Best Cat Litter: The Ultimate Guide on Odor Control

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cat looking at box with the world's best cat litter

The litter box.

It is one of the best inventions ever made for cat owners. It allows your cat to easily go potty on their own without needing to go outside or bother you for help.

However, while the litter box itself can be great, finding the right litter for that litter box can be difficult. You want a litter that is affordable, easily clumps waste and one that your cat will actually use.

The most important thing for most pet owners is to find the best cat litter for odor control. But, with so many brands and types of litter out there, narrowing down your options can be confusing the say the least. The good news is, the more you know about litter, how it works and why it works, the easier it will be to find a product that fits your, and your cat’s needs.

Get right to it: Check out these cat litters!

Rated 4.50/5.00
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter
$20.49
Say goodbye to that stinky litter box and hello to incredible odor control and long-lasting absorbency with Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter. Made from a proprietary blend of the fibrous materials found in the walnut shell, this litter neutralizes litter box odors better than clay, pine and wheat. It produces harder clumps for easier scooping and is so absorbent, one bag is equal to three bags of the leading clay litter. Unlike clay litters which throw off silica dust, Naturally Fresh is virtually dust-free so you and your cat can breathe easy. And because it doesn’t stick to your cat’s paws, it won’t be tracked throughout your house.
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Rated 4.00/5.00
ökocat Super Soft Natural Wood Clumping Litter
$18.29
Okocat super soft natural clumping wood litter features outstanding 7-day odor control with easy clean clumping. Made from reclaimed natural Wood, The small granule texture is soft on sensitive paws and similar to the texture of clay litter, making the transition to natural easy. 100% biodegradable and containing no added scents, dyes or airborne dust, making it healthier for you, your cat and the planet.
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Rated 4.50/5.00
Tidy Cats Instant Action Immediate Odor Control Cat Litter
$14.64
Put an end to overpowering odors in your home with Purina Tidy Cats Scoop Instant Action Immediate Odor Control Cat Litter. We know you have no time to waste, and that's no problem with this natural clay product with a deodorizing system. TidyCats designed this clumping cat litter to trap odors from the start, and the odor-neutralizing power protects against ammonia, urine and feces smells for all-in-one odor control. Put the guaranteed TidyLock protection to work and help lock away litter box odors so you can feel confident inviting over friends and family to a clean, fresh-smelling home. This clump and seal cat litter, formulated for multiple cats, creates an inviting atmosphere for your felines, no matter which litter box they choose to use each day.
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What to Look For! Best Cat Litter For Odor Control

While we all love our feline friends, their litter boxes can be quite smelly. For many cat owners, odor control is the most important feature to look for in any product. As cat litters continue to advance, new odor control features are being introduced to help keep the smell at bay.

You should always be looking for the best cat litter for odor control. Not just litter that will mask up smells. Cats have a sensitive sense of smell and notice when their litter box is dirty. They may stop using it if it isn’t clean enough.

Clumping vs. Non-Clumping Litter

In addition to odor-controlling elements, most cat litters are distinguished by whether or not they “clump” when they are wet.

Both clumping and non-clumping formulas have their benefits. While neither is better than the other, most cat owners have a preference.

Clumping litter absorbs urine and wetness and clumps it together in a solid form for easy scooping. Non-clumping litter does not. Despite that, many cats prefer non-clumping and it is actually typically better with odor control.

Scented vs. Unscented Litter

Most cat litters are able to control odor in one way or another, but there are also scented and unscented options as well. The obvious benefit of a scented litter is to further cover up the smell of the litter and of your cat’s messes.

However, not everyone enjoys the smells of these products. Therefore, it is really up to personal preference when it comes to choosing a scented product or not.

Top 5 Top Rated Best Cat Litter for Odor Control

Looking for some of the top-rated cat litters on the market? We have the cat litter review you have been looking for. Here are some of the best cat litter products available right now.

Feline Pine Original 

If you prefer natural cat litter made from recycled pine, then this is the absorbent option for you. It is made without harmful chemicals but formulated to neutralize strong odors.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Feline Pine Original Cat Litter$6.99
Feline Pine Scoop naturally neutralizes strong odors on contact, leaving your home remarkably fresh! Highly absorbent pine litter binds directly to ammonia particles and locks them away for good. Simply scoop and discard daily! Made from renewable southern yellow pine and natural Guar Bean Gum--it's 100 percent natural! Pine naturally neutralizes ammonia.With the clumping power of an all-natural fiber made from the Guar Bean, Feline Pine Scoop clumps tight, so nothing is left behind but fresh litter. Using Feline Pine Scoop is a safe and healthy way to enjoy the benefits of a clumping cat litter without any of the chemicals or silica dust.

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter 

Most people don’t know this organic brand also makes an absorbent kitty litter. This dust-free clay litter formula is eco-friendly and natural. It is so absorbent with its odor-blocking design, one bag is equal to three bags of standard clay litter.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter$20.49
Say goodbye to that stinky litter box and hello to incredible odor control and long-lasting absorbency with Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter. Made from a proprietary blend of the fibrous materials found in the walnut shell, this litter neutralizes litter box odors better than clay, pine and wheat. It produces harder clumps for easier scooping and is so absorbent, one bag is equal to three bags of the leading clay litter. Unlike clay litters which throw off silica dust, Naturally Fresh is virtually dust-free so you and your cat can breathe easy. And because it doesn’t stick to your cat’s paws, it won’t be tracked throughout your house.

Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Cat Litter 

kitten with paw in the best cat litter box

This cat litter is designed with multi-cat households in mind. It is all-natural with superior odor control. This dust-free formula was created to help bring problem cats back to the litter box and eliminate the excess odor that may be distracting to some pets.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Dr. Elsey's Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter$18.57
A clay litter uniquely formulated combining heavy non tracking granules with medium grain. The result is an excellent clumping litter that prevents moisture from reaching the bottom of the litter box, while providing a clump that will not break apart. Ultra is perfect for multi-cat families and cat owners with sifting or mechanical litter boxes and it controls odor naturally without perfume, deodorants or chemicals.

Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Cat Litter 

This cat litter is made with TidyLock Protection which locks away those strong ammonia, urine, and fecal smells. Tidy Cats litter also has 24/7 odor control so your home always smells fresh.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Tidy Cats Instant Action Immediate Odor Control Cat Litter$14.64
Put an end to overpowering odors in your home with Purina Tidy Cats Scoop Instant Action Immediate Odor Control Cat Litter. We know you have no time to waste, and that's no problem with this natural clay product with a deodorizing system. TidyCats designed this clumping cat litter to trap odors from the start, and the odor-neutralizing power protects against ammonia, urine and feces smells for all-in-one odor control. Put the guaranteed TidyLock protection to work and help lock away litter box odors so you can feel confident inviting over friends and family to a clean, fresh-smelling home. This clump and seal cat litter, formulated for multiple cats, creates an inviting atmosphere for your felines, no matter which litter box they choose to use each day.

So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter 

This recycled paper pellet cat litter is lightweight and made with 95% recycled paper, along with baking soda and zeolite for extra odor control.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter$39.99
This is our So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter Review. So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet cat litter is made of special paper fibers that are combined with proprietary odor ingredients that work together to help neutralize ammonia odors instantly. In addition, the paper is biodegradable and is designed to be so absorbent that it doesn’t break apart or cake on the bottom when the litter is wet. This product is available in 25-pound bags.

Let Your Cat Enjoy Doing Their Business! The Types of Litter for Cats

One of the best things about shopping for cat litter in today’s market is that there continue to be newer, more advanced types of cat litter hitting the shelves.

Every cat is different. There is no way to tell why certain cats seem to enjoy certain types of litter over others. The key is to find one that works for you and that your cat enjoys using.

As you search for the best cat litter for odor control types, here are some you will likely encounter.

Clumping Clay Litter

Litters made with a clumping formula usually have a substance known as bentonite in them. This substance absorbs urine and clumps together, creating a solid lump or ball while leaving the rest of the litter surrounding the clump clean and dry. This keeps the unaffected litter cleaner. It also makes it simple to remove urine-soaked litter. This type of litter is typically made from bentonite, it can be dusty and heavy, and isn’t biodegradable.

Non-Clumping Clay Litter

Non-clumping clay formulas may be more difficult to scoop and clean. But, they do have an odor-control benefit, as they allow the urine to sift through all of the litter and absorb the odor. Since litters are often made with charcoal or baking soda, these products will soak up the smell of the urine. However, you will likely need to change the litter more often, typically once per week.

Recycled Paper Litter

Green cat owners will enjoy this biodegradable litter solution. Recycled paper litter is very absorbent and dust free. It is made by taking paper and turning it into small pellets or granules. If you choose the pellet option it won’t clump, but the granule form of this litter will.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
ökocat Super Soft Natural Wood Clumping Litter$18.29
Okocat super soft natural clumping wood litter features outstanding 7-day odor control with easy clean clumping. Made from reclaimed natural Wood, The small granule texture is soft on sensitive paws and similar to the texture of clay litter, making the transition to natural easy. 100% biodegradable and containing no added scents, dyes or airborne dust, making it healthier for you, your cat and the planet.

Crystal Litter

Litter made with crystals is actually formed out of small silica gel beads, similar to those used to preserve products like medication. This type of litter is very absorbent and controls odor, plus it is dust-free. While this type of crystal is more expensive and can be irritating to some cats’ paws. Still, it is a very popular solution for pet owners.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter$12.77
Make cleaning out your kitty’s litter box a simpler task with Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter. These long-lasting crystals lock in odor better than traditional clay litter are soft on your cat’s paws. While cleaning up, unused crystals sift through scooper, allowing them to last up to one month. This litter also minimizes the dust produced in the litter box for cleaner surfaces and air. Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter absorbs moisture on contact so consider it a great way to keep your paw-tner happy, healthy and, above all, clean.

Pine Litter

This type of litter is recycled and made with old lumber scraps that are treated and formed into small pellets. You can buy this litter in crushed, pellet or granular form. You have to replace it more often, but many cats seem to enjoy it.

Bad Smell? 6 Facts to Know Before Buying

If you are in the market for the best cat litter for odor control because of the smelly litter box odors, here are a few facts you should know first.

Some Cats Don’t Like a Change in Their Litter

Even if you are changing the litter to benefit your cat, some felines are stubborn (which shouldn’t be surprising) and resist change, so they may not like the new litter.

Cats are Very Sensitive to Smell

Many cats won’t use their litter box when it is dirty. However, cats may also be sensitive to scented litters as well.

Is Your Cat Notably Stubborn?

If you are looking to change their litter, start by mixing your old litter with your new litter so their box is half and half. After a few weeks, transition to all new litter. It can help with the change.

kitten standing in the worlds best cat litter box

A Scented Litter Won’t Necessarily Fight Odor

Scented litter might not get rid of that cat waste smell any better, it may just have a scent and nothing else.

Most Cats Prefer Fine-Grain Litters

If you have small kittens in the home, this type of litter can be dangerous. Young cats may accidentally swallow this type of litter.

Does Your Cat Tend to Play in Their Litter Box?

If you are worried about pellets and granules in your home that make the odor worse, consider non-tracking cat litter that won’t stick on their paws.

Your Kitty’s Private Space! Best Litter Box for Cats

As you search for the best litter box for cats, remember this is a private space for your pet so it shouldn’t only be comfortable for your cat, but it should be in a convenient, quiet place away from all of the commotion of your household.

From self-cleaning litter boxes and fully automatic litter boxes, to owner-cleaning litter boxes (aka your hard-working hands), there really isn’t one best litter box for cats.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when on the lookout for one. The litter box should be big enough for your cat to stand and turn around in. You will also need to decide between a covered and uncovered box for your pet.

Ultimately, when it comes to finding the best litter box for cats of any type, it just means finding a box that your cat prefers, which may take some trial and error.

Covered Litter Box Vs Uncovered Litter Box

There are two main types of cat litter boxes available—covered litter boxes and uncovered litter boxes. The covered cat litter boxes provide more privacy for your pet, while the uncovered ones are more open.

If you are looking to pay a little more, self-cleaning litter boxes and fully automatic litter boxes are also either covered or uncovered.

Some cats prefer covered. Others feel it is too enclosed and may feel claustrophobic inside. So, they may refuse to go in at all. This is all up to your cat’s preference.

6 Tips On How to Clean a Litter Box

Now that you have your kitty litter box all set up and ready, you need to know how to keep that litter box clean. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Always clean your cat’s litter box with a mask and rubber gloves. Cat urine and feces can be dangerous to humans.
  2. Scoop feces and urine clumps out of the kitty litter daily.
  3. Replace your cat’s entire litter box at least once per week.
  4. Removing the liner or litter tray alone isn’t the same as cleaning the box. Make sure to scrub the actual litter box regularly.
  5. After cleaning the litter box, always put it back in the same place so your cat can find it.
  6. There is such a thing as an automatic self-cleaning cat litter box. However, this doesn’t mean the box never has to be hand cleaned.

kitten playing with the best clumping cat litter

Odor Control = Happy Pet Parent

As a pet parent, you always first and foremost want to make sure that your cats are happy and healthy, but keeping their litter box odor under control likely comes in a close second.

These tips on finding the best cat litter for odor control are a great place to start, and you can always add an additional cat litter deodorizer product to your litter as well if odors continue to be a concern.

Without a disruptive kitty litter odor, you can rest assured that your pet’s litter box isn’t interfering with your home. On top of that, know that your precious cat has a safe and sanitary place to use the bathroom.

Common Questions on the Best Cat Litter

What is the difference between scented and unscented cat litter?

Is there a type of litter most cats prefer?

How do I get rid of bad odor in my cat’s litter box?

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