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 a main living area of your home.
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 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 to 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's visits, so these types of litter are meant to be used in conjunction with regular care.
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 8,000-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.
Helpful Amazon review: “Ok, never thought I would write a review for kitty litter but this litter is exceptional! It clumps tightly, allowing me to scoop the pan with almost nothing sifting through the scoop. No tracking by the cat. The bottom of the litter pan was nearly clean after simply scooping. The charcoal is difficult to see but it really gets rid of any 'litter pan' smell! My cat is 12 years old and finicky but he has never complained of this litter. And the price is great!!”
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. If you have different needs, it also comes in two unscented formulations — Natural Care and Total Odor Control, the latter of which absorbs the enzymes that cause the litter to stink to better control odors.
Helpful Amazon review: “I like this litter because my cats like it. It's pretty easy to scoop and neutralizes the odor better than some litter I've used. The scent isn't overpowering.”
3. 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.
Helpful Amazon review: “After many years of trial-&-error with many brands and types of litter —and many cats! — I’ve finally found a cat litter that isn’t objectionable and, that actually works well! This Naturally Fresh crushed walnut hulls cat litter: doesn’t have the clouds of dust that most litters create; doesn’t track out if the litter box nearly as others do; absorbs and clumps and isn’t objectionable to clean out; keeps down odors better than any I’ve found; is good for multi-cat households; is environmentally far better — and, there’s no telltale, objectionable cat box odor in the house!”
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, “This ONE bag lasted me THREE months. I have one cat and I scoop everyday. But it STAYS in the clumps! Even on those days where I don't scoop everyday (don't judge - we all get busy! ha!) they stay clumped and come right out without falling apart and ruining all the other liter!” Buy it in 16- or 28-pound bags.
Helpful Amazon review: “I live in a small space so the litter box is hidden in a clever cabinet right in my office area. It HAS to stay clean and odor-free. This litter is pricey but worth every penny. I quite literally never smell anything offensive coming from the box with this litter. It generates little to no dust, and lasts a long time--I find we can go longer with just scooping it out vs. completely changing it.”
5. 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 a 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 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.
Helpful Amazon review: “I am so happy with this product. There is no odor / scent from the kitty box. I was cleaning the box several times a day previously and still had a small hint of odor but this product actually absorbs very well, with no scent. My kitty really likes it too.”
6. 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.
Helpful Amazon review: “Okocat clumps perfectly. There's basically no dust, and it legitimately prevents that cat-pee smell from stinking up the laundry room where we keep our litter box. I've been using it for a couple months now, and I'm never going back. Oh - and it's SO MUCH LIGHTER. Our letterbox is upstairs, so when I'm hauling the old litter down, it was always soooo heavy. This stuff is so light.”
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. It comes in a hefty 40-pound bag, and is also available in few different formulas that don’t have the same cat-attracting feature.
Helpful Amazon review: “My cats love this litter. I have multiple boxes around the house but they use this one more than the others. Would definitely recommend this product to cat owners that are having issues with their cats urinating where they shouldn't.”
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 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 you can buy in packs of one, two, or eight.
Helpful Amazon review: “Within the first day of using this I noticed that the slight lingering ammonia/ poop smell wasn’t noticeable when walking into the house anymore. After a few days I realized that I couldn’t smell anything even as I was scooping the three litTer boxes.’