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Best Cat Litter Deodorizer

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Sometimes even the most aggressive cat litter can struggle with dealing completely with cat odors.  This could be because of a variety of reasons: untimely clump removal, a busier-than-normal litter box, a new type of cat food, and much more.  In these cases, it might be necessary to include some cat litter deodorizer in the litter box.  But what is the best cat litter deodorizer?  Before we get into the specifics, let’s discuss what exactly cat litter deodorizer is, the different types, and what to look for when shopping for cat deodorizer.

For those who simply want to see the results, we have included a convenient table below that displays our top choices for the best cat litter deodorizers.

Best Cat Litter Box Deodorizers

 NameTypePrice (Amazon)Selling Point
hartz-fresh-scent-deodorizing-litter-beads-thumbnailHartz Fresh Scent Deodorizing Litter BeadsBeads$$$$Long-lasting
arm-hammer-multiple-cat-litter-deodorizer-with-baking-soda-thumbnailArm & Hammer Multiple Cat Litter Deodorizer with Baking SodaPowder$Affordable
nonscents-odor-control-cat-litter-deodorizer-thumbnailNonScents Odor Control Cat Litter DeodorizerGranules$$$No strong scent
citrus-magic-litter-box-odor-eliminator-thumbnailCitrus Magic Litter Box Odor EliminatorGranules$$Powerful odor eliminator
arm-hammer-litter-deodorizer-spray-thumbnailArm and Hammer Litter Deodorizer SpraySpray$$$Convenient
natures-miracle-just-for-cats-odor-destroyer-litter-powder-thumbnailNature’s Miracle Just for Cats Odor Destroyer Litter PowderPowder$Effective odor fighter and affordable
tidy-cats-litter-box-deodorizer-thumbnailTidy Cats Litter Box DeodorizerPowder$$Good odor fighter

What is Cat Litter Deodorizer?


 

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Common ingredients found in cat litter deodorizers.

As the name suggests, cat litter deodorizer is designed to help fight the odors in a litter box when the cat litter you are using isn’t quite enough.  The most popular ingredients used in cat litter deodorizers are powerful anti-odor materials including baking soda, borax, and zeolite.  You might find some of these materials in standard cat litters, but in deodorizers, they are much more concentrated and do not have the clumping abilities that the litter recipes oftentimes have.

These products also commonly have artificial perfumes injected into them such as citrus, mountain-scented, and flower-scented.  Similar to the anti-odor agents mentioned above, the artificial scents are also much more powerful and concentrated.

Because of the high concentration of agents and scents, it is important to start out in very small quantities when testing on a new litter box.  This is for a number of reasons:

First, many of the materials used can be harmful to your cat if a relatively small amount is ingested.  Sure, a stray granule or a little bit of baking soda shouldn’t be a big issue but if you have a cat that is notorious for chewing or eating cat litter and you put a significant amount of cat litter deodorizer over the area he or she is eating it could result in a sick cat.

Second, many cats are turned off by the smell of harsh fragrances and chemicals.  The inclusion of the deodorizer in large batches could be too much for your cat and it may promote them to not use the litter box properly, which results in an even bigger mess and headache.

Finally, we feel that if you are having to heavily rely on cat litter deodorizers in every batch of litter you use then perhaps you should look into trying a different product or brand.  There are extra strength cat litters that are designed for the busiest multi-cat litter boxes and might be more suited for you and your cat(s).

if you are having to heavily rely on cat litter deodorizers in every batch of litter you use then perhaps you should look into trying a different product or brand

Types of Cat Litter Deodorizers


 

Similar to cat litters, there are several different types of cat litter deodorizers, each with their own unique pros and cons.  We will go over each so that you have a better idea of what to look for.

Powder

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Probably the most popular type of deodorizer comes in a powder form.  This will typically consist of your baking soda-based products (although other materials are grounded into a powder and used as well) and it will have a dispenser similar to what you find on a normal box of baking soda or baby powder.  However, it is much more than just baking soda or ground minerals.  It will typically have various types of perfume that are moisture-activated as well as special compounds that help to stop litter from sticking to the side of the litter box.

Powder-based products are designed to be sprinkled either in known trouble spots or over the entire litter area to ensure optimal protection.  However, it can be prone to becoming buried when your cats are digging or walking around in the litter so if you have a high-traffic litter box then you might find yourself adding this more often.  It can also be kicked up and tracked since it is so lightweight.  However, the baking soda compound is quite effective at eliminating odors when used correctly.

We have noticed that the powder-based cat litter deodorizers seem to have the strongest scents so some cats might be turned off by this.  But as mentioned above, the effectiveness of baking soda itself combined with the strong scents means that you have a good chance of eliminating odor in even the most challenging litter boxes.

The other positive of powders is that they are typically the most affordable of the deodorizers so your dollar will go a lot further.  This can be really helpful if you have multiple cats and find yourself going through a box much quicker.

Pros: Very effective at eliminating odors, easy to use, affordable

Cons: Can be tracked and buried, strong perfume scent might be a turn off for your cat

Granules

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This type of deodorizer will have pieces that are much larger than powder but typically still smaller than traditional clay cat litter.  These granules will be made of a variety of materials, but minerals such as zeolite and other aluminosilicates are the most popular.

The granule-based products are also designs to be either sprinkled in trouble spots or “showered” over the entire area of the litter box, depending on the number of cats and number of trouble spots.  Being larger and heavier also means that you are less likely to deal with tracking although they are still somewhat easily buried.

The biggest different in terms of the approach between granules and powder is in the scent.  Typically granule litter deodorizers will not have strong perfume scents associated with them and instead rely on the inherent odor-fighting ability of the zeolite material.  This can be a huge plus to cats and owners who have sensitive smells but it can also somewhat hurt the performance since there is no fragrance to help mask waste smells.

These products are also more expensive than powders, and sometimes by a pretty big margin.  If you are only using deodorizers on occasion this isn’t a big deal but for frequent users, the extra cost might add up.

Pros: Less tracking, good at fighting odors, no strong perfume scent

Cons: Might not be as strong as some powders, more expensive

Beads

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Cat litter deodorizer litter beads take a different approach from the products mentioned so far.  Instead of sprinkling the small granules or powder over areas, you simply drop a few beads into trouble spots.  They aren’t really intended to cover large areas and if you try to do so you will go through a package pretty quickly.

The beads are quite large so you don’t have to worry about any sort of tracking or dust.  In addition, it is easy to spot where you placed beads prior so that you don’t accidentally cover the same area.  The beads themselves have little odor with them, which makes them good for cats and owners who are sensitive to strong perfumes.  They are also easily disposed of due to their size and you don’t have to worry about them mixing in with the cat litter to form some sort of gooey mess.

While the beads do a decent job of masking odor, they don’t seem to have quite the performance of a thorough layer of powder or even granules.  This is particularly the case for masking ammonia.  Obviously, if you add more beads the performance will be better but we just end up going through a package way too quickly.  However, the beads do last a bit longer due to their size so if you are going on long trips or vacations then these might be a good product to try.

Finally, they are also on the expensive side.  Couple this with the fact that you can easily go through a package much quicker than you would like and you end up with a pricey solution to controlling litter box odors.

Pros: No dust or tracking, can last a while, easy to spot and dispose of, no strong perfumes

Cons: Not as powerful as powder or beads, not intended to cover large areas, expensive

Spray

cat-litter-deodorizer-spray

The spray litter deodorizer approach attempt to combine some of the components of other types into a liquid or semi-liquid that is then put in a spray bottle.  The most common inclusions are mixing baking soda in for its odor-locking capabilities.  There are several varieties of sprays on the market, with some being scented and some being non-scented.  Because of this, we encourage you to try a few different ones out to see if your cats can handle the perfumes or if the non-perfume types are strong enough for your liking.

The spray component is definitely convenient.  You can easily cover large areas of the litter box with a few squeezes or get closer in if you want to focus on a particular spot.  This gives you much more control over application than compared to the powder and granule types and you can cover a much greater area than the beads.  Also, the fact that the powder is mixed with other solutions seems to eliminate most of the tracking and dust we see in standard powders.

However, it doesn’t come without its issues.  The spray bottle is notorious for jamming or not shooting correctly which can cause both major frustration as well as a mess.  This might be because you aren’t dealing with straight liquid but rather liquid mixed with other more solid particles.

We also feel that straight powder and even granules are a bit more effective in fighting odor, but that a thorough spray should still be plenty for most litter boxes.  You will also pay a bit of a premium for the spray.

Pros: Great control and application, little concern of dust or tracking, acceptable odor control

Cons: Spray bottle can easily jam, somewhat expensive

What to Consider Before Purchasing Cat Litter Deodorizer


 

Since there are several varieties of cat deodorizers, each with their own unique pros, cons, and target applications, it is important to establish what exactly you are looking for in your next purchase.  Keep in mind that these metrics will vary from household to household but they are all good points to consider.

Number of Cats

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Do you have a single cat or a busy, multi-cat household?  If you have more than one cat (and particularly if you have 3+) then you will probably want to look into one of the more powerful solutions that are typically found with the powders or granules.  While the beads and spray can work, they will require a heavier use and a more thorough application over the entire litter box.

Number of Litterboxes

The more cats that are using a single litter box, the harder it is going to be to keep the odors in check.  For someone that has 3 cats but also has 3 litterboxes they might not need to worry about litter deodorizers most of the time, while someone with just 2 cats but only 1 litter box has a bigger issue.

Proximity of Litterbox to Common Areas/Level of Ventilation

We decided to combine these two since they are related.  If your litter box is in an area that has high traffic or somewhere that doesn’t have very good ventilation then odors creeping out of the box can have a much bigger impact.  Study where you put your litter box and see if it is in an optimal location.  If you can move it somewhere that is less busy or that closer to moving air then consider it.  It might save you a few bucks on having to purchase cat deodorizer!

Type of Litter Used

cat-litter-deodorizer-natural-vs-scented

Everybody has their favorite brand and type of litter it seems.  Some people stick with the proven and effective clay varieties while others opt for the more eco-friendly solutions.  As we oftentimes discuss on this site, there can be a big fluctuation in how effective a given type or brand of litter is, but the other benefits might still be significant enough that people overlook the weaker odor fighters.  A good example of this are the all-natural litters that are better for the environment and that don’t’ put out strong chemical scents.

If you decide to use a litter that doesn’t have great odor control then you might have to rely more heavily on deodorizers.  There are some people that stick to this approach and simply get in the habit of adding a bit of deodorant to the litter at each new batch.

Cat/Owner Sensitivities

Similar to litters, deodorizers come in examples that can have strong perfume scents and dust while others are scent-free and dustless.  If you or your cat have allergies or a sensitive smell to these types of things then you might want to try to avoid certain types.  A safe bet would be the beads and some of the granule-based products.

Budget

Most people are on some sort of pet budget, and deodorizers are an added expense on top of the litter itself.  Depending on how often you need to use it, you may go through a box or bottle rather quickly, and this can add up

Best Cat Litter Deodorizers


 

Now for the moment of truth!  Now that we have discussed what a cat litter deodorizer is, the various types, and what to look for when shopping for a deodorizer we will list out our top choices for the best cat litter deodorizers.  We have attempted to find a variety of types so that everybody should find something that works for them and their cat.

Hartz Fresh Scent Deodorizing Litter Beads

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These are one of the most popular deodorizing beads on the market.  We specifically are reviewing the Cool Mountain Wind scent which we really enjoy.  The smell is aromatic but not overpowering and it definitely helps in masking excess cat waste odors.  Even cats with sensitive smells should be ok using this fragranced deodorant due to the somewhat subtle smell and lack of dust.  That being said, it might not be strong enough to fight significant ammonia smells so we recommend sticking to this for single cat litterboxes.  It is also a good choice for those who plan to go on a long trip as the beads seem to last a lot longer than most of the competition.  But the asking price is pretty high.

Arm & Hammer Multiple Cat Litter Deodorizer with Baking Soda

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This is a very powerful deodorant that is intended to treat the most challenging litter boxes.  Specifically, it works will with busy multi-cat boxes that can quickly become overwhelmed with odor.  It does have a rather strong fragrance and there can be dust associated with this product so be careful if you or your cats have sensitive allergies.  Application can also be pretty messy as it is easy to spread this stuff in places you don’t want it to go.  But if you are willing to deal with the strong perfume and dust levels this is one of the most potent products on the market.  Finally, it is one of the most affordable solutions available, making it great for those on a tight budget.

NonScents Odor Control Cat Litter Deodorizer

nonscents-odor-control-cat-litter-deodorizer-review

This is one of the most popular granule-based deodorants on the market, and for good reason.  It is odor-free and injected with 99.5% zeolite which is a proven material for masking odors.  While this product doesn’t utilize a perfume, it also means that you don’t have to worry about harsh chemical fumes coming from your litter box.  While perfumes typically help in masking cat waste odor, the manufacturers believe that the other 0.5% of the product that isn’t zeolite (and is instead composed of patented ingredients) plays a much larger role in odor control to the point where a perfume isn’t needed.  Specifically, it reacts and eliminates malodorous substance on the molecular level, which none of the other products can do.   The larger granules mean that there is less dust and tracking than regular powder but there is still enough surface area to handle most litter boxes.  However, we have noticed that you can go through a package of this product much quicker than anticipated.  Also, it is quite a bit more expensive than powder.

Citrus Magic Litter Box Odor Eliminator

citrus-magic-litter-box-odor-eliminator-review

This is a unique product that has received quite a bit of criticism but if used properly can be very effective.  The reason why it receives some flack is because it contains an ingredient called borax.  Borax, if ingested in moderate quantities, can be dangerous if not fatal to a cat.  However, if you properly follow the instructions (which tell you to bury this under the litter) then your cat shouldn’t be exposed to it.  The compound is a granule-like formula that includes other additives such as limonene and lauryl methacrylate.  While these might sound a bit foreign, the end result is a powerful odor fighter that has a refreshing lemon citrus scent.  When properly buried, this is one of the most effective solutions on the market.  And it comes in a bit cheaper than most of the other products.

Arm & Hammer Litter Deodorizer Spray

Arm & Hammer Litter Deodorizer Spray Review

This is a good product for those who want the power of baking soda but the convenience of a spray bottle.  The semi-liquid compound used is literally injected with baking soda.  It is much easier to cover and apply this in large areas and consistently.  However, the convenience does come at a cost: since the baking soda isn’t as concentrated you won’t get quite as good of odor fighting ability as you would with regular powder.  In addition, the spray bottle is notorious for jamming which can be somewhat frustrating.  Finally, there is a noticeable price tag jump when going to a spray method as well.  But for those who rank convenience and ease of use as a top priority, these might be issues you can overlook.

Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Odor Destroyer Litter Powder

natures-miracle-just-for-cats-odor-destroyer-litter-powder-review

This is another powder that tries to compete with the established Arm & Hammer brand products.  However, instead of heavily relying on the absorbent power of baking soda it instead centers its performance on the natural odor fighting ability of zeolite.  This is a common material found in cat litters and here they have ground it down into a concentrated powder form.  To add a bit extra “oomph” they also have injected a powerful fragrance into the powder.   While the perfume definitely helps it is intense and might turn off some cats and owners alike.  It is hard to say if the Zeolite approach or the baking soda approach is better but in both cases, they are very affordable and we say that you can’t go wrong with either.

Tidy Cats Litter Box Deodorizer

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This is Tidy Cats’ primary entry into the competitive deodorizer market and they have approached it with this effective powder.  Similar to the Nature’s Miracle and Arm & Hammer products, this product attempt to combine a powder with very strong perfumes to fight off odor.  And the strong scent coupled with its somewhat high dust levels means that it could be very uncomfortable for cats with sensitive allergies.  The biggest difference is that instead of baking soda or zeolite, Tidy Cats uses calcium carbonate as their ingredient.  Overall the product performs very well but it may cost a bit more that comparable products, most likely due to having the Tidy Cats name.

And finally, for those who are true penny-pinchers, you can also try making your own cat litter deodorizer at home.  This little video is a simple tutorial to show you how.  However, from our experience, don’t expect the homemade stuff to perform as well as some of the products you can buy in stores.

 

CatLitterHelp.com tests and analyzes every major cat litter brand and various cat litter accessories to determine what the best product is that meets your needs.  When readers choose to buy our independently reviewed choices, we may earn affiliate commissions that help to support our writers and site maintenenance.