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Fresh Step Odor Shield Unscented Cat Litter Review

14 and 20-pound boxes

Clay composition



Initially does acceptable job of capturing odors


Clumps fall apart and are sticky

Strong artificial odor

Difficult to clean up

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Fresh Step Odor Shield Unscented Cat Litter Review

Last Updated by Brandon F. on May 19, 2020

Advertised Product Description

This is our Fresh Step Odor Shield Unscented Cat Litter Review.  Fresh Step Odor Shield Unscented contains activated carbon and plant extracts which will help fight odor control while not utilizing any perfumes or dyes.  This is a good choice for those cats and owners who might have sensitive allergies or smells.  This clay-based litter contains absorbent clay which assists in the clumping process.  Fresh Step even guarantees 10-day odor control protection.  Available in 14 and 20-pound boxes.

Who This Cat Litter is Intended For

This cat litter is intended typically for single-cat owners who are looking for adequate odor protection and conventional clay clumping abilities.  However, they are or their cats might suffer from having allergies, asthma, or a sensitive sense of smell, making it difficult to use the many scented or perfumed cat litters on the market.

This product displays that it is unscented and avoids the use of perfumes while still being able to control odor through features such as plant extracts, carbon, and paw-induced odor activators.  Finally, this product is targeted at those buyers who are watching their budget but will spend a bit extra for a good product.

What Makes This Cat Litter Unique

This cat litter is unique because it tries to tackle the challenge of keeping odor in check without the assistance of perfumes.  Instead, it uses a scentless clay and unique features such as carbon and plant extracts to make up for where perfumes oftentimes pick up.  Also, it believes that it does not give up performance in other areas such as clumping and absorption despite having to approach fighting cat smells in a somewhat unique way.  Also, we like the paw-activated odor fighters and we think it adds some extra life to the litter.

Clumping Ability – 2 star

The clumping could be a bit better.  Initially, the clumps form and stay relatively hard but after a few days, it can oftentimes lead to a sort of sludge that settles at the bottom and sides of the cat box that can be very hard to maintain and clean.  Even when the clumps don’t fall apart they still get very soft and are a mere shift or bump away from falling apart.  You will see this be a much bigger issue if you use this in a busy litter box as the clumps may struggle to ever become fully hard.

Scent – 2 star

Despite being labeled as “unscented” there is still a rather strong scent associated with this litter.  It is not perfume-like but rather just smells of clay cat litter.  The smell can also linger.  It is an understanding that even scentless litter generally still has some smell due to the materials that it is comprised of but we feel that Fresh Step could have done a better job in controlling these smells if they are going to advertise being an unscented product.

In regards to capturing cat smells it does a decent job until the clumps start to fall apart and then the smells can be reintroduced into the air.  We do enjoy the paw-activated odor blockers and you can tell that the plant extracts are making up for the absence of perfume.

Messiness – 1.5 star

When the clumps fall apart they create an almost concrete-like barrier that sticks to anything it touches.  You may find yourself scraping the sides of the box like you are trying to peel off paint.  This can also stick to your cats and while it won’t track around as much as you expect it is simply because it is cemented to the bottom of your cat’s paws!  Finally, there is quite a bit of dust associated with this litter and be ready for it to kick up whenever you move the product around.

Value – 2.5 star

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Prices for this product online generally range in the mid-price area.

Overall Rating – 2 star

The Fresh Step Odor Shield Unscented Cat Litter Review earns 2 out of 5 cats.  There are much better options out there, even in the unscented category.  This product struggles in multiple areas, and while the odor control is adequate we just find too many other flaws which sort of trump the odor-fighting abilities.  If it were an extreme budget litter (as in well under a dollar per pound) we might give it a pass but for the asking price, there are simply too many other better options out there. 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.