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The 5 Best Cat Litter Deodorizers

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Best Cat Litter Deodorizers

Mallory Crusta/Cats.com

Whether sprinkled into your cat’s litter, spritzed over the box, or plugged in somewhere nearby, cat litter deodorizers promise to destroy the litter box smell and earn you those “I forgot you had cats” comments from guests. Unfortunately, many deodorizers mask smells rather than eliminate them, contain potentially irritating ingredients, or just don’t work.

To figure out which products are worth a spot in your cat’s litter box, I’ve spent hours researching the litter deodorizer market, ordering a variety of products, and testing them with my cats.

Based on this research and testing, I’ve selected Scent Away’s All Natural Cat Litter Deodorizer as my number one recommendation. It’s fragrance-free and made from cat-friendly ingredients while doing a decent job of getting rid of the litter box smell. Read on to learn about this top recommendation and our other picks for the best cat litter deodorizers on the market.

At a Glance: Best Cat Litter Deodorizers to Buy

Clock
850
hours of
research
Eye
34
brands
vetted
Check
5
features
reviewed
Star
5
top
picks
Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Scent Away Litter Box Deodorizer

  • Has no added fragrances
  • Great for cats and people with sensitive noses
  • Uses proven, effective components
Runner Up
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer

  • Does an amazing job of eliminating litter box smell
  • No added fragrance
  • One of the most affordable options on the market
Best Scented
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Rocco & Roxie Litter Box Odor Eliminator

  • Very strong odor control
  • Some may like the scent
  • Has a softer texture under the paws compared to some other products
Best For Use Around The Box
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

OdorTrap Cat Litter Box Odor Filter

  • A thoroughly-researched product from a reputable company
  • Features essential oils known to be safe for cats
  • Has a fresh, pleasant scent
Best Enzymatic
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder

  • Totally safe for cats and people
  • Doesn’t have any harsh fragrances
  • Actively destroys odors over time

Why Trust Cats.com

Testing litter box deodorizers

I did a semi-controlled test in which I sprinkled each deodorizer over cat urine and feces. A sniff test showed me which one worked best. Mallory Crusta/Cats.com

At Cats.com, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to optimize your cat’s litter box. Our team of vets and behaviorists has published guides on cat litter box behavior, how to clean a box properly, how many litter boxes you should have, and more. As a cat product reviewer, I’ve personally tested dozens of litter boxes, litter scoops, mats, and litters, spending hundreds of hours figuring out what makes a great litter box setup.

To create this guide, I spent hours researching the different types of litter box deodorizers and how they work, identifying which types of products tend to be the most popular. I ordered 9 different products and tried them out with my two cats. In addition to an in-box test, I did a semi-controlled test by sprinkling the products on chunks of waste and doing a “sniff test” to see how well each one worked after a few minutes.

Based on the results of this testing, I’ve chosen the following 6 products as the best you can buy.

Top Picks Explained

Product Section

Remember that each cat and household will have different needs. Some cats are extremely sensitive to smell, while others are comfortable with scented products. Other cats require a certain texture in the litter box and won’t accept any changes under their paws.

To help you choose the right deodorizer for your cat, we’ve broken down our recommendations by odor-eliminating ability, cat-friendliness, and other key considerations.

#1 Overall Best: Scent Away Litter Box Deodorizer

  • Type: Granules
  • Scented? No
  • Primary Ingredients: Zeolite, Activated Carbon

Made from a blend of unscented zeolite and activated carbon, this deodorizer is a gentle, cat-friendly way to eliminate litter box odor. Zeolites are highly porous minerals that absorb and adsorb moisture, while activated carbon is a powerful adsorbent. Together, they capture water and odor molecules from the litter and hold them within tiny pores, keeping them from escaping and entering the air again.

To use, you’ll sprinkle the Scent Away over the top of a clean litter box, allowing it to capture odor and moisture as it enters the box. The company recommends that you re-apply after each scooping session as well, but remember that carbon deodorizers are very long-lasting and shouldn’t need to be refreshed more than once every couple of weeks.

Of the deodorizers listed here, Scent Away is the most cat-friendly. It’s free of added fragrances, and cats tend to feel comfortable with the feel and smell of activated carbon.

What We Liked:

  • Has no added fragrances
  • Great for cats and people with sensitive noses
  • Uses proven, effective components

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t offer the fastest odor control of the deodorizers tested here

#2 Runner Up: NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer

  • Type: Granules
  • Scented? No, but has a strong natural smell
  • Primary Ingredients: Zeolite, chlorine

NonScents was created by a company called OxiScience, which had previously worked on odor control and filtration in industrial applications. The NonScents product, made from a zeolite base with a chlorine-based coating, uses this combination of components to neutralize, rather than cover, odors.

While this product does an outstanding job of eliminating litter box odor, I do have some concerns about it. One is that it has a very strong chlorine or bleach odor, which could deter both humans and cats. Secondly, concentrated chlorine is considered toxic to cats. While the granules have only a light coating and the company says it’s safe, it’s natural to feel nervous about letting your cat use this product.

Overall, if you and your cat are comfortable with the smell, a layer of NonScents odor eliminator will do an excellent job of destroying both urine and fecal odors in the box.

What We Liked:

  • Does an amazing job of eliminating litter box smell
  • No added fragrance
  • One of the most affordable options on the market

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Has a strong chlorine odor
  • The company doesn’t provide detailed safety data to back up their claims

#3 Best Scented: Rocco & Roxie Litter Box Odor Eliminator

  • Type: Granules
  • Scented? Yes
  • Primary Ingredients: Corncob, Essential Oils

This corncob-based deodorizer from Rocco & Roxie was the strongest odor eliminator of the products I tried, but it’s not for everyone.

This proprietary blend should include only cat-safe oils, but without knowing the specific oils used, it’s hard to feel confident about this product. Remember that many essential oils are toxic to cats.

In addition to the safety question, this product has an intense smell like a combination of bubblegum, pine, and mint. Not every cat nor every human will feel comfortable with this strong smell, but the odor control was unmatched.

In both my controlled and in-box tests, this litter deodorizer did an excellent job of getting rid of both urine and fecal odors. And with almost 7,500 users giving it a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, it seems that I’m not alone in appreciating its odor control ability.

What We Liked:

  • Very strong odor control
  • Some may like the scent
  • Has a softer texture under the paws compared to some other products
  • Extremely popular; has a good reputation among users

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some may not like the strong smell
  • Made with essential oils, which could be harmful to cats

#4 Best For Use Around the Box: OdorTrap Cat Litter Box Odor Filter

  • Type: Beads
  • Scented? Yes
  • Primary Ingredients: Proprietary oil blend

Using the odor control technology created by FreshWave, the OdorTrap is made to place around the litter box, either in its mountable pod, attached to the globe of the Litter-Robot, or tossed into a waste receptacle.

While the odor control provided by the OdorTrap wasn’t excellent, I liked that it uses exclusively cat-safe oils, including cedarwood oil, to directly counteract the litter box odor. The company spent months researching the molecules that create litter box odor and creating a blend of ingredients that would block them.

The result is a pleasant-smelling packet that does a good job of safely reducing smell around the box.

What We Liked:

  • A thoroughly-researched product from a reputable company
  • Features essential oils known to be safe for cats
  • Has a fresh, pleasant scent
  • Works with the Litter-Robot 4

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Didn’t have the strongest odor control of the deodorizers here
  • Some may not like the smell
  • Expensive

#5 Best Enzymatic: Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder

  • Type: Powder
  • Scented? No
  • Primary Ingredients: Proprietary blend of live organisms

What I liked about this product was its use of enzymes to actively destroy cat litter box odor. This sets it apart from other products that passively capture smells. By breaking down the components of litter box odor, it creates a long-term solution that can work both in the box and outside of it. Hepper says you can use this deodorizer on carpets and other surfaces as well.

In my controlled test, the odor control didn’t kick in as quickly as some of the other deodorizers, but it did a good job in the box. It seemed to address urine odor better than fecal odors.

While the odor control wasn’t as immediate as that from some of the other products here, it should do better over time. Additionally, the product is completely safe for cats with no irritating fragrances. It has a neutral, non-offensive natural odor.

What We Liked:

  • Totally safe for cats and people
  • Doesn’t have any harsh fragrances
  • Actively destroys odors over time

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Didn’t provide immediate odor elimination
  • Doesn’t have many customer reviews

The Limitations of Litter Box Deodorizers

While a good cat litter deodorizer can help to kill cat litter odor, you shouldn’t rely on one to keep the box odor-free. Instead, start by establishing a strong odor control foundation.

Start with a great litter box, fill it with good litter—you can learn more about what to look for here—, and scoop at least once a day to keep the box fresh. Remember that your cat’s diet plays a role as well—feeding them a species-appropriate, low-waste diet will help to reduce litter box odor from the source.

Finally, make sure to keep multiple litter boxes around the house. Not only is this a good idea for your cat’s well-being, but it helps to distribute the smell. Odors can build up quickly in a single box, and keeping more than one around the house prevents any one room from getting smelly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop my cat litter from smelling in the house?

First, choose an excellent cat litter that absorbs moisture and clumps well. Use a litter box that resists sticking and is easy to clean. Be sure to clean the litter box every day and change out all of the litter eat least once a month. If you’re doing all of that, and there’s still a lot of odor, try a litter box deodorizer.

What kills the smell of cat litter?

Several compounds are able to adsorb and neutralize the ammonia and fecal odors of cat litter, including activated carbon and baking soda. 

What is the best natural deodorizer for cat litter?

In our testing, we’ve found that a combination of activated carbon and zeolite works well to deodorize litter without any strong smells that could irritate you or your cat.

How can I make my house smell good with cats?

Many candles, incense, and air fresheners are harmful to cats, so it’s best to start with a strong foundation. Make sure that your cat’s litter box is full of high-quality litter and keep it clean. Daily scooping and monthly cleaning will prevent odor buildup. If you’re still noticing a lot of odor, check to make sure that your cat is on a high-quality diet, and consider using a deodorizer to combat remaining odors.

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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.