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6 Best Cat Litters for Odor Control in 2021 – Reviews & Guide

kitten in litter box looking up

If you have a feline that’s good at releasing toxic fumes from their backside, you’ll give anything to mask the stench. Some cats just have a knack for fuming up the whole house with their bodily odors. Or maybe you have a few cats in a desperate battle to outdo the others—either way, it’s unpleasant, to put it mildly.

If you find yourself gagging every time they exit their litter box, you know it’s time to start hunting for some magical odor-fighting power. Our reviews explore six types of litter powerful enough to mask the strongest scents—we think your cat may have finally met their match. Let’s peek at the best litters for odor control.

A Look at Our Favorites (Updated in 2021)

Rating Image Product Details
Winner
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat
  • Ultra Odor Blasters for optimal odor control
  • 100% dust-free
  • 7-day odor protection
  • Second place
    Fresh Step Odor Shield Fresh Step Odor Shield
  • Febreze ammonia-lock technology combats tough odors
  • Packs together without falling apart
  • Long-lasting scent
  • Third place
    Tidy Cats Lightweight Tidy Cats Lightweight
  • 14-day ammonia blocking guarantee
  • Very lightweight
  • A pleasant, subtle scent
  • Fresh Step Ultra Unscented Litter Fresh Step Ultra Unscented Litter
  • Unscented
  • Protects against bacterial growth
  • Uses activated charcoal
  • Nature's Miracle Odor Control Nature's Miracle Odor Control
  • Safe for all pets
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Natural corn cob and bio-enzymatic properties
  • The 6 Best Cat Litters for Odor Control

    1. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat

    Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Odor Fighting Ingredients: Ultra Odor Blasters
    Absorbency: High
    Dust: Moderate
    Tracking: Moderate
    Granule Size: Small

    Of all the great products we reviewed, the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-cat litter is our favorite. It has intense odor-fighting properties that combat even the most challenging smells. If you have multiple cats or simply want to reduce litter box odors, this is a winning ticket.

    If you are having trouble finding the time to scoop your cat box daily, this litter has a 7-day odor-free guarantee. The added Ultra Odor Blasters counteract urine and fecal matter to create a more pleasant atmosphere.

    This formula is also 100% dust-free, which isn’t typical of a clumping litter. There are no irritating clouds to account for, although we still did notice some airborne debris when you pour it from a higher range.

    The most apparent downfall we see is that this litter has harsh chemicals to combat the odor. If you were looking for a more natural litter for a sensitive kitty, this wouldn’t work as well.

    To conclude, we think this is the best cat litter for odor control available.

    Pros
    • Ultra Odor Blasters for optimal odor control
    • 100% dust-free
    • 7-day odor protection
    • Multi-cat household-friendly

    Cons

    • Not natural


    2. Fresh Step Odor Shield

    Fresh Step Odor Shield Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Odor Fighting Ingredients: Febreze with ammonia-lock technology
    Absorbency: High
    Dust: Low
    Tracking: Moderate
    Granule Size: Small

    Fresh Step Odor Shield kitty litter is a powerful odor reducer that is absolutely worth a mention. With ammonia-lock technology, your litter box will burst with the smell of Febreze—and not waste odors. The granules are small for ultra packing, adhering to waste to make easy-to-clean clumps.

    Unlike some other litters, Fresh Step doesn’t fall apart or leave behind small clods of debris. You can get a fresh clean anytime you scoop. The lasting scent lingers, combating smells long after you add it in. The absorbency is top-notch—and we think your kitty will love the texture of the granules.

    The formula label claims it combats these harsh smells for up to 10 days—but we think your litter box will need a little refill refresher each time you clean the box. The litter is 99.9% dust-free, so it shouldn’t irritate your cat’s sensitivities.

    Pros
    • Febreze ammonia-lock technology combats tough odors
    • Packs together without falling apart
    • Long-lasting scent

    Cons

    • Needs a refresher each time you clean


    3. Tidy Cats Lightweight

    Tidy Cats Lightweight

    Odor Fighting Ingredients: Glade Odor Solutions
    Absorbency: High
    Dust: Low
    Tracking: Moderate
    Granule Size: Small

    Tidy Cats Lightweight litter is true to its title—it’s so much lighter than competing brands. It’s easy on the back—and each time you have to scoop, the soiled litter will be a breeze to dispose of. We think it smells completely fresh without the scent being overbearing or chemical-smelling.

    This litter forms tight clumps for quick cleanup. The formula is clay-based with ammonia blockers to reduce strong urine. If you haven’t been able to find a lightweight litter that does the job—look no further. This one is definitely worth a try.

    At 99.9% dust-free, this product has a 14-day ammonia blocking guarantee, but you have to use it exactly as directed. It’s essential to clean your cat box daily, refilling it as necessary to reap the full benefits.

    Pros
    • 14-day ammonia blocking guarantee
    • Very lightweight
    • A pleasant, subtle scent

    Cons

    • Won’t work unless used as directed


    4. Fresh Step Ultra Unscented Litter

    Fresh Step Ultra Unscented Litter

    Odor Fighting Ingredients: Activated Charcoal Bacterial Odor Protection
    Absorbency: High
    Dust: Low
    Tracking: Moderate
    Granule Size: Small

    If you were looking for a more natural approach but still want all the benefits of odor-fighting litters, check out Fresh Step Ultra Unscented Litter. This formula uses bacterial odor protection to get to the root cause of smells, defeating them with unscented, activated charcoal.

    This product offers 10-day odor guarantees, meaning you will have to change the litter less frequently in comparison to some. It has tiny green granules that activate carbon traps to seal in any of the gross stuff.

    Scooping is no issue here. As soon as moisture hits this best odor control cat litter, it clings, so it doesn’t seep through to the bottom. When you pour, it does seem to have more dust than some other types, so if you have an extra sensitive cat, it might not be as dust-free as advertising would claim.

    It’s perfect for single or multi-cat households—so overall, we think it’s a terrific choice if you want to avoid perfumes and strong scents.

    Pros
    • Unscented
    • Uses activated charcoal
    • Protects against bacterial growth

    Cons

    • A bit dusty


    5. Nature’s Miracle Odor Control

    Nature's Miracle Odor Control

    Odor Fighting Ingredients: Bio-enzymatic formula
    Absorbency: High
    Dust: Low
    Tracking: Moderate
    Granule Size: Small

    We were pretty impressed with the overall efficiency of Nature’s Miracle Odor Control. It is made of crushed corn cob that is totally cat-safe and environmentally friendly. This updated formula uses a bio-enzymatic property that effectively asserts control over litter box odors.

    This is a clumping litter, creating an excellent barrier around urine and feces. But because the granules are small, they can get stuck to your cat’s feet, which can cause a bit of tracking. But we think that a litter mat can catch most of the remnants for you.

    This product is scent-free, but we still think it carries a very earthy smell pleasing to the senses. It is safe for all pets in the home. So, if your dog likes to sample your cat’s latest droppings, this litter won’t harm them.

    One significant upside is that this best cat litter for odor product has a total satisfaction guarantee right on the bag. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can contact the company to make it right.

    Pros
    • Safe for all pets
    • Natural corn cob and bio-enzymatic properties
    • Money-back guarantee

    Cons

    • Does cause tracking


    6. Cat’s Pride Unscented Total Odor Control

    Cat's Pride Unscented Total Odor Control

    Odor Fighting Ingredients: Dual clay blend
    Absorbency: High
    Dust: Low
    Tracking: Moderate
    Granule Size: Small

    Cat’s Pride Unscented Total Odor Control is an honorable mention that is affordable, lightweight, and odor-reducing. It uses a dual-clay blend with a patented maximum power formula, keeping things fresh for up to 10 days.

    This is 25% lighter than competitors’ brands and 99.9% dust-free. It has all of the odor-fighting power you’re looking for while being safe for most healthy housecats. It does clump nicely, which makes scooping a simple process.

    Even though this best cat litter for smell is an odor-fighting litter, we noticed that it seemed like the smells kind of stuck to the litter over time. So, even after vigorous cleaning, it held a residual smell. If you opt for this litter, you might have to change it entirely about once per week.

    Pros
    • Dual-clay blend for odor control
    • Lightweight
    • Patented formula

    Cons

    • Might need to be changed frequently


    Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Cat Litter for Odor Control

    Litter box problems can be some of the most significant hiccups when you own a cat. It seems like you’re always trying out different products, tips, and tricks, to keep their bathroom use discrete. Sometimes, it can be challenging to find an effective and healthy development for your felines.

    So, what exactly should you look for when you’re shopping? Below, we will discuss how to swim through products to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

    Cat Waste Odors

    Cat urine has a very unmistakable smell—ammonia. It’s super overwhelming and can be very hard to hide. Their poop is no different in terms of pungency. So having major odor control is one of the primary aspects of purchasing litter.

    Clumping vs. Non-Clumping Litters

    There are two types of litter—clumping and non-clumping. Here’s a breakdown of the positives and negatives of each type.

    Clumping Litter

    Clumping litter often uses sodium bentonite to immediately draw to cat waste, creating a protective barrier around it. These litters are much easier to scoop up, only focusing on soiled areas.

    Pros
    • Easy to scoop
    • Clings to waste
    • Keeps litter cleaner

    Cons

    • Higher tracking
    • Higher dust
    • More chemical compounds

    Non-Clumping Litter

    Non-clumping litter often uses natural fibers to soak up urine and fecal matter. They tend to be better options for cats with allergies or dust-related sensitivities. But they are harder to scoop due to the size of the litter.

    Pros
    • Often made of natural materials
    • Higher absorbency
    • No added dyes, perfumes, or fragrance

    Cons

    • Doesn’t clump
    • Cannot scoop
    • Litter dirties faster

    Litter tray and scoop for cat on floor
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    Powerful Odor Fighters

    Each odor-fighting litter comes with its own formula designed to reduce the unpleasant smells of cat waste. Companies accomplish this through various avenues, making suitable formulas for cat owners everywhere.

    • Fragrance
    • Natural compounds
    • Baking soda
    • Activated charcoal

    Chemical vs. Natural Odor Control

    There are tons of products on the market that offer chemical compounds to counteract bad odors. While this is majorly effective, it might concern some pet owners. Certain components can be irritating to cats over time.

    What is good for your sense of smell might not be so good for your felines. You should continuously monitor your cat’s behavior after changing their litter to ensure no symptomatic responses or allergic reactions.

    Many cat lovers try to opt for natural odor control to keep their kitties safe, but these products are sometimes less effective long-term. Scooping your cat box daily helps defeat most smell-related issues.

    Conclusion

    Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-cat litter is our favorite because we found that the odor control it offers is absolutely optimal. It has ultra odor-fighting powers that combat even the harshest smells. It also clumps well, providing an easy cleaning experience.

    If you want to save some cash, definitely check out Fresh Step Odor Shield. It is easy on the wallet but has all of the qualities you want in an odor-controlling cat litter.

    In any case, we hope our reviews introduced you to new and fantastic products that conquer the litter box once and for all.


    Featured Image Credit: Andrey_Kuzmin, Shutterstock

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