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10 Best Air Fresheners for Your Cat – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Chris Dinesen Rogers

By Chris Dinesen Rogers

woman spraying air freshener at home

The 45.3 million American households with at least one resident cat get it—the last thing you want is for anyone to know you have a feline companion by scent alone.1 The ideal scenario is that it’s not evident that any animal lives in your home. Cats try to make it easy by being facetious groomers. Nonetheless, there are times when you have to call in the big guns.

Our guide will cover everything you need to know about the best air fresheners to use in a cat household. We’ve included detailed reviews of some of our favorite products to get you started on your search.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Tough Stuff Tap-A-Drop Tough Stuff Tap-A-Drop
  • Long-lasting
  • Only requires 1 drop of solution
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pet House Pumpkin Spice Car Air Freshener Pet House Pumpkin Spice Car Air Freshener
  • Non-toxic
  • Pleasing scent
  • Affordably priced
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Pet Odor Exterminator Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener Pet Odor Exterminator Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener
  • Pleasing scent
  • Concentrated spray
  • Odor eliminator
  • Aroma Car Love Ocean Calm Car Air Freshener Aroma Car Love Ocean Calm Car Air Freshener
  • Cute design
  • Nice fragrance
  • Convenient to use
  • Febreze Air Effects Ocean Scent Air Freshener Febreze Air Effects Ocean Scent Air Freshener
  • Light
  • Fine mist
  • Calming scent
  • The 10 Best Cat-Safe Air Fresheners

    1. Tough Stuff Tap-A-Drop – Best Overall

    Tough Stuff Tap-A-Drop

    Check Price on Chewy
    Form: Liquid concentrate
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 0.5 ounces

    Tough Stuff Tap-A-Drop is something you have to try to believe that it works. The manufacturer says only one drop of the product is necessary to eliminate odors for 24 hours. Add the fact that it’s USA-made, and you have the best overall air freshener on our list. It has a scent that comes across as strong at first. That’s not unexpected, given that it’s composed of 70 essential oils.

    We’re not very concerned about the formula since the amount of one drop is negligible. However, it might be problematic if your cat has a known allergy. Nevertheless, we liked that it does double its duty with an odor eliminator and a pleasant scent.

    Pros
    • Excellent value for the price
    • USA-made
    • Long-lasting
    • Only requires 1 drop of solution
    Cons
    • An undisclosed proprietary essential oil formula

    2. Pet House Pumpkin Spice Car Air Freshener – Best Value

    Pet House Pumpkin Spice Car Air Freshener

    Form: Car air freshener
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: N/A

    The Pet House Pumpkin Spice Car Air Freshener is a great way to make your car smell clean and fresh with a scent we adore year-round. Cats not used to being in a vehicle make a product like this one necessary. It’s a hands-off solution to unpleasant pet odors. It’s value-priced, making it the best air freshener for the money. It contains essential oils, but they are non-toxic to pets, so you don’t have to worry about your cat batting it.

    The paw shape is adorable. On top of that, the manufacturer offers products in different scents. However, we are in love with this one. We understand that others might not be as enthusiastic about pumpkin spice, but the only issue we have with the air freshener is that it makes us hungry!

    Pros
    • USA-made
    • Affordably priced
    • Non-toxic
    • Pleasing scent
    Cons
    • Seasonal scent

    3. Pet Odor Exterminator Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener – Premium Choice

    Pet Odor Exterminator Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener

    Form: Spray
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 2.5-ounce and 7-ounce bottles

    Pet Odor Exterminator Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener ticks off all the boxes we like to see in these products. The scent is delightful. Although you can use it for pet odors, you’ll find plenty of other places where it will hit the right note. The manufacturer makes sprays with different scents, but vanilla is our favorite. The product contains enzymes that do a fantastic job of eliminating odors.

    You can buy the 7-ounce spray, which includes a 2.5-ounce traveler. It’s more expensive than other comparable air fresheners, but the two-pack takes the sting out of the price.

    Pros
    • Odor eliminator
    • Two available sizes
    • Concentrated spray
    • Pleasing scent
    Cons
    • Occasional quality control issues

    4. Aroma Car Love Ocean Calm Car Air Freshener

    Aroma Car Love Pets Dog Ocean Calm Car Air Freshener

    Form: Car air freshener
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: N/A

    Aroma Car Love Ocean Calm Car Air Freshener bills itself as something you’d use in a vehicle. However, it’ll work any place you want to feel the sea breeze. It’ll probably have a relaxing effect on you, too. You can use it in your ride or hang it over an air vent in the house for a DIY air freshener. We thought the design was adorable! It’s enough to sell us on the product.

    Manufacturers of these items walk a fine line between strong and too faint. We thought the scent hit the sweet spot. Some buyers disagreed and considered it too faint to be of significant value.

    Pros
    • Nice fragrance
    • Convenient to use
    • Cute design
    Cons
    • Scent too faint for some customers

    5. Febreze Air Effects Ocean Scent Air Freshener

    Febreze Air Effects Ocean Scent Air Freshener

    Form: Spray
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 8.8 ounces

    The Febreze Air Effects Ocean Scent Air Freshener is another stellar offering from the manufacturer synonymous with this product category. The blend of scents is interesting, with hinoki, ginger, and waterlily providing the aromas. It’s distinctive and sure to catch your attention. You can use it to freshen the air but not on fabrics.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t eliminate odors even if it leaves a pleasant scent in its wake. It’s light and not too perfumey. The mist is fine and lightweight, even when it comes to the heaviness of the aromas.

    Pros
    • Calming scent
    • Light
    • Fine mist
    Cons
    • Ineffective against odors

    6. Febreze Unstopables Fresh Wax Melts Air Freshener

    Febreze Unstopables Fresh Wax Melts Air Freshener

    Form: Wax melt
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: N/A

    The Febreze Unstopables Fresh Wax Melts Air Freshener offers a continuous solution for unpleasant odors. It requires an outlet to work and provides a pleasing scent that freshens a room but doesn’t eliminate any existing bad smells. However, it still makes the room smell nice. It may last a long time when you use it, but it’s not a permanent solution.

    The scent is strong, yet not disagreeable. It reminds us of freshly laundered clothes without being too strong to run us out of the room.

    Pros
    • Lasts for hours
    • Can be reused for several occasions
    Cons
    • Not an odor eliminator
    • Pricey
    • Requires a wax melter

    7. Fresh Step Fresh Scent Cat Litter Deodorizing Crystals

    Fresh Step Fresh Scent Cat Litter Deodorizing Crystals

     

    Form: Crystals
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 15 ounces and 70 ounces

    Fresh Step Fresh Scent Cat Litter Deodorizing Crystals works well because it goes to the source of the problem. It’s convenient to use since you’re cleaning the litter box daily, anyway. The scented crystals might seem overwhelming to some, though.

    It comes in two sizes, but they don’t always smell the same, pointing to some quality control issues.

    The crystals are non-toxic and pet-friendly. It does a decent job of eliminating odors. Plus, it’s value-priced, making it worth a look if you’re in the market for an air freshener in the cat room.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Non-toxic
    Cons
    • Very strong
    • Quality control issues between sizes

    8. Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder

    Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder

    Form: Powder
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 20 ounces and 30 ounces

    Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder works by neutralizing odors. Cat urine is acidic, which the alkalinity of the baking soda can eliminate. Moisture activates it, making it an effective solution at the source. The scent takes it to the next level to get something else on board once the odors are gone. Since it is scented baking soda, it is quite dusty.

    The product is pet-friendly, so you needn’t have any qualms about using it. Our only concern would be with cats with existing respiratory issues.

    Pros
    • Odor eliminator
    • Pet-friendly
    Cons
    • Dusty
    • Not appropriate for all cats

    9. Arm & Hammer Daily Litter Fragrance Booster Spray

    Arm & Hammer Daily Litter Fragrance Booster Spray

    Form: Spray
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 21.5 ounces

    Arm & Hammer Daily Litter Fragrance Booster Spray contains baking soda, making it an excellent way to neutralize odors. You can use it directly in your cat’s box. It won’t affect the performance or clumping of the litter inside it. It has a mild scent that isn’t offensive, and the manufacturer recommends you use it for the litter box only. It’ll freshen the room wherever you put it!

    The spray is value-priced and a great way to use baking soda for its odor-neutralizing properties.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Odor neutralizer
    • Fine mist
    Cons
    • Occasional quality control issues

    10. Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Gel Beads

    Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Gel Beads

    Form: Gel beads
    Scented: Yes
    Available sizes: 12 ounces

    The Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Gel Beads are a hands-off solution for eliminating odors, thanks to the baking soda in the ingredients. They’re like a candle that you don’t light. The beads absorb the foul smells while leaving a pleasant scent in their wake. They couldn’t be easier to use. The product isn’t expensive, either, making it a worthwhile consideration.

    The beads are non-toxic to pets. Their form makes them attractive as decorative pieces. The scent is strong when you first open the container, and it dissipates slowly and takes a while to notice.

    Pros
    • Easy to use
    • Affordably priced
    Cons
    • Slow acting
    • Strong scent

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Air Freshener for Your Cat

    Choosing the best air freshener is somewhat subjective. What works for one pet owner might not work for another. You’ll likely see a dizzying array of options. So, let’s begin with the things to consider when comparison shopping. They include the following:

    • Purpose
    • Form
    • Scent
    • Usage

    Purpose

    This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth discussing to ensure you get the right product for the job. Do you want to eliminate odors coming from the litter box? Are you looking for something fragrant to freshen a room? The former will lead you down a different path than the latter. Something with enzymes to break down the source of the odors is necessary. You shouldn’t just cover up unpleasant smells since they’ll only get worse.

    Adorable cat near litter tray indoors
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    Form

    This market has expanded incredibly in the last several years. It used to be that your only choice was a perfumey aerosol that was almost more disagreeable than the odors you wanted to eliminate. They still exist, but you’ll also find sprays, diffusers, reed diffusers, solid odor absorbers, and plug-in products. Let where you plan to use the air freshener guide your selection. Start by considering what surfaces may come in contact with it.

    Aerosols, sprays, or other liquid air fresheners could mar hardwood floors or furniture. Manufacturers typically will caution you to test products in an inconspicuous place if you must apply them to surfaces. The other thing to keep in mind is your pet. Many household products are potentially poisonous if ingested. Some can cause skin irritation or minor stomach discomfort.

    Plug-ins that work 24/7 may present respiratory issues for sensitive pets or those with pre-existing conditions. That’s especially true in poorly ventilated rooms. It’s worth mentioning that cats can smell a lot better than people with 40 times more scent receptors. What seems pleasant to you can be a sensory overload for your pet. If an air freshener seems strong to you, just imagine what your cat is experiencing.


    Scent

    Some air fresheners neutralize odors instead of filling a room with scent. If you have sensitive individuals in your household, you should consider getting an unscented product. It can work just as well without making anyone uncomfortable. Remember that comfort is probably your main motivation for looking into these products.

    Of course, you can’t smell an air freshener online. That’s why we suggest checking for a guarantee or return policy. A product with a satisfaction guarantee includes whether you like the scent or not.

    Humans have two types of sensory receptors. Tonic receptors include sound, pain, and light. We adapt slowly to them since they can involve survival. On the other hand, phasic receptors quickly move on to the next stimulus.

    The takeaway is that you’ll notice the scent of an air freshener when you first use it or enter a room where it has been used. Then, your body will tune it out after your brain has figured out it’s harmless or unnecessary to revisit. A product that smells strong at first may dissipate or fade into the background after a while.


    Usage

    Usage is an essential factor when deciding on an air freshener. Check the manufacturer’s website for the proper way to use the product. Find out how long it will last and when you need to get replacements in the case of plug-ins. These things can help you decide if it’s a good value for the price. We also suggest checking on the safety of the product if you have other pets.

    Something safe for cats and dogs might be inappropriate for small animals or birds. We strongly urge you to reach out to the manufacturer if it’s not evident on the label or the description.

    woman spraying air freshener at home
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    A Word About Ingredients

    Manufacturers may or may not be transparent about the ingredients making up the scents of their products. You may see terms like floral or tropical for air fresheners that have blends of different aromas. However, we suggest using caution with any item with essential oils. They are concentrated forms of volatile chemicals that give things their distinctive smells.

    Remember that cats aren’t little people. What’s safe for you might not be the case for your pet. While some essential oils aren’t harmful, others are problematic. They include the following:

    • Cinnamon
    • Eucalyptus
    • Clove
    • Citrus
    • Peppermint
    • Tea tree

    That brings usage to the forefront again. Skin or respiratory irritation is always a risk, no matter what the scent. Animals with pre-existing conditions are at the greatest risk of a reaction. However, you should also proceed cautiously if your pet can access the air freshener.

    Your cat must not be able to access and ingest any air freshener products. It is best to use them with caution and while your pet is not in the room.

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    Conclusion

    After tallying up our reviews, Tough Stuff Tap-A-Drop is our choice for the best air fresheners for cats. However, the Pet House Pumpkin Spice Car Air Freshener is another good option if you’re trying to save some cash. Either way, any of these choices will be sure to keep your home smelling animal-free.


    Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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