10 Best Cat Litters for Odor Control in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks


It’s no secret that our cats leave stink bombs that leave us feeling less than amused. Cleaning a litter box is a downright pain in the butt—and every cat owner knows it. So, to reduce the presence of stank, cat litter can help mask these odors effectively.

We took the liberty of testing 10 top-of-the-line cat litters to minimize litter box aromas. Here are our detailed reviews so you can easily spot the best option for your home.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

The 10 Best Cat Litters for Odor Control – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

1. Fresh Step Odor Control – Best Overall

Fresh Step Odor Control

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Clay
Dust Levels: 99.9% dust-free
Scent: Scented

Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control is a very strong litter to control litter box smells, and just so happens to be our favorite overall. This product won’t be for everyone, as it does have a mountain spring scent that won’t work for sensitive cats.

However, we loved the scent and think you will, too—as it works to mask and contain odors at the source. This brand uses the power of Febreze to overpower the urine and feces, so the box stays fresher longer.

This litter offers something called ClumpLock Technology, patented by the company. It targets smells, adhering immediately to the litter. It’s super affordable, super easy to scoop, and super smelling! What’s not to love?

Pros

  • Febreze mountain spring scent
  • ClumpLock Technology
  • Easy to scoop

Cons

  • Contains chemicals not suitable for sensitive cats

2. Cat’s Pride Unscented Total Litter Control – Best Value

Cat's Pride Unscented Total Litter Control

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Clay
Dust Levels: 99%
Scent: Unscented

If you’re looking for top-notch savings, we think you’ll find the Cat’s Pride Unscented Total Odor Control litter to be a favorite. This cat litter works even for sensitive kitties with a 99.9% dust-free formula—and the pourer probably won’t complain either.

This is a low-tracking formula that is 25% lighter than traditional clumping litters. It has a patented Max Power element that quickly adheres to the waste, clumping quickly and efficiently.

For being unscented, it takes care of odor with efficiency. The American Humane Society stands by this product, and you know how much they care about beloved pets! We did, however, notice it tracks more than some competitors.

Pros

  • 25% lighter than other clay litters
  • Unscented, but powerful odor control
  • Humane Society-approved

Cons

  • Higher tracking than competitors

3. WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER Multiple Cat – Premium Choice

World's Best Lavender Scented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Corn
Dust Levels: 99% dust-free
Scent: Scented

We love the light, airy scent and texture of the World’s Best Lavender-Scented Cat Litter. It’s scented with oil, so it’s not overpowering. The coolest thing about this product, however, is that it’s totally septic safe, making disposal a breeze.

In light of it being flushable, we are impressed at how well this litter clumps together. It lasts twice as long as some competitors.

Lavender isn’t the only scent you can pick, either. So don’t be afraid to explore the original unscented, multi-cat unscented, and lotus blossom scented. All have optimal odor control, but scents aren’t for everyone. The company has you covered.

The only thing we found that might deter buyers is the higher price tag—but the benefits may be worth it.

Pros

  • Lavender oil scented
  • Flushable
  • Clumps nicely

4. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra – Best for Kittens

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Clay
Dust Levels: 99% dust-free
Scent: Unscented

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra is a perfect odor fighter that works wonders in the home. This is a really environmentally friendly litter that thinks about the earth.

Dr. Elsey’s is made of premium medium-grain heavy clay that doesn’t track much at all. This product uses a malodor counteractant to cover the urine and feces smells that envelope the air of your home.

This litter is totally hypoallergenic, so it’s safe for all kitties, including sensitive kittens. This product is mechanical litter box friendly, too. So, you can use it no matter what type of litter box you have. This litter is a little heavy.

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Malodor counteractant
  • Hypoallergenic and safe

5. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Clay
Dust Levels: 100% dust-free
Scent: Scented

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter is a phenomenal pick for multi-cat households. This product is powerful, stopping odors at the source. However, we want to say right off the bat that this product is not natural, so it might not be for every cat.

This product has moisture-activated granules that seal odors, creating fast-acting clumps. It has baking soda to eliminate most of the smell right off the top. You will deal with very little scent after your cat uses the bathroom.

This litter has a guaranteed seven-day odor freshness. These microparticles are super soft, so this works well for easily irritated felines, too. However, this product does contain chemicals.

Pros

  • 7-day odor freshness
  • Soft moisture-activated particles
  • Baking soda for odor control

6. Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Clumping Litter

Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Clumping Litter

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Clay
Dust Levels: 99.9% dust-free
Scent: Scented

Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Clumping litter is made of natural clay and mineral, with a powerful kick. This intense deodorizing formula has very extreme odor and moisture control, creating compact clumps for easy cleaning.

What we loved most about this product, other than the right clump formation, is the lightness. It’s only a fraction of the weight of some competitors, making it stick directly to the waste where it’s easily scooped.

This litter neutralizes odors from waste, blocking ammonia for sometimes up to two full weeks—pretty impressive. Overall, we thought the masking and deodorizing properties were on point. We did think, however, that it’s a little dustier than advertised.

Pros

  • Very efficient deodorizer
  • Compact clumps
  • Lightweight

7. OKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter

OKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Wood
Dust Levels: 99%
Scent: Unscented

OKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter is a pretty interesting take on litter. This product is free of harmful additives and uses a natural approach to your kitty’s bathroom needs using porous wood fibers.

We thought the natural approach here was definitely worth crediting. It’s perfect for sensitive cats, as it won’t trigger respiratory or skin-related allergies. Also, if you’re sensitive to cat litter, this might help you tremendously when changing the litter as well.

Everything is recyclable—from the packaging to the litter. It’s definitely an innovative choice you might find very useful. However, it is slightly more expensive and a little difficult to scoop.

Pros

  • Free of harsh additives
  • All-natural wood shreds
  • Recyclable

Cons

  • Difficult to scoop
  • A little expensive

8. Purina Yesterday’s News Odor Control

Purina Yesterday’s News Odor Control

Type of Litter: Non-clumping
Material: Paper
Dust Levels: 99.7% dust-free
Scent: Unscented

Purina Yesterday’s News Odor Control is a non-clumping paper-based kitty litter that controls smells quite well. The paper pellets are super absorbent, soaking in and neutralizing feces and urine on contact.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, biodegradable product, this might be an excellent choice for you. Because the pellets are large, they are very low tracking, so you won’t find them scattered through your home.

Also, this particular litter is vet-recommended. It’s totally non-toxic and suitable for cats from all walks of life. But because it’s non-clumping, it is relatively hard to scoop.

Pros

  • Biodegradable
  • Low tracking
  • Non-toxic

Cons

  • Non-clumping aspect makes cleaning difficult

9. Naturally Fresh Cat Litter (Walnut)

Naturally Fresh Cat Litter (Walnut)

Type of Litter: Clumping
Material: Walnut shell
Dust Levels: 100% dust-free
Scent: Unscented

If you’ve never heard of walnut cat litter, let us introduce you to the Naturally Fresh Cat Litter. It is 100% biodegradable, and this particular formula is made to combat tough odors. The natural walnut smell overpowers the odors associated with the litter box quite well.

Naturally Fresh claims to absorb odors better than competitors by up to three times. We can vouch for the fact that this litter is fast-acting, absorbent, and scent-trapping.

This organic litter is comprised of only plant-based, non-GMO, solar-produced products. If you’re all about saving the environment one step at a time, this is definitely a cat litter you should try out.

However, we noticed that it’s dustier than advertised. So, note that there may be some clouds when pouring.

Pros

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Organic non-GMO

10. So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter

So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter

Type of Litter: Non-clumping
Material: Paper
Dust Levels: 99% dust-free
Scent: Scented

First of all, we love the fresh, but not overpowering scent of So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter. We really liked that it’s highly absorbent and environmentally friendly, made of 95% post-consumer paper.

The only thing we really don’t enjoy is that cleaning is a bit more difficult. Because it’s non-clumping, it can soil more litter than necessary, causing some extra waste.

This product has both baking soda and zeolite for optimal odor control. However, when it comes to scooping, it’s not so easy. The non-clumping aspect can saturate more paper pellets than necessary since they aren’t specific.

If you can learn to maneuver the scoop, so you get problem areas right away, it’s definitely worth your money.

Pros

  • 95% consumer paper
  • Uses baking soda and zeolite for deodorizing
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Difficult to scoop
  • Dirties quickly

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Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to odor control, should you buy clumping or non-clumping litter? Manufacturers make these litters aimed at odor control in both variations.

Clumping

Clumping litter uses elements like silica or bentonite to soak up liquids and waste, forming solids. This feature makes scooping easier in most cases since the FedEx and urine stay contained without contaminating the rest of the litter.

Non-Clumping

Non-clumping litter is typically lower tracking than clumping, and there are some very excellent types on the market.

However, cat owners have one complaint: fecal matter and urine can seemingly waste more litter since they aren’t contained to one spot. Also, with clay non-clumping litters, urine can pool up on top which might create a mess.

Dirty Cat Litter
Image Credit: Ninotee, Shutterstock

Types of Litter

Clay

  • Commonly found
  • Many odor control options
  • Covers nicely

Tofu

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Often flushable and septic safe
  • Ultra-soft

Wood

  • Cheaper than some other litters
  • Natural odor control
  • Biodegradable

Paper

  • Recycled
  • Eco-friendly
  • Absorbent

Walnut

  • Strong scent
  • Clumps quickly
  • Easy to clean

Odor Control Factors

To control odor, different litters use various methods to minimize stench.

Here’s what you might see.

  • Baking soda
  • Zeolite
  • Natural material
  • Enzymes
  • Added fragrance
  • Activated charcoal
Cleaning litter with cat looking on
Image Credit: galkova, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

We hope you’ve found the next odor-reducing litter that works for your household. Our personal favorite was Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control because we loved the fresh scent and thought ClumpLock Technology worked wonders.

But if you want to save, Cat’s Pride Unscented Total Odor Control is the way to go. It’s totally lightweight and takes care of odors as it should. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, you found it—though it might not be as efficient as some others we reviewed.

Ultimately, you are the judge on what makes your house smell fecal matter-free.


Featured Image Credit: catinsyrup, Shutterstock

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