Last Updated: November 06, 2020

Best Cat Litter for Odor Control

Best Cat Litter for Odor Control

Working and teaching the kids at home with no desire to smell your cat’s dirty business? Odor control litters need to be deodorized, light on dust, and attractive to your cat to get the job done. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clumping Clay Litter is our top choice for a noticeably cleaner litter box.

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Best Overall
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Best Overall
$23
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Quick absorption means less litter wasted
  • As close to dust-free as possible
  • Won’t stick to sides and bottom
  • Doesn’t track outside the box
  • What we Dislike
  • Not made for automatic litter box use
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

If you’ve been researching the best litter to control foul odor, no doubt you’ve already come across Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal. This popular litter has earned its reputation for odor control with a double whammy on cat waste: Arm & Hammer baking soda to absorb odors, and a refreshing scent to deodorize the surrounding area. This litter is made from traditional clumping clay and outperforms many competitors with minimal dust, low tracking, and strong clumps that stand up to saturation and scooping without breaking apart. Arm & Hammer is also a pleasant-smelling breeze to clean up because soiled litter doesn’t stick to the box. This brand is our clear winner in every scenario with just one exception: those with automatic litterboxes will need a lighter litter specially formulated for their box.

Fresh Step Multiple Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter
Fresh Step Multiple Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter
$25
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Litterbox is kept odor-free with Febreeze additive
  • Performs well in multi-cat households
  • Clumps on contact to minimize mess
  • Hard clumps are easy to scoop
  • What we Dislike
  • Scent can be overly strong to sensitive human and feline noses
  • The formula does produce some dust
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Can’t stand the aroma of cat waste? Fresh Step is true to its name with a Febreeze additive to maintain harmony in the household. This could be a problem for humans with allergies or felines with sensitive noses looking to avoid perfumed litter. Fresh Step is still a strong performer in the clay category because the hard clumps formed are easy to scoop and preferable in multi-cat environments. While the dust production is not extreme, it still might bother finicky felines.

Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
$21
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Blocks bad smells with carbon odor absorbers
  • No artificial scent to trigger human allergies
  • Lack of artificial scent is more attractive to cats
  • What we Dislike
  • Charcoal in the litter can cause streaks on floors
  • Tracks litter out of the box
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Tidy Cats isn’t as tidy as some of its clay clumping competitors. Customers report litter tracked out of the box, and while the carbon odor absorbers effectively block unpleasant smells, they also can cause streaks that are hard to remove from hardwood floors. Humans might find a little mess worth it, however, to avoid the artificial fragrance of scented litters while providing a litter more attractive to cats with sensitive noses.

Best Clay Alternative
World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula
World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula Best Clay Alternative
$27
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Superior odor control without artificial scents added
  • Highly rated for multi-cat households
  • Lightweight litter doesn’t track out of the box
  • Forms tight, easy-to-scoop clumps
  • What we Dislike
  • Produces more dust than litters made of silica
  • Higher price point
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

World’s Best Cat Litter might not be literally the world’s best, but it’s still an impressive litter for a clay alternative made from corn. This litter has bragging rights for convenience because customers can flush it without damaging a fragile septic system. World’s Best forms tight clumps on contact before that ammonia smell can set in and lead to a messy box. The natural, compressed corn formula does produce dust but is free of silica dust and environmentally friendly. Unlike a few others on our list, World’s Best doesn’t track out of the box.

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Clumping Cat Litter
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Clumping Cat Litter
$30
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Great odor control
  • More absorbent than clay-based litters
  • Works well in multi-cat homes
  • What we Dislike
  • More likely to leave residue than other brands
  • Can stain litterboxes and surrounding areas brown from settled powder
  • Won’t work in automatic litterboxes
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Naturally Fresh is the only clumping litter on our list made from ground walnut shells. The manufacturer lists this litter as three times more absorbent than clay-based litters, leading to improved odor control. The high rate of absorption makes this brand a welcome choice for multi-cat households. Buyers will have to contend with more residue from the walnut shells that can leave a mess of brown powder. The shells also will not work in automatic litterboxes.

So Phresh Advanced Odor Control Fragrance Free Cat Litter
So Phresh Advanced Odor Control Fragrance Free Cat Litter
$8
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Excellent odor control
  • Strong clump creation
  • Affordable price for a large bag
  • What we Dislike
  • Gritty litter can be uncomfortable on declawed or sensitive paws
  • Bucket design makes removal of lid a bigger chore than scooping the box
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

So Phresh scores well for its odor control without any artificial scents added, plus easy-to-scoop clumps and low dust production. This clay litter is long-lasting for users who would prefer to buy larger bags at smaller prices. So Phresh arrives in a large bucket which may be refilled in the store to cut down on packaging waste. In return, be prepared for frustration when trying to remove the tricky bucket lid. If your cat is declawed or has sensitive paws, this gritty litter consistency should be avoided.

Weruva Hinoki Wood & Green Tea Natural Cat Litter
Weruva Hinoki Wood & Green Tea Natural Cat Litter
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Natural and refreshing scent is pleasing to the nose
  • Hypoallergenic litter is safe for sensitive kitties and allergic owners
  • Lightweight litter is easy to transport and pour
  • What we Dislike
  • Prepare to vacuum and sweep up particles tracked out of the box
  • Some cats don’t like the texture
  • Listed as flushable, but not safe in every septic system
Product Details
Type of Litter
Clumping
Scented
Our Review

If you have a delicate nose, you’ll enjoy Weruva’s Hinoki Wood & Green Tea offering. Made of Japanese Hinoki Wood, green tea, and potato starch as a clumping agent, this litter is hypoallergenic and contains a natural tea scent that won’t scare off kitty. This litter is lightweight and forms solid clumps with low dust, but does require a wide-slatted scoop to gather pellets. Some cats are not comfortable with the large pellets and might prefer softer-textured litter. Beware that while this litter is marked as flushable, the wood cannot be flushed in all septic systems, and it will involve extra vacuuming to keep floors free of tracked pellets.

CatSpot 100% Coconut Natural Cat Litter
  CatSpot 100% Coconut Natural Cat Litter
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Ecologically sustainable
  • Low dust formula
  • Soft coconut material is gentle for cats and kittens
  • What we Dislike
  • Litter may stick to cat’s fur
  • Coconut fibers may track throughout the house
  • Clogs automatic litterboxes
Product Details
Type of Litter Coconut
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

CatSpot is an environmentally friendly option for those looking to avoid artificial scents and chemicals. This American-made offering uses recycled coconut coir to provide an odor-free, soft litter gentle on delicate toepads. Because of the absorbency of coconut, one five-pound bag is meant to replace a twenty-pound bag of clay litter. The downside of all-natural ingredients is a bigger mess. Coconut is more absorptive than clay, but it also clings to kitties’ fur and paws, so this litter might make its way throughout the house. It also will gum up the works if used in an automatic litterbox.

Best Wood-Based
Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Non-Clumping Cat Litter
Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Non-Clumping Cat Litter Best Wood-Based
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Natural pine smell is pleasant for humans
  • Less wasted litter than other pellet brands
  • Large, economical bags are great for shelters and multi-cat homes
  • What we Dislike
  • Not as absorptive of urine as other brands
  • Urine not absorbed by litter soaks through to the bottom of the box
  • Hard to separate waste to be scooped vs. clean pellets
Product Details
Type of Litter Pine
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Feline Pine is a popular choice for shelters and multi-cat environments because of its naturally pleasing scent. Pellets contain baking soda to trap odors before they turn foul, while the pine itself has a refreshing woodsy aroma. Cats enjoy the natural ingredients and low dust, and humans are rewarded with large, low-cost bags that last a long time. By cutting out clay, users will miss out on the better absorption of clumping brands, and pellets tend to waste more litter overall because clean pellets get thrown out with soiled ones.

PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Non-Clumping Cat Litter
PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Non-Clumping Cat Litter
$17
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • No artificial scents to trigger respiratory sensitivities
  • Low-tracking formula
  • Convenient packaging is pre-portioned for quick and easy pour
  • What we Dislike
  • Not as absorptive of urine as other brands
  • Likely to produce dust
  • Bags may not last as long as labeled
Product Details
Type of Litter Silica crystals
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Looking to avoid clay litters and breathing in all those particles during pouring? PetSafe offers this silica crystal alternative that comes packaged in a pre-portioned bag designed to be quickly opened and poured without any guesswork. It is marketed for use in Petsafe’s ScoopFree Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box with a reusable plastic tray in lieu of buying their disposable pre-loaded refill trays. There are no artificial scents to trigger allergies, while the crystals absorb liquids and dry out solids to help minimize foul odors. This litter is low-tracking, which is great for floors. We use this litter with our own cats and it does need to be changed a few days earlier than indicated- once the silica has reached its maximum absorption, it quickly smells strongly of ammonia.

Hartz Multi-Cat Lightweight Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter
Hartz Multi-Cat Lightweight Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter
$7
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • A recycled paper litter that clumps and scoops out mess
  • Soiled paper turns blue to make for quicker, easier clean-up
  • Lighter than clay litter
  • What we Dislike
  • Lightweight litter is more prone to tracking
  • Clean litter gets scooped up and thrown out with soiled litter
Product Details
Type of Litter Paper
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

If you’re hoping to find a litter that cuts the guesswork out of finding buried waste, consider Hartz’s Multi-Cat Lightweight Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter. Made from recycled paper, Hartz is safe for the environment, but still provides clumping action to trap odors. Wet clumps turn blue so you’ll spot a mess right away without spending extended amounts of time at the box. Users complain they couldn’t avoid tossing clean litter out with the soiled, and the lightweight consistency tracks more than heavier clay-based alternatives.

Better Way Eco Fresh Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Better Way Eco Fresh Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Superior odor control
  • Cat attractant aids in litterbox training for reluctant kittens and adults
  • Virtually dust-free
  • What we Dislike
  • Lightweight litter is tough to vacuum out of carpeting
  • Dirty litter can harden on the box
  • Litter is advertised as flushable, but might not be safe to flush in some septic systems
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Reluctant felines might find their new favorite potty spot in a litterbox containing Better Way Eco Fresh Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. This white zeolite clay litter adds sanel, a natural cat attractant made from tree resin, that is beneficial in training kittens and adults with litterbox avoidance. Users are happy with the superior odor control of Better Way and find it to be virtually dust-free compared to alternatives, without sacrificing the soft consistency preferable for cats with sensitive paws. If purchased as a flushable litter, beware that Better Way isn’t safe for all septic systems, and those with carpeting will need to invest in a quality vacuum to remove the lightweight litter tracked out of the box.

EcoCare Organic Bamboo Cat Litter for Short Hair
 EcoCare Organic Bamboo Cat Litter for Short Hair
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • 100% biodegradable and nontoxic to cats and kittens
  • Forms reliable clumps
  • Safe to flush
  • What we Dislike
  • Produces a lot of dust
  • This formula is only recommended for short hair cats – a separate formula is recommended for long-hair cats
Product Details
Type of Litter Bamboo fiber
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

If you feel guilty about how much cat litter you’ve tossed out over the years, consider a biodegradable option like EcoCare Organic Bamboo Cat Litter. The bamboo fiber will breakdown in a landfill or can be flushed in certain septic systems. EcoCare ranks highly for odor control without added fragrance as well as formation of strong clumps. The litter is lightweight, but, in return, produces a higher amount of dust than what some users might care to have in their homes. There are two products in the EcoCare Organic Bamboo Litter line: one for short hair cats and another for those with long hair. Cat guardians with one more than one cat might end up with double the boxes and double the money spent if they have cats with different fur types.

Best Budget
Special Kitty Scoopable Fresh Scent Tight Clumping Cat Litter
Special Kitty Scoopable Fresh Scent Tight Clumping Cat Litter Best Budget
$6
Review manufacturer almart
on almart
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Added deodorizer to prevent escaping odors
  • Made for multi-cat environments
  • Strong clumping action
  • Readily available in stores
  • What we Dislike
  • Not as long-lasting as other brands
  • Poor packaging leads to litter spillage
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Traditionalists might enjoy the classic formula of Special Kitty: clay clumping scented litter in a large package at an affordable price. The litter contains both a fresh scent as well as an added deodorizer to keep odors from permeating outside the box. Special Kitty Scoopable Fresh Scent rates well for odor control in multi-cat environments as well as for strong clumping. The cardboard packaging is designed to be environmentally friendly, but those who have ordered this product online report receiving damaged packages that create a spilled mess upon opening. This litter also doesn’t last as long as some higher-priced clay brands on the market.

Dr. Elsey's Premium Clumping Cat Litter – Ultra Scented
Dr. Elsey's Premium Clumping Cat Litter – Ultra Scented
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Strong odor control
  • Hypoallergenic and easy on sensitive respiratory systems
  • Clumps are strong, even when saturated
  • Works well in automatic litterboxes
  • What we Dislike
  • Tendency to track out of the box
  • Produces more dust than other offerings
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Dr. Elsey’s litter products all have been designed by veterinarians and contain natural, hypoallergenic ingredients to give guardians some peace of mind. This clay litter still clumps for ease of clean-up and contains an added scent to minimize unpleasant aromas. Consumers are pleased with how the clumps stand up to urine saturation and how Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Scented Litter performs in automatic litterboxes. Be prepared for more dust and litter tracked out of the box than with better brands, however.

Purina Yesterday’s News Fresh Scent Paper Cat Litter
Purina Yesterday’s News Fresh Scent Paper Cat Litter
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Recycled paper is good for the environment
  • Pellets don’t track out of the box
  • Low dust production
  • What we Dislike
  • Odor control isn’t as strong as clay litters
  • Wet paper sticks to paws
  • Box needs to be cleaned more regularly than with competing litters
Product Details
Type of Litter Paper
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

If finding a sustainable litter is high on your priority list, consider Purina Yesterday’s News Paper Cat Litter. Made of recycled newspaper pellets, this litter is biodegradable, produces less dust, and is more absorbent than clay litter. Because paper also tends to absorb more odor than clumping clay litters, Yesterday’s News has been lightly scented to block unpleasant smells. Users report mixed results and wet paper sticking to cat paws. As a result, this litter will require more frequent changing than litters made of other materials.

Neon Clumping Silica Gel Cat Litter
Neon Clumping Silica Gel Cat Litter
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Available in a variety of colors to add some fun to your litterbox
  • Silica gel absorbs moisture and odors well
  • Soft on kitty paws
  • What we Dislike
  • Dust production increases with continued use
  • Wet litter turns sticky, including on cat paws
  • Tracking causes smears on floors
Product Details
Type of Litter Silica gel
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Ever thought that your litterbox was just too boring? If some cat poop doesn’t liven things up, maybe brightly colored litter will. Neon Clumping Silica Gel Litter is indeed neon and can be purchased in a variety of shades. Your cat couldn’t care less about how bright his litter is, but he will appreciate the soft texture of the silica gel, which naturally absorbs both moisture and related odors without artificial fragrance. Since the litter gets sticky when wet, it can cling to cat paws, which means you might find some brightly colored streaks on the floor. Neon also tends to get dustier the longer it stays in the box.

Best Products Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
Product Name Best for Rate
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Best Overall 9
World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula Best Clay Alternative 8
Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Non-Clumping Cat Litter Best Wood-Based 8
Special Kitty Scoopable Fresh Scent Tight Clumping Cat Litter Best Budget 7

How to Choose:

You might pay the bills, but we know that your cat still rules the roost. At the end of the day, because you’re not the one using the litterbox, your cat’s approval is mandatory when it comes to which odor control litter to pick. Sometimes you can do all your homework but still make the wrong choice for your finicky feline. Other times, however, answering some simple questions will help you narrow down the right option for kitty.

Considerations:

First and foremost: is this litter comfortable? You don’t like a rough toilet seat, and your cat doesn’t like something uncomfortable on his delicate toepads. Declawed cats are particularly sensitive to litter consistency and do best with lightweight litters. Similarly, arthritic cats will need something soft, so avoid gritty litters or rough crystals.

Second: is this litter dusty? If you think you hate getting hit in the face with a litter dust cloud, imagine your poor cat surrounded by it. You wouldn’t want to run out into a dust storm to do your business, and neither does kitty. Consider a litter that produces minimal or no dust.

Third: does my cat like this litter material? Kittens training to use a litterbox and adult cats with litterbox avoidance might do better with sand-like texture to mimic their natural habitat. If that’s not enough, consider a litter containing an attractant. Some young kittens also like to taste their litter, so be careful to avoid clumping and clay litters that are dangerous to ingest if your kitten falls in this category.

If your cat has allergies or respiratory illness – and if you do, too – hypoallergenic litters made from natural elements are the safest option. Thankfully, you’ll find that there are many litters made from ingredients other than traditional clay. Consider choices like recycled paper, bamboo, wheat, or corn as an alternative.

Fourth: to scent or not to scent? That is the question (when it comes to purchasing a quality odor control litter, that is). On this point, you will need to weigh your needs along with your cat’s preference. If you hate getting near a stinky litterbox, you might consider a litter with artificial perfume, preferably a light fragrance that won’t scare off your cat. Cats have much stronger noses than we do, however, and some won’t come near anything that smells like chemicals. If you or kitty suffers from allergies or respiratory illness, scented litters are not the right choice for your household.


You’ll find other scent control options on our list. Some litters are made from ingredients that naturally absorb moisture and odors well enough to contain bad smells. Others feature deodorizing components like baking soda or carbon to trap those smells before they escape. There are even flushable litters to help you get rid of the mess before the smell can permeate.

Consider your top choice and then ask yourself the answers to the above questions. Would your kitty agree with you? No doubt that from among our choices of odor control litters, you’ll find the purr-fect compromise.