Best Odor-Control Cat Litter · The Wildest

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Best Odor-Control Cat Litter

A necessity, really.

by Rebecca Caplan
April 16, 2024
Two cute kittens are sitting near their litter box.
Galina Sandalova / iStock

Not all cat litter is created equal, and all “odor-control” cat litter is certainly not created equal. Nothing is more disappointing than trying out a new odor-control litter just for it to be as smelly as its predecessor. And while a smelly litter box is gross, it’s also not healthy or comfortable for your cat, which goes double for cats who have been recently adopted or rescued. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to sniff out (literally, ew) the best odor-control cat litter out there. 

Every cat litter takes a different approach to odor control — and each approach has its pros and cons. When evaluating those pros and cons, we recommend taking into account the following factors.

Best cat litter to control odor: factors to consider

  • Odor-neutralization effectiveness

  • Clumping ability for easy scooping

  • Dust levels for respiratory health

  • Scent preferences (unscented vs. scented)

  • Suitability for single or multi-cat households

  • Price and value for money

As you can see, picking the right cat litter is more of an art than a science- even though it’s weirdly a lot of science. Not to worry, because we’ve done our homework and found the best odor-control cat litters that actually work.

Best cat litter for odor control

Top clumping clay litter for odor control

Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter

If you’re looking for a hard-core clumping litter, look no further than Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter. Affordable and effective, we were shocked at how good this bentonite-clay based litter was when it came to clumping and odor control. For a clay litter, we also found Dr. Elsey’s to be low -racking (though not entirely dust-free) and strong enough for use with multiple cats. And seriously, $11 for legit odor control litter is a great deal.

Natural Wheat Multi-Cat Litter

Wheat seems like a strange active ingredient for odor control, but alas, it’s a pretty good one, especially if you’re looking for a natural, biodegradable litter. Designed for use by multiple cats, this litter by Wheat Scoop is a top choice when it comes to odor control and dust-control, both thanks to its unique wheat pellets.

Reviewers also loved its lack of “perfume-y” odors and its flushable, clumping pellet. Many cat parents also mentioned that their cats preferred the texture over other litters, earning it an official spot in our ever-growing lexicon of sustainable faves. 

High-performance silica gel crystal litters

PrettyLitter Health Monitoring Cat Litter

One day, not too long ago, a beautiful genius arose from their slumber and decided to invent a perfect, high-tech kitty litter for the 21st century. From their mind came Pretty Litter, a silica gel-based cat litter that does a lot more than control odor (though it does do that pretty well).

In addition to great odor control, Pretty Litter’s color-changing silica gel pellets react with your cat’s urine to indicate possible health concerns. Three different colors indicate different health concerns, while a fourth color indicates healthy urine. These pellets are also dust free, which is great if you or your cat has allergies. Things to keep in mind: this is a non-clumping litter, and it’s also the most expensive per pound. However, Pretty Litter does go farther than its competitors, with an eight-pound bag lasting up two months, so don’t rule it out as a cost-effective option.

Activated charcoal litter for extra odor absorption

Odor Absorber Eliminator for Pet Litter

This deodorizer utilizes the power of activated charcoal to remove odor from your kitty’s litter. Try adding this non-toxic product to your cat’s existing litter to remove the poopy ick that affronts your nose.

Reviewers’ favorite thing about this deodorizer is its versatility. Commenters say they use it for their aquariums and their refrigerators, in addition to their litter boxes (wherever the stink exists). We love a multi-purpose purchase.

FAQs (People also ask)

What is the best litter box to reduce smell?

Truth be told, the best, least smelly litter box is a clean litter box. That said, we are fans of the Litter Genie, which does a lot of that cleaning for you. 

Why is my cat litter so smelly?

Consistently smelly cat litter can be caused by a host of things, such as frequent use and not-so-frequent cleaning. In addition to frequent cleanings and opting for an odor-control litter, we recommend a covered litter box to help reduce wafting odors. 

How can I get rid of smelly cat litter and pet odors?

A litter-safe odor spray can help minimize smells when used in combination with odor-eliminating litter and an enclosed litter box. For extra support consider investing in a quality air purifier, which can also help with dander and allergies. 

rebecca caplan

Rebecca Caplan

Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.

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