Hygiene

7 Best Cat Litter Odor Eliminators

Do you have a stinky litter box? You're not alone, and you have many options to help eliminate the stink. Learn more about how to stop it and the best cat litter odor eliminator.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: April 25, 2024 | 13 min read

Woman kneeling cleaning litter box covering nose for smell.

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Sharing your life with cats brings countless happy memories, tender moments, and years of faithful companionship. Having shared my home with cats for almost four decades, I also know they introduce a host of unwelcome odors into your home. In particular, the litter box area is a stinky spot that we cat owners are forever battling with. Is there a cat litter odor eliminator that can help?

There’s nothing worse than settling down for a calm afternoon or a nice cup of coffee and getting hit in the face with that kitty litter odor. And how embarrassing it is when friends or family stop by, and you welcome them into a home that smells like poop or old sour urine. It’s pretty unappetizing and not something you want people to remember your house for. Trust me, I know because I’ve been there many times.

The good news is that you don’t have to live in fear of cat litter funk or just accept living in a house that smells like poop. Along with meticulous care and regular cleaning, cat litter deodorizers can help control these unpleasant yet unavoidable litter box scents. Let’s get into seven of my favorite picks for cat litter odor eliminators.

Arm and Hammer double duty litter box deodorizer.

Best Powder

Arm & Hammer Double Duty

Best Spray

Biokleen Bac-Out Pet Spray

Best Crystal

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer

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Controlling Cat Litter Odor

I’ve heard this story over and over from friends and family new to cat ownership. They welcome home a new kitten, fall in love immediately, bond, and enjoy every part of it, except for the litter box. It’s a big shock to realize that you are now willingly accepting an open box of animal feces and urine as a permanent fixture in your home. Cat litter smell control and keeping your home fresh can become a very time-consuming chore. Cleaning the litter box is a daily and always unpleasant task. Especially when it stinks like an outhouse. Of course, it is going to smell after a fresh poop or pee, but does it have to be abhorrent all the time?

Before we get any further, no, you should not train sweet Fluffer to poop and pee on the toilet. While theoretically, you can train a cat to use the toilet, flushing cat feces into the water system is not a good idea. It carries a harmful bacteria called toxoplasma, which our water treatment facilities do not treat. Flushing kitty feces means putting this dangerous bacteria into our water supply. Toxoplasmosis is very unhealthy for humans and not something you want to come in contact with. Learn more about why you shouldn’t flush kitty poop and why in our guide.

4 Best Cat Litter Box Deodorizers

Keeping your cat’s potty odor at bay is an ongoing task. Thankfully, there are products out there that have been developed specifically to help with this problem. Of course, how effective they are depends on how many cats you have and the type of litter you are using.

Each individual cat’s bathroom habits also play a role. For example, a tiny eight-pound kitty that poops twice a day is not going to create as much odor as a 22-pound cat that poops four times a day. Multi-cat households also see heavier use than single-cat homes, which means they have more intense cat odors.

I researched over 50 brands of cat litter odor-elimination products available on the market today. I considered ingredients, quality, odor control effectiveness, customer reviews, price, personal experience, and more to determine which ones work best. These products come in crystal, powder that can be added to litter, and liquid form to clean the box, but they all aim to help control and eliminate foul odors. Let’s get into it as I share my top picks.

Best Powder

Arm & Hammer Double Duty Cat Litter Deodorizer Review

Arm and Hammer double duty litter box deodorizer
  • Baking soda based
  • Easy-to-use
  • Non-irritating
  • Highly absorbent
  • Use with any kind of litter
  • Extra strength formula for urine and feces

Arm & Hammer is a staple in the odor control industry and one of the best picks around for kitty litter scent control. I often mix plain baking soda in my cat’s box to boost odor control. If you want something besides basic baking soda and something reliable, Arm & Hammer cat litter deodorizer is a top pick. You can use this with any kind of litter. It boosts odor control and freshness and does not interfere with the way your filler works.

Testing of Arm & Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer says it helps reduce odors for at least nine days longer than litter alone. It also boosts absorbency, helping keep the potty pan fresh and soaking up urine and feces smells. The baking soda boost also helps prevent clumps from sticking to the bottom of the box. Arm & Hammers Kitty Litter Double Duty deodorizer powder contains odor neutralizers along with the power of baking soda. These are developed specifically to combat fecal odors.

This product is incredibly easy to use. You simply sprinkle a little bit on the bottom of your kitty pan before adding your litter. Then, sprinkle a moderate amount in with the clean filler and mix it in. You will need to continue daily maintenance and can add a boost with an extra sprinkle here and there during your daily cleaning.

My Personal Experience With Arm & Hammer

I have used Arm & Hammer baking soda and Double Duty Kitty Litter Box Deodorizer for years. It does not interfere with the smell of my cat’s fresh litter, and there are no powerful or nauseating artificial fragrances. Try the Arm & Hammer cat litter deodorizer powder if you don’t want the added fragrance.

Best Spray

Biokleen Bac-Out Pet Review

  • Natural spray
  • Live, enzyme-inducing cultures
  • Natural lavender and lime scent
  • Works for multiple surfaces
  • No artificial fragrances or colors
  • Works on feces, urine, vomit, and more

Biokleen uses a synergistic blend of enzymes, citric extracts, and plant-based surfactants to help remove persistent odor and stains. Developed specifically to attack pet odors, it blends live enzyme cultures and botanicals to attack the odor from urine, feces, vomit, drool, paw prints, mud, and more. Bac-Out comes as a full-strength formula and doesn’t require any diluting to use. It has a mild lavender and lime scent without artificial fragrances or colors.

Biokleen’s Bac-Out formula is human and pet-friendly. It is made right here in the USA and is an all-natural product. Bac-Out is safe to use on your litter box as well as other surfaces, including floors, carpets, and even furniture. If you’ve been told that plant-based products aren’t powerful when it comes to combating pet odors, especially in the potty department, Biokleen will prove you wrong. This product is highly reviewed, remarkably effective, and contains no off-putting chemicals or bleach.

Bac-Out is safe for cats and dogs, so it is a great tool to have around to combat those unavoidable odors. As a quick tip, it also works wonders for child and baby bathroom accidents.

Our Personal Experience With Biokleen Bac-Out

I like using Biokleen’s Bac-Out enzymatic stain and odor remover between full cleanings. My girls, Luna and Lucy, tend to pee on the sides of their litter box. So, regardless of how often I scoop the pan, there will be a horrible ammonia smell. To cut the stink, I add a squirt of Bac-Out to a paper towel and wipe down the sides of the box. The live enzymatic cultures break down organic material to eliminate odors and create a safer bathroom environment for my kitties.

Tara Maurer, Cat Owner, Nutrition Expert & Love Your Cat Writer

Best Crystals

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer Review

  • Complete odor elimination
  • Molecular odor neutralization
  • Fragrance-free formula
  • Extends litter life
  • Works will all litter types
  • No masking, non-toxic, and biodegradable

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer is a natural, fragrance-free kitty deodorizer that doesn’t simply mask scents. It doesn’t contain chemical additives or fragrances, so there is no artificial or lingering icky chemical smell. This concentrated formula helps extend the life of litter and neutralizes extreme odors.

NonScents deodorizer uses zeolite, a mineral that is often used in water filters. It is an incredibly safe mineral that works wonders to remove odor from your kitty’s potty pan. Zeolite eliminates odors rather than covering up the scent with an artificial fragrance. It is quite simple to use. Just sprinkle it into your cat’s clean litter box. Be sure to remove clumps and solid chunks beforehand and then sprinkle in some zeolite crystals.

These deodorizing crystals can be used with any kind of litter: clumping, non-clumping, traditional clay, and alternatives like tofu. Customers love that this has no funky artificial smells and that it works well in multi-cat homes.

Best Natural

Rocco & Roxie Litter Box Odor Eliminator Review

  • Odor absorbing bits
  • Corn cob based
  • Essential oils to attack odor
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Non-irritating
  • Natural and gentle formula

I love to use natural products around my cats, especially because they are extremely sensitive to chemical smells. Rocco & Roxie have created a cat litter odor eliminator that helps neutralize stinky potty odors and extend litter life. These super absorbent odor-observing bits are made from corn cob and quickly trap odors and wetness. The corn cob bits are accompanied by a proprietary blend of essential oils that attack and neutralize malodors.

Rocco & Roxie is a gentle product designed to be used with any litter type without disturbing your cat’s regular digestive habits. Additionally, the products come with a 100% guarantee. The deodorizer is super easy to use. You simply sprinkle it into fresh filler, as well as in between daily scooping.

These 100% biodegradable corn cob granules are highly absorbent, pulling moisture from urine and feces. Essential oils work well to cut through smells but are not irritating to your cat’s nose and will not discourage them from using the box.

What About Boxiecat, Pooph & Zero Odor?

Boxiecat Litter Extender Probiotic Odor Encapsulator Spray Review

  • Odor spray
  • Extends litter life and fights smells
  • Probiotic based formula
  • Use each time you scoop
  • Proprietary odor encapsulator to avoid clumping
  • Fragrance -free

Boxiecat Litter Extender Probiotic Odor Encapsulator Spray incorporates probiotics to extend the life of litter and neutralize the stench. It is designed to work with any kind or brand of filler. You simply spray it after every time you scoop the waste out. This does not mean you need to soak down the box and fillers with multiple sprays. Hold the bottle one to two feet above the pan and spray up to three pumps evenly across the surface.

This water-based spray uses a biodegradable surfactant, probiotics, and an odor encapsulator. It is non-toxic and does not create any masking aromas. Please note that some soy (tofu) filler tends to dissolve when it comes into contact with water, so you may want to do a test run outside the potty pan before spraying this on it. Learn more about tofu kitty litter options in our Tuft + Paw Litter review.

BoxieCat is a great option due to its versatility and is a top pick for people with extremely sensitive noses. It especially works well in multi-cat homes, with proper potty pan cleaning and maintenance. The very mild scent is pleasant and quickly neutralizes feces and urine smells.

Zero Odor Litter Spray Review

Zero Odor Litter Spray
  • Odorless and non-toxic
  • Stops odor at a molecular level
  • Good for multi-pet homes
  • Tracer fragrance
  • Biodegradable
  • Works with all types of litter

Zero Odor is a patented spray explicitly developed to work with clay and clumping litters. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, biodegradable, cruelty-free, and made in the USA. It is made from water, stabilized hydrated active complex, alcohol, pH balance, tracer fragrance, and a surface tension agent.

A tracer fragrance allows you to smell where you have sprayed it right after spraying, but then that fragrance dissipates very quickly. Zero Odor does not mask the spray; it removes it. This spray works slightly differently than powders or crystals. Simply spray it on the bottom and edges of your clean kitty tray. Add new filler and spray again. You can continue to freshen your litter with this spray a couple of times throughout the day.

Pooph Kitty Litter Power Additive Review

Pooph Kitty Litter Power Additive
  • Natural formula
  • Fragrance-free
  • Traps up to 30X its own weight in urine
  • Extends litter life
  • Easy-to-use litter additive
  • Non-irritating

Pooph Kitty Litter Box Saver Cat Deodorizer is an easy-to-use powder that you mix into your cat’s clean pan after each scooping to break down and neutralize odors. Pooph’s litter saver is highly absorbent and captures odors on contact. It absorbs and traps up to 30 times its own weight in urine.

Pooph is non-toxic and safe for cats and dogs. You can also sprinkle it in your cat’s carrier or small animal cages to help neutralize the funk. Pooph also makes an odor-eliminating spray developed specifically for feline stench. This spray works by eliminating odors and stains at the source. It is fragrance-free and can help reduce odors from urine, feces, vomit, and hairballs.

The spray is also extremely easy to use and safe for all surfaces. You can spray it on the bottom of an empty potty box and in between scooping. It also cleans up odors on the floor, walls, and other areas around the kitty pan.

What’s The Best Cat Litter For Odor Control?

What’s the best kitty litter for smell? Not all kitty litters are created the same, and not every one does as good a job of stink control as others. Some have absolutely no odor-neutralizing capability, while others are highly scented with artificial fragrances to cover feces and urine smells. Many different brands claim to be the best for odor control. Of course, this all depends on your fur baby and their digestive and potty habits.

Purina Tidy Cats Naturally Strong Multi-Cat Litter Review

  • Natural lemongrass
  • Multi-cat formula
  • Unscented clay litter with natural fragrance
  • Uses activated charcoal for odor control
  • Dye-free
  • Uses plant extracts, not chemicals

One that stands out as a top option for odor control is Purina Tidy Cats Naturally Strong Multi-Cat. It is 100% natural, scoopable, and unscented with activated charcoal for extra odor control. It is 99.9% dust-free, and the natural clay locks away moisture while the activated charcoal traps the odor.

Regardless of the kind you choose, unscented filler is often best for maintaining and controlling malodor. Fragrances mixed with the natural chemicals of your cat’s urine and feces can create very unpleasant odors. Heavily fragranced litters often make things much worse and may turn your kitty off from using the pan.

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

Feline urine smells very strong, primarily due to the levels of ammonia in it. Cat urine is much more concentrated than human or dog urine. Cats who are not properly hydrated have even more concentrated urine, which smells worse. What your purr baby eats also impacts urine smell. Higher protein diets mean stronger-smelling urine.

If your kitty has extremely stinky poops or very pungent pee, it is possible that dehydration, food sensitivity, allergy, or other underlying conditions may be at play. Discussing this with your veterinarian before making any significant dietary changes or adding supplements or alternative foods is best. The video below explains the science of why kitty pee smells so strongly

9 Litter Box Smell Hacks

Scoop of Tofu cat litter.
Keep these tips in mind to keep your litter box smelling fresh and clean.

You must keep in mind that it’s not just the poop, pee, or filler that stinks. The potty tray itself will hold onto odors. Even if you fully change out the filler regularly every week, the bin still soaks up and retains the stench from urine and feces. Lingering odors and germs are why regular cleaning with soap and water is important. After a full cleaning, you should also spray your box with Biokleen or another deodorizing spray.

Expecting your kitty to use a stinky litter box is like using a smelly bathroom. Even if it looks clean, if it smells bad, we may not want to use it. The same goes for our cat’s bathroom boxes. Even if we clean it out and put fresh filler in, if the bin itself has a foul smell, this may turn your purr baby off and result in unruly behavior like peeing outside the tray.

  1. When cleaning the kitty potty pan, you can try a few things to help with odor management. One of these is to use a litter box liner. This, combined with cat litter odor eliminator spray or powder, will help keep your kitty’s potty smelling much better. Litter box liners also help make cleaning easier, as you can simply throw the liner out instead of having to pick up and empty the whole box, risking a giant, unpleasant mess.
  2. When cleaning the box, consider wiping it with vinegar. Vinegar is highly effective in absorbing odors and, once it dries, does not leave a lingering smell.
  3. You might consider changing the fillers out more often if you have incredibly stinky cats like me. In some cases, changing the litter once a week is necessary to keep it from accumulating a nasty stink.
  4. Along with changing the litter more, sometimes using a completely new setup every time can be highly effective in preventing odors from lingering around and settling in your home. Monthly litter subscriptions and disposable options come in very handy here. Kitty Poo Club, for example, sends you everything you need to start over fresh with a new kitty box and filler every 30 days. Learn more in our full review of Kitty Poo Club.
  5. Another thing to consider if you need help with extra stinky situations is setting up more potty pans. As a general rule, you should have one more potty than you do cats, but sometimes this is not enough. For example, you will need at least two or three potty boxes if you have one cat. A two-cat home should have three kitty pans but may require four or five. Offering your kitty more options for potty spots helps spread the smells out and helps prevent the stink from settling into one specific place.
  6. In addition to baking soda or deodorizer, you can consider mixing green tea in your pet’s potty pan. Green tea is highly effective in absorbing foul smells. Sprinkle loose green tea leaves into the filler, and you will have a pleasant natural smell and an extra boost of absorbency and malodor neutralization.
  7. Picking the right litter is also a considerable part of the equation. Not every option works the same for all cats. While some may be super effective at controlling odors for my cats, they may not work exactly the same for yours. So, you may have to try a few things out and do a little bit of trial and error to determine which one works best for your pet.
  8. An air purifier or odor neutralizer machine used around or near the potty pan can do wonders for stink management. Air purifiers also help rid the air of microscopic particles and allergens like dander and dust from the litter box.
  9. Lastly, consider the location of your kitty’s potty. If it is closed off or in hard-to-access areas with poor ventilation, odors will linger in the air and cling to the box. Be sure to place the potty bin somewhere with plenty of airflow — preferably next to a window or other highly vented area. However, do not place it in direct sunlight or by a heater vent, as that will aggravate the odors.

Do you have any tips or tricks for managing unpleasant kitty litter smells and odors? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Better Food Means Healthier Poops – And Less Litter Box Stench

Feeding your cat a healthy diet is the cornerstone of a healthy, long life. The better food you feed your purr baby, the healthier their bowel movements will be. Many high-quality options using fresh and human-grade ingredients are available. For example, Smalls delivers delicious, fresh food directly to your door. Other companies like Dr. Marty’s and Stella & Chewy’s make delicious, freeze-dried options that give your cat a boost of flavor and nutrition. Even if these higher-end options cannot meet your budget for everyday food, they are wonderful additives that can help provide your pet with a well-rounded diet.

Why Trust Love Your Cat?

Danielle has been fighting cat litter odor for over four decades. She is a lifelong feline owner with a soft spot in her heart for needy and rescue animals, including a few extra stinky felines. Danielle shares her home with Zaphod and Twilight, a bonded pair of senior sibling cats. With their help, she has tested and reviewed hundreds of products to see what’s behind the label. She has tested over 50 kinds of cat litter and odor eliminators to find the ones that truly work and are safe for pets. Danielle is also a committed and skilled researcher who spends hours seeking the latest developments and information in pet care, health, food, and products.

Cat with cat tree that has liter box on the bottom and litter box next to it.

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