat litters for odor control:

  1. The Overall Best Cat Litter For Odor Control: Fresh Step Advanced Simply Unscented Clumping Cat Litter
  2. A Clumping Clay Litter Designed To Reduce Bacterial Odors: Cat’s Pride Max Power Bacterial Odor Control Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
  3. A Clumping Wood Litter That’s Tough On Odor: Healthy Pet ökocat Original Premium Clumping Wood Cat Litter
  4. A Clumping Clay Litter With Odor-Fighting Probiotics: BoxiePro Deep Clean, Scent Free, Probiotic Clumping Cat Litter
  5. A Clumping Walnut Shell Litter That’s 100% Natural: Naturally Fresh Walnut Shell Cat Litter
  6. A Non-Clumping Cat Litter That Checks Your Kitty's Health: Alpha Paw Genius Cat Litter
  7. An Odor-Fighting Clay Option For Litter Box Training: Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Cat Litter

Keep scrolling to check out a wide range of litters, all of which effectively reduce bad smells according to hundreds of Amazon customers (so long as you’re good about regularly scooping and cleaning out the litter box). If you’re looking to use the litter scoop less frequently, you might also want to consider an automatic cat litter box that does a lot of the work for you.

1. The Overall Best Cat Litter For Odor Control

With a whopping 11,000-plus Amazon reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars, Fresh Step’s Advanced clumping cat litter is a top choice when it comes to odor control. Reviewers love the unscented, low-dust clay formula and affordable price. The charcoal-infused material works to combat odor while Fresh Step’s ClumpLock technology aims to form tight clumps, so the material scoops more easily. The litter comes in an 18.5-pound bag, or a two-pack with 37 pounds total.

One cat owner wrote: “A great cat litter! I love how it clumps and is easy to lift out to dispose without changing the whole litter box. Keeps the odor down.”

Type of litter: Clay | Clumping: Yes | Scented: No

Also available on: Chewy, $22

2. A Clumping Clay Litter Designed To Reduce Bacterial Odors

The lightweight formulation of this Cat’s Pride Bacterial Odor Control Cat Litter is something the brand takes seriously, claiming their clumping formula is 25% lighter than their competitors. The litter comes in a 15-pound container, which Cat’s Pride suggests is equivalent to 20 pounds of litter since it’s so lightweight. The clay-based blend aims to control bacterial litter box odors for 10 days while keeping the dust to a minimum. This formula is scented, but it also comes in unscented versions.

One cat owner wrote: “I have used many cat litters through the years and can say for the value this is the best. There is no litter box smell and an extra bonus of no dust.”

Type of litter: Clay | Clumping: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available on: Walmart, $25

3. A Clumping Wood Litter That’s Tough On Odor

Healthy Pet’s original ökocat litter is made from sustainably sourced cut wood fiber and formulated to cut down on odor despite the fact that it’s unscented. Reviewers suggest that the only smell is a pleasant wood chip scent and that the odor control it provides is “amazing.” The lightweight, low-dust litter also clumps pretty effectively, making cleanup easy. It’s a great pick for those who want something planet-friendly as well since it’s completely biodegradable and compostable. Plus, it’s free from artificial fragrances and chemicals. Buy it in your choice of two sizes — a medium-sized 13.2-pound box, or a larger 16.6-pound one — and choose between Original, Super Soft, or Less Mess formulas.

One cat owner wrote: “This cat litter is a bit pricier, but… No ammonia smell… Always smells like wood chips and is not that hard to scoop. Goes a lot further than traditional heavy scented or unscented scoopable cat litter! All three of my cats seem happy with it! Fantastic product!”

Type of litter: Wood | Clumping: Yes | Scented: No

Also available on: Chewy, $15, and Walmart, $22

4. A Clumping Clay Litter With Odor-Fighting Probiotics

BoxiePro infuses probiotics into their cat litter to fight odor on a deeper (read: microscopic) level. The clay-based litter granules are formulated to stay put inside the litter box instead of tracking and to produce very little dust. The unscented litter is designed to instantly clump to make cleanup easier. Reviewers report that even though the litter is on the pricier side, it lasts a long time since the clumping reduces wasted litter. According to one reviewer who bought a 28-pound bag, “Because you only have to scoop out the soiled hard clamps, this litter last a long, long time, paying for itself.” Buy it in 16-, 28-, or 40-pound bags.

One cat owner wrote: “Ok, so a little pricier than what you find in your big box stores, but it’s worth it. This stuff actually makes solid, easy-to-scoop clumps that don’t break apart. Bonus for absolutely zero odor.”

Type of litter: Clay | Clumping: Yes | Scented: No

Also available on: Chewy, $20 (16-pound bag)

5. A Clumping Walnut Shell Litter That’s 100% Natural

Naturally Fresh’s walnut shell cat litter is a clay-free unscented litter that’s a good choice for those who prefer to use sustainable products (the manufacturer claims the product is 100% natural and biodegradable). The low-dust formula is super absorbent and low tracking, and the brand suggests that it can form hard, easy-to-scoop clumps in just 15 minutes — a rarity for wood and shell litters. Multiple reviewers report that it also controls odor better than any other cat litter they’ve used. There are also scented and non-clumping options available, in a wide range of sizes.

One cat owner wrote: “Amazing! Absolutely no litter box odor! Lasts months before you have to change out, if you scoop and refresh routinely. Clumps greats so it's easy to scoop out. I have recommended to other cat owners and they love it. It was first recommended to be by a pet store employee. It was more expensive than standard litter but I was willing to at least try it out. After that first try I have never bought another litter! It lasts months and ends up cheaper in the long run and is much easier to maintain. Please get this! It will make life so much easier for you and kitty will love you for it!”

Type of litter: Walnut shells | Clumping: Yes | Scented: No

Also available on: Chewy, $22

6. A Non-Clumping Cat Litter That Checks Your Kitty's Health

The high absorption, low tracking, and unscented formula of Alpha Paw’s Genius Litter does so much more than just absorb waste. It can also alert you when it detects health-related markers in your cat’s urine (like blood or abnormal pH levels) by changing colors. This can be super helpful, but it’s important to note that the litter can’t act as a substitute for a real veterinary exam, and may not detect all health problems.

In addition to its special features, this cat litter should also do a pretty good job of preventing foul odors. Multiple reviewers praise this crystal-and-sand formula for its odor-fighting abilities, with one reviewer writing, “You can’t even tell I own a cat.”

It comes in one relatively small size: a 6-pound bag.

One cat owner wrote: “I own 3 cats and am always looking for a litter that will accommodate them. This litter can absorb odors and waste for a full 2 weeks before it needs to be changed. It even changes color if one of them has a health problem.”

Type of litter: Silica gel crystals | Clumping: No | Scented: No

Also available on: AlphaPaw, $35

7. An Odor-Fighting Clay Option For Litter Box Training

Whether you have a new kitten or are switching up your litter box, Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract litter should make things a little easier. The clumping clay formula has a light herb scent that helps attract curious kitties to the litter box, perfect for encouraging good litter box habits. Once your pet is used to doing their business in the right spot, you’ll also reap the benefits of the litter’s odor control abilities, which one reviewer describes as the “best odor control of anything I have ever used.” The low-tracking litter should also result in very little dust. Choose from a hefty 40-pound bag or a 20-pound option.

One cat owner wrote: “This product is a must for cats with ‘out of the box”’issues. It helped reduce accidents in our home and also keeps odor down. We love it!”

Type of litter: Clay | Clumping: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available on: Chewy, $29, and PetSmart, $30

Also Great: A Deodorizer You Can Use With Your Existing Litter

If you have a litter your cat already likes but wish it did a better job preventing odors or you just want to make sure you have your bases covered, consider adding a sprinkle of the NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer on top whenever you change or clean it. This will also help eliminate odors, so you don’t have to change the litter as often. The deodorizer is fragrance-free and biodegradable since it’s made from natural zeolite. It comes in a 1-pound container that you can buy on its own or in packs of one, two, or four — or if you want to stock up, snag the large 8-pound bag.

One cat owner wrote: “This product works almost too well! I can’t ever smell my litter box. [...] It does have a peculiar smell to it but when it’s in the litter you don’t smell it. My cats don’t seem to notice it.”

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