- The best thing you can do to reduce litter box odor is to scoop your litter box daily and replace the litter once a week. Routine litter box maintenance will prevent clumps and odors.
- On top of daily litter box maintenance, there are some products you can use to reduce litter box odors as well.
- Generously sized for large cats and multi-cat households, the Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan is our top pick. With its hooded design and removable carbon filter, it removes dust and ammonia odors, making the litter box a safer and more pleasant place for your cat to do its business.
As cute and cuddly as your cat may be, there are certain things that make it a challenge to live with. Maybe it has a tendency to knock things off the table, or maybe it attacks your feet when you walk by. Every cat has its own quirks that make it unique, but all cats have one thing in common: They like to do their business in the privacy of a litter box.
Though your cat’s litter box is its own private space, not everything that happens in the litter box stays in the litter box. This is particularly true for litter box odors. If you own a cat, scooping litter is a fact of life, but you don’t have to deal with the smell of the litter box during the in-between times. There are several simple things you can do to reduce litter box odors to make your home a more pleasant place for yourself and your cat.
When it comes to reducing odor, the best thing you can do is scoop regularly – at least once a day to remove clumps. Replace the litter once a week, and swap out your old box for a new one about once a year. On top of performing these basic maintenance tasks, there are some products that can help reduce odor.
Here are the best products you can buy to reduce litter box odor:
- Best cat litter box: Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan
- Best cat litter: Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
- Best cat litter deodorizer: NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer
- Best litter box filter to control odor: Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Charcoal Filters
- Best air purifier: Coway Airmega 200M HEPA Air Purifier
The best cat litter box
Generously sized for large cats and multi-cat households, the Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan has a replaceable carbon filter that removes dust and ammonia odors.
The best way to keep litter box odors from taking over your house is to keep the litter box clean. If you’re willing to spend several hundreds of dollars, you can purchase a self-cleaning litter box like the Litter Robot III. Though a fully automatic litter box would spare you the work of scooping the box, we decided to go with something a little more practical and much more affordable. Our top pick for the best cat litter box to reduce odor is the Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan.
This hooded litter box is jumbo-size, making it a great option for multicat households and for larger cats who need a little extra space. Overall, it measures 18.3 inches long, 15.3 inches wide, and 22.4 inches high. The larger size also means it can hold more litter to cover up stinky messes. Speaking of odor, the Catit features a large front opening (10.4 inches high by 9.6 inches wide) with a removable clear plastic door that helps contain odor while also maximizing privacy. What really helps with odor control, however, is the included disposable carbon filter.
Bustle names the Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan their top pick for the best cat litter box for odor control, commenting on the size of the hood and how easy it is to remove for cleaning. Catalogical also gives this litter box a favorable review, calling it their best affordable option. They pay particular attention to the carbon filter, which removes dust particles and ammonia odors, making the litter box a safer and more pleasant space for your cat.
The Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan is affordably priced under $30 and has a solid 4-star rating on Amazon with more than 500 reviews. It also carries an Amazon’s Choice award and gets rave reviews from customers who love the generous size and long-lasting durability.
Pros: Great for multicat households, hooded design with plastic door contains odors, disposable carbon filter, very affordable
Cons: Large size requires more litter to fill, takes up a significant amount of floor space
The best cat litter
With hard-clumping action to lock in odors, this medium-grain cat litter will control odor for days on end. It is also easy to scoop and works well in sifting litter boxes.
Choosing the right litter box to control odors is only half of the equation – you also need to choose the right cat litter. Though it may be tempting to choose a cat litter loaded with fragrance to cover up unpleasant smells, scented cat litter isn’t always the best choice. Artificial fragrances can irritate your cat’s nose and eyes, plus the scent can become overconcentrated in a covered litter box. That’s why our top pick for the best cat litter to reduce odor is Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter.
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra is a medium-grain clumping cat litter made from clay, so it may be a little heavier than some cat litters, but that helps to reduce tracking. It is a hypoallergenic formula and 99.9% dust-free, making it easy on your cat’s respiratory system and on families with allergies. Though it contains no artificial fragrances, its superior odor-control technology keeps your home smelling fresh day in and day out.
Wirecutter named Dr. Elsey’s Ultra their top pick, saying that it “keeps odors at bay as well as almost any other litter we tested, without adding other weird smells to the mix.” The Spruce Pets also awards it their best overall pick, commenting on its odor-controlling ability, which works well even in small spaces and with multiple cats.
We aren’t the only ones who love Dr. Elsey’s Ultra-Premium Clumping Cat Litter. With nearly 16,000 reviews on Amazon, this cat litter manages to hold a steady 4-star rating. Customers love the hypoallergenic, dust-free formula and its strong clumping action.
Pros: Hypoallergenic with no fragrance, dust-free formula, hard-clumping action locks in odor, works well in sifting or mechanical boxes
Cons: Sold in large bags which can be very heavy, high volumes of liquid may cause wet litter to stick to the pan
The best cat litter deodorizer
Rather than covering up litter box odors with artificial fragrance, eliminate them at the source with NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer. This granule-based deodorizer tackles tough odors.
Even if you choose the right litter and the right litter box, odors are going to happen, especially in a multi-cat household. Give your litter box a boost of odor-eliminating power with a cat litter deodorizer like NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer. We chose this product over other options because it actually eliminates odors instead of masking them. This formula is completely fragrance-free and actually helps extend the life of your litter as well.
NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer is more concentrated than other formulas, so it is powerful enough to tackle even strong ammonia odors. It is made from zeolite, a mineral that neutralizes odors at the source. It is easy to use as well – just sprinkle it over the litter to remove odors in minutes for a fresher home free from unpleasant smells.
Cat Litter Help includes NonScents in their list of the best cat litter deodorizers, calling it one of the most popular and effective granule-based litter box deodorants on the market. They do note, however, that it is more expensive than deodorizing powders.
With over 1,900 reviews on Amazon, NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer carries a 4.4-star rating. Customers love the fragrance-free formula, though there are some comments that multicat households may go through the product fairly quickly.
Pros: Highly concentrated formula eliminates odors, made from natural zeolite, no artificial fragrance, extends the life of litter
Cons: More expensive than powder deodorizers
The best litter box filter to control odor
Affordably priced and designed for use with all hooded litter boxes, these Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Charcoal Filters last for up to three months and are quick and easy to install – simply trim it to fit.
One of the main benefits of a hooded litter box is an added degree of privacy for your cat. More importantly, however, a covered design helps contain litter box odors. To maximize odor control, many hooded litter boxes incorporate carbon filters to remove odors and keep things fresh. Our top pick for the best litter box filter to control odor is Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Charcoal Filters because they are designed to work with any hooded cat litter box.
These Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Charcoal Filters are the perfect fit for most covered litter boxes since they can be trimmed to size. They come in a two-pack and are quick and easy to install. Simply remove the old filter and tuck it into place. Each filter lasts for up to three months, providing continuous odor control to keep your litter box and home smelling fresh and clean.
On Chewy, these filters have more than 130 reviews and a 4.1-star rating. There are some comments that they might need to be trimmed to fit, but generally speaking they are easy to install. On Amazon, these Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Charcoal Filters have over 100 reviews and carry both a 4.3-star rating and an Amazon’s Choice award.
Pros: Very affordable price, can be trimmed to size, charcoal traps odors to keep the litter box fresh, each lasts for up to three months
Cons: May be thinner than other replacement filters, some cats scratch at the filter inside the litter box
The best air purifier
Highly effective against pet odors and reasonably priced, the Coway Airmega 200M is a powerful air purifier with a filtration system that can capture 99.97% of particles in the air.
Litter box odor is unpleasant, but some people are more sensitive to it than others. If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, the dust from your litter box could be just as problematic as the odor. Air purifiers are a great way to eliminate litter box odor while removing other pollutants from the air. Our top pick for the best air purifier for litter box odor – and the best air purifier overall – is the Coway Airmega 200M.
The Coway Airmega 200M Air Purifier has a four-stage filtration system (a pre-filter, an odor filter, a true HEPA filter, and a bipolar ionizer) that can capture 99.97% of particles in the air, which makes it ideal for eliminating pet dander, odors, and allergens.
With an air quality indicator that monitors the air quality within your home, the Airmega 200M purifier offers energy-efficient operation. It adjusts its fan speed according to the your home’s air quality and shuts off when no pollutants are detected for 30 minutes. And to ensure that you’re always getting the most out of this system, it has a filter indicator that alerts you when you need filter changes.
Aside from its performance, the Coway Airmega 200M Air Purifier is a compact machine that works in spaces up to 361 square feet. Measuring 10 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 18 inches high, it is has a small footprint that is ideal for tight spaces.
Wired named the Coway Airmega 200M their top pick for an air purifier, saying, “When my dog plopped down in her dog bed, or even when I cooked bacon with the bedroom door open, the Airmega 200M roared to life.”
Pros: Compact, odor-reducing, highly effective, automatic detection and power saving, four types of filtration
Cons: Covers fewer square feet than some competing models