There are a lot of positives that come with owning cats but cleaning the litter box and dealing with cat litter dust is not one of them. Cat owners know that despite their best efforts, cat litter dust will likely spread throughout the home. One way to help manage this unpleasant issue is to use an air purifier.
Air purifiers come in a variety of options and help improve the air quality in the home. They work to eliminate toxins, pet air, and things like cat litter dust that come with owning a fur baby. Toxins in the air are not always visible to the naked eye but can contribute to allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues humans have.
For cat owners, this is often an unexpected issue to deal with. We did the research and reviewed ten of the best air purifiers on the market today for feline owners to use to help with managing kitty litter dust. Hopefully, our reviews will help find the best product to meet every purr parent’s needs.
At A Glance: Best Air Purifiers For Cat Litter Dust
Best For Dander
Levoit Core P350
Best For Odor
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Felines have many needs, which include vet care, exercise equipment, toys, brushes, nail clippers, litter boxes, and less obvious items like air purifiers. Cat owners need to understand that every kitty is different and will have unique needs and preferences. The information presented here is a general guideline, not to be a substitute for advice from a veterinarian or human medical professional. Owners should always do their research, look at several products, and make sure to locate a retailer’s return policy if a product does not work out.
Benefits Of Air Purifiers For Cat Litter Room
Cats are known for carrying allergens and other particles on their coats. Even hypoallergenic breeds can spread these toxins through dander and saliva. These allergens can also be spread through litter dust. Fecal matter and urine can be inhaled and have the potential to cause issues for felines and humans alike. Wherever the cat litter is kept in a home is going to be a high-risk area.
For pet owners, air purifiers can eliminate small particles like pet dander, dirt, and other microscopic bits floating about. Rooms that house litter boxes are always stinky, despite efforts to keep air flowing through or cover up the smell. This is where an air purifier can be of great benefit. They are very effective at removing lingering odors. These devices also work to eliminate airborne disease, protect from mold, and can even help owners sleep better.
Litter particles are full of allergens and other bothersome germs. A high-quality system can work wonders to remove these harmful things from what we breathe in. Reducing the allergen load benefits everyone, even those people who do not suffer from allergies. Dust, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, smoke, pet hair, pesticides, and other respiratory irritants can all be significantly reduced. Additionally, they are extremely effective in removing urine and feces smell.
Air purifiers are common in many homes, with and without pets. Cat owners who have not yet tried one will be pleasantly surprised at the benefit an air purifier can bring. These work differently than other methods that try to cover or mask the litter dust and scents by adding things to the air. Air purifiers remove things, reduce the allergen load, and improve air quality. They are also a bit different from filters which remove particles, and air purifiers also sanitize.
Keeping an air purifier in or near the kitty room is a very effective way feline owners can manage the odors and reduce harmful particles and toxins from spreading. There are many options and something that can fit any budget. Do not use humidifiers. They do not help remove anything from the air. Instead, they add moisture to it and can worsen the odor.
What Is A HEPA Filter?
The term HEPA means “high-efficiency particulate air.” These filters will remove close to 99.9% of airborne particle size 0.3 microns and larger. The filters force air through a mesh screen. The screen collects harmful airborne particles.
How Air Purifiers Work
Most air purifiers will have an intake and release system. Air is taken in, passed through the filtration system, and released back out. There are three main certifications these systems can have. Not every device will have all three certifications.
- Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) – measures how fast filtered air is delivered. A higher CADR is better.
- The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) labels products with an Energy Star rating for meeting energy-efficient guidelines.
- AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) inspects the performance of household appliances.
Air purifiers pull microscopic particles out of the air. The term microns refers to the size of a particle. One micron is equal to one-millionth-of-a meter, not something always even visible to the human eye.
To give a realistic idea of how big microns are, here are some common particles and their size:
- Smoke: 1 micron
- Pet dander: 2.5 to 5 microns
- Dust: can range from under 5 microns to about 10 microns
- Mold spores: 10 – 30 microns
- Pollen: 30 microns
- Human hair: 80-100 microns
Air purifiers can remove many of these particles that can potentially be inhaled. Pet hair and dander are harder to remove unless they are floating in the air. Systems will do a better job when placed near the area of focus.
When purchasing an air purifier, there are a few things to consider. There are purifiers made especially for pets, babies, allergy sufferers, etc. When purchasing one to be used near a kitty litter box, keep an eye out for those designed to be used with pets. Look at the filter type. HEPA and carbon filters can reduce tiny particulates and help with odor control. Also, pay attention to the level of microns an air filter can remove, try to stick to those that can handle small particles of 5 microns or less.
Where the kitty box is located will also factor into what product to buy. Some may be better for large open spaces, others for smaller closet-like spaces.
Best Air Purifiers For Cat Litter Dust
We have reviewed ten of the top products on the market. We looked at a variety of factors, including performance, price, and customer reviews. Hopefully, this helps you find the best choice for your needs.
- HEPA air filtration system.
- Charcoal filters for odor, germs, and bacteria.
- UV-C light technology kills bacteria and germs.
- Energy efficient certified.
- CADR of 100+.
The GermGuardian AC4825E is a moderately priced, 3-in-one, high-performance system. It includes a HEPA filtration system and charcoal filter, dramatically reducing odors. This one is Energy Star rated, has a CADR of 100+, and is certified energy efficient.
The unit features UV-C light technology, helping kill bacteria, mold spores, germs, and bacteria. It also works on airborne viruses like E. coli, streptococcus, and rhinovirus. This purifier system is very effective on pet dander, tiny particles, and odors.
Highly reviewed product. Very effective on urine smells and persistent odors, a big plus for cat owners. Easy to set up and maintain. Runs quietly on low and medium. Comes with a three-year warranty.
Best For Dander
Levoit Core P350
- Three-stage filtration system.
- Timer with 4 options.
- Small, easy to set up.
- HEPA filter lasts 6 to 8 months
- 1-year warranty.
This high-performance system is an excellent option for homes with cats and homes with multiple pets. A three-stage filtration system works very well for troublesome areas and odors. A fine preliminary filter, HEPA filter, and high-efficiency activated carbon filter all work to sanitize. It can capture up to 99.97% of particles (0.3 microns), making it an excellent choice for feline homes.
A timer can be set for 2, 4, 8, and 12 hours, making this versatile. Not every owner wants the purifier to run all day. The timer options are a great benefit. The Levoit is small and not intrusive, so it can easily be set up in the corner of a small room. It works very well to eliminate dust, dander, and odor, making it an excellent choice for cat homes, especially in the kitty box area.
The HEPA filter lasts 6 to 8 months. This one is quiet, easy to set up, moderately priced, and comes with a one–year warranty.
Best For Odor
- CADR of 107.
- HEPA filter lasts for 6 months.
- Programmable, soft touch display, and timer.
- Nightlight, and electronic filter change indicator.
- Good for small spaces, multiple sizes available.
The Filtrete system is perfect for small spaces. The unit also comes in large and extra-large sizes if needed. It has a HEPA filter that lasts for up to 6 months. This one works very well with removing odors and tiny particles. The filter claims to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
The unit is very quiet, at least while on the low and medium options. It has a soft touch display, as well as a timer. The unit is programmable and equipped with a night light and a built-in electronic filter change indicator.
Easy to use and set up. This one is highly reviewed for odor removal, dust, and pet dander. The small size is suitable for rooms of about 150 square feet. CADR of 107.
Other Air Purification Options
In no particular order, here are several more options for top-rated air purification systems perfect for use in the kitty box area.
- 5-in-1 filtration system.
- H11 true HEPA filter.
- Remote control.
- Removes 99.9% of particles 0.3 microns or larger.
- 2-year warranty.
- Smart feature auto adjusts fan speed as pollutants increase.
Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier has a 5-in-1 filtration system that removes 99.9% of particles 0.3 microns and larger. This smart purification system uses an H11 true HEPA filter, has a remote control, and has a 2-year warranty.
The smart system detects pollutants. In auto mode, it adjusts the fan speed in real time. Digital display and whisper quiet operation. Can service rooms up to 700 square feet. Sleek design to fit anywhere. Speed control and sleep mode. Perfect for dust, smoke, mold, pet dander, and odors.
Honeywell True HEPA 50250-S
- 360-degree air intake.
- Highly reviewed.
- Clears air up to 5 times an hour.
- Cleans rooms 390 square feet.
- Highly rated brand.
- 5-year warranty.
Honeywell is Energy Star rated with a HEPA filtration system. This one is for extra large spaces, meaning it can be set near the problem area and still benefit the whole house. It features three cleaning levels and an Energy Star rating. They are designed to help with small particulates, pet dander, and odors. It has a 360-degree intake, making it very effective at removing particles and odors.
This one is good for 390 square feet, perfect for basements or lower levels where pets often reside. Highly reviewed, pet owners like the way it handles and cleans particles. Circulates in rooms up to 5 times in an hour. Captures particles as small as 0.3 microns.
The product comes with a five-year warranty. It has a higher price tag but is well worth it. The pre-filter model needs filter replacement every three months, and an indicator light will notify users when it is time. It can be vacuumed to extend filter life.
- Small, portable design.
- CADR of 300+.
- Low decibel, quiet operation.
- High circulation rate.
- 360-degree air outlet.
A portable system uses H13 HEPA filters and can remove particles larger than 0.3 microns. High circulation rate, 360-degree output. Circulates approximately five times in an hour. Low decibel operation. Has an aroma pad for optional added scents. CADR of 300+.
Smart features with six, twelve, and twenty-four-hour timer options. Touch control. Small, portable, and highly effective to be used near the kitty box.
- 3-stage filtration system.
- H13 True HEPA filter.
- SAFE and FCC certified.
- Portable. lightweight design.
- Removes 99.7% of particles 0.1 microns or larger.
- Economical option.
This is an economical option for small spaces. Removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns. It claims to be higher rated than true HEPA filters. The system uses a three-stage filtration system, pre-filter, H13 HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter. 360-degree intake and discharge. Filter lasts three to 6 months, and is SAFE-certified, portable services areas up to 215 square feet.
Ultra-quiet operation. Aromatherapy enabled. Smart, touch panel operation. Three fan speeds, designed to run “super quiet.” Medical-grade purification system. Smart filter replacement indicator. FCC Certified. Perfect for small spaces and high-traffic areas, such as the potty box.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir
- Permanent HEPA filter.
- The filter can be cleaned.
- Compact design.
- 3-speed settings.
- Removes 99.97% of particles 3 microns and larger.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir with Permanent HEPA Filter is a high-performance purification system that removes 99.97% of particles as small as 3 microns. It has a permanent washable HEPA-grade filter and can be vacuumed.
Compact design, great for small spaces. Three-speed settings, quiet operation. For 160 square feet. One-year warranty. Highly reviewed and great for compact spaces. Easy to clean and can fit in just about anywhere. Whisper clean operation for nighttime use.
- HEPA Silent dual filtration system.
- Washable fabric pre-filter.
- Carbon fiber traps.
- H13 HEPA filter.
- Energy Star rated.
- One touch system control.
This system has one-touch control and a HEPA Silent dual filtration system. Energy Star-rated device. Uses less energy than an incandescent light bulb. Highly awarded brand. CADR of 350. Removes odor and dirt particles.
Fast filtration and quiet running design. Washable fabric pre-filter. Carbon fiber traps help with odor removal. H13 HEPA filter. Works very well for fine particles. It is fast acting and perfect for large and small spaces.
Airfree Iris 3000
- Filter-free, low energy consumption device.
- Uses heat to purify the air.
- Silent running system.
- Minimal maintenance, long-lasting.
- No cleaning or replacement.
This one is a little different than the rest on our list. It is a filter-free, low-energy consumption system. This system uses heat to remove particles like dust, mold spores, fungus, mites, pet hair, dander, and pollen. It can be used in homes with multiple pets.
Noise-free running, with a built-in night light. Light has ten color selections. Essentially the air is boiled to be cleared of microorganisms and allergens, then cooled down and released back into the room. The device removes 99.99% of all microorganisms and 26% of ozone. Low maintenance, no need to replace or clean filters.
How To Keep Cat Litter Dust Down
Dust from kitty litter can be full of different things, including a substance called crystalline silica. This is found in lower-quality clay-based products. Another harmful chemical sodium bentonite is a clay that naturally swells, often added to clumping kitty products. This can cause major issues if ingested by felines or humans. As most cat owners know, there is always a bit of a dust-up around this area. There are a few ways to manage it.
- Keep the litter box as clean as possible. Clean it every day to prevent bacteria and odor build-up.
- Fully clean the litter box and change it at least once a week. Clean the box, do not use bleach. Cats will not like the harsh smell and may refuse to use the kitty box.
- Wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of small particles.
- Use a large litter box to give cats extra room. Use multiple kitty boxes to help keep them clean and to provide cats with options.
- Use high-quality litter. There is pine, as well as paper options that have less dust. Some products claim to be dust-free, and options like paper, corn cob, and pine. Steer clear of scented options. Cats do not like these and may rebel.
- Using a covered kitty box can keep particles contained and stop them from spreading as much.
How To Get Rid Of Cat Litter Dust
There are a few ways to get rid of kitty litter dust. Using an air purifier is one of the most effective and proven ways to clear it out of a home. If using a clay litter, owners can place a vacuum cleaner hose near where they will pour out the new litter to capture excess particles. This can be vacuumed, swept up, or cleaned with a wet cloth. A cat box placed in a larger container can also help gather dust rather than spread it. A cat mat near the litter box will provide cats with a place to clean off their paws and deposit dust rather than carrying it on their feet throughout the house. Ventilation near the kitty box can also help clear particles away. Keeping the box and area clean are critical factors in reducing the number of toxins. Avoid fans because they simply blow things around and do not remove toxins or particles from the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a humidifier to help with cat litter dust?
A humidifier is not the best choice to help manage this issue. Humidifiers add moisture to the room, and they do not have the capacity to filter anything out. They are quite helpful for cats that suffer from allergies.
Is cat litter dust harmful?
Inhaling cat litter is not the best practice for humans or felines. Dust can have chemicals that are harmful to humans. Inhaling this directly into the lungs is dangerous to both humans and kitties. Respiratory irritation is common after inhaling kitty litter dust. Inhaling this raises the risk of toxoplasmosis infection in humans. This is especially harmful to pregnant women and immunocompromised people.
Does cat litter dust cause cancer?
Some kitty litters contain silica or sodium bentonite. These are used to help clump and manage odor. The materials are safe to use, but in particle form, they are potential carcinogens and should not be inhaled. Even natural pine and corn cob litters can contain potential carcinogen chemicals. It is important never to breathe in the dust. Wearing a mask during litter changes is recommended. Avoid direct contact with used litter, and always wash your hands after handling.
What happens if my cat eats litter dust?
Eating litter and litter dust can be very harmful to kitties due to the toxic chemicals they can contain. It is hard to digest and not appetizing. It is best to talk to the vet if your kitty is eating litter, feces, or litter dust. This may be a sign something is wrong. This behavior is not healthy and needs to be investigated.
Cat litter maintenance is one of those less pleasant parts of cat ownership. Not only can the dust be a pest to get off furniture and flooring, but it can also be dangerous to both humans and kitties if inhaled. Using a purifier system is a very effective way to reduce the toxins that can be inhaled significantly. We have reviewed ten of the top choices for air purifiers to use near cat litter. The products are beneficial in keeping the home clean. Some will work better for individual needs than others. If you need help managing a cat allergy, consult your doctor. If you are concerned that your cat has allergies get in touch with your veterinarian.