Contents of Article
- Why use a cat litter deodorizer?
- Types of Litter Deodorizers
- Litter Deodorizing Beads
- Choosing the Right Litter Deodorizer
- Top 5 Best Litter Deodorizers
- Making Your Own Cat Litter Deodorizer
- Odor Management Tips
Why use a cat litter deodorizer?
Litter deodorizers help to shoulder some of the burden of litter box odor management, doing what cat litter and regular scooping just can’t do. They can also help to extend the life of your litter by absorbing both odors and moisture.
These concentrated deodorizers are made with some of the same ingredients you might find in deodorizing cat litter. These concentrated products go a step further – they have powerful odor neutralizing formulas that can bring you close to an odorless litter box.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of litter deodorizers on the market, how to choose one that’s right for your home, and list the top 5 best litter deodorizing products you can buy. You’ll also learn how to go beyond deodorizers and potentially solve litter box odor problems before they begin.
Quick Look : Top 5 Best Litter Deodorizers
Types of Litter Deodorizers
Powder Litter Deodorizer
Baking soda is a common base ingredient for powder litter deodorizers, although many different deodorizing compounds may be used. This is a powerful odor neutralizer that can help keep odors down in busy multi-cat homes. It’s also typically the cheapest type of litter deodorizer on the market. On the negative side, powder tracks a lot and is easily thrown out of the litter box.
Granulated Litter Deodorizer
These products are usually made from zeolite – an absorbent, odor neutralizing mineral. Because the particles are heavier than those making up powdered deodorizers, granulated products are less trackable and won’t create a mess. They may be scented or unscented and are typically effective at neutralizing odor. Along with superior odor and moisture control, they’re typically more expensive than powders.
Litter Deodorizing Beads
Although deodorizing beads don’t offer the same odor-neutralizing powder as do other products, their large size usually offers greater longevity. This makes them a good choice for those who can’t change the litter box regularly. If you don’t like tracking or dust, beads have what you’re looking for – they stay in place and won’t easily scatter around the room. Beads typically lie on the expensive end of the spectrum.
Spray Litter Deodorizer
This form of deodorizer presents a convenient solution by offering the odor-fighting agents found in other products in a convenient liquid or semi-liquid format. Spray deodorizer is generally less effective than granules or powder, but it makes up for lack of potency in ease of use and nonexistent tracking or dust. It’s easy to spritz on a little extra deodorizer at any time. You’ll have to pay for the added convenience – spray deodorizer is marginally more expensive than powdered litter.
Choosing the Right Litter Deodorizer
We’ve gone over the different types of litter deodorizer, but we still don’t know which one is right for you.
To orient you towards the perfect deodorizer for you and your cat, here are a few key questions to ask about any cat litter deodorizer before you make a decision.
Is it safe for your cat?
Choose wisely! Not every litter deodorizer is completely safe.
For example, some products contain Borax, a chemical compound that could make your cat sick if inhaled or ingested.
Remember that unlike humans, cats can’t wash their paws before eating – they always lick their paws and will ingest any residue that is there.
If your cat has nutrient deficiencies or has a tendency to eat litter for any other reason, the risk of ingesting something harmful is even more serious.
Because your cat will have to come into contact with the deodorizer multiple times each day, it’s important to choose a safe, non-toxic product.
Is it scented or unscented?
Cat litter deodorizer often contains artificial fragrances that promise to make your cat’s litter box smell like a mountain breeze, floral garden, or even give it a citrus smell. These perfumes can help to cover up odors, but they’re not universally accepted by cats or people.
Most cats prefer unscented litter products, and if you’re sensitive to perfumes, you also won’t like a strongly-scented litter deodorizer.
Unscented litter deodorizers are more widely accepted among cats and are less likely to cause irritation.
Is it strong enough for your unique situation?
If you’re dealing with a serious smell problem or multiple cats sharing a single box, you’ll want to look for a powerful deodorizer.
Baking soda-based powder and granules made from zeolite offer the best odor control, but strength varies from product to product.
Does it fit into your budget?
The various types of litter deodorizers come at a variety of price points. Think about how much you’ll use and what you’re willing to spend before choosing a litter deodorizer.
Powder litter deodorizers tend to be the cheapest, while beads and granules are more expensive.
Top 5 Best Litter Deodorizers
Unscented zeolite granules
This unscented product is 99.5% natural zeolite granules covered with a patent-pending proprietary coating. It’s safe for your cat to use and the fragrance-free formula won’t irritate even the most sensitive cats and people.
The granules work within minutes to effectively neutralize odors. The concentrated professional grade formula traps smells and keeps the litter box smelling fresh for long periods of time.
NonScents recommends that you sprinkle the granules over the surface of the litter until it’s lightly covered, reapplying as needed between cleanings. – Buy It
- Coated zeolite granules are safe for your cat
- Unscented and non-irritating
- Heavy granules won’t track
- Concentrated formula neutralizes strong odors
Scented baking soda deodorizer
This popular product is sold by Arm & Hammer and is a baking soda based deodorizer that’s infused with fragrance to help eliminate and mask odors. The moisture-activated fragrance is light and generally well-received, although some sensitive cats and people will find it irritating.
It’s compatible with all types of litter.
Arm & Hammer recommends that you cover the bottom of a clean, empty litter box with the deodorizing powder, then fill the box with litter. After filling the box, you’re instructed to sprinkle the deodorizer on the top surface and mix it in.
Because this is a fine powder, it can be dusty and messy.
The formula also helps to prevent clumped litter from getting stuck to the inside of the box. – Buy It
- Low price
- A popular and reliable deodorizer
- Helps to prevent litter from sticking to the box
- Eliminates odors immediately
- Contains an added fragrance
- Fine powder is messy
Unscented deodorizing spray
The spray is made from a proprietary odor elimination formula that, according to customer reviews, effectively eliminates litter box odors. It’s an unscented deodorizer, making it ideal for sensitive cats and people who don’t like fragrances. It’s safe and won’t irritate your cat’s paws.
You can spritz this product directly onto the litter after your cat uses it. This makes it a good choice for people who want to freshen up the litter between waste removals and litter box cleanings. It won’t clump up in the litter box.
This multipurpose spray also works on fabric and hard surfaces, and you can use it as airborne odor eliminator. – Buy It
- Convenient spray is perfect for refreshing the litter box
- Unscented litter deodorizer is perfect for sensitive noses
- Also eliminates odors on fabric, in the air, and on hard surfaces
- Not the most powerful deodorizer
Scented zeolite granules
This zeolite deodorizer captures odors and moisture on contact, then locks them in for continued odor control.
While the zeolite is 100% nontoxic and safe for your cat, ultra – sensitive cats may want to avoid this scented deodorizer. Customers generally report that the scent is light and unobtrusive.
The heavier granules track less than fine powder deodorizers do, helping to keep the area around the litter box clean. They are about the same color and texture as clay litter.
LitterMaid recommends that you sprinkle a layer of the granules in the bottom of a clean, empty litter box before filling with litter. Once the litter box is full, sprinkle ¼-½ cup of deodorizer over the surface, then reapply after scooping or when you clean the litter box. – Buy It
- Made from highly absorbent zeolite
- Controls odors effectively
- Heavy granules don’t track as much as powder
- Scented deodorizer isn’t right for every cat
Scented deodorizing beads
These beads appear to be the most heavily-scented item on this list. They come in two fragrances: Cool Mountain Wind and Spring Meadow. Because it contains perfume, this product isn’t appropriate for cats who are sensitive to scents. Those who do like the smell of the beads say that they give the room a pleasant aroma while effectively neutralizing unwanted smells.
Hartz recommends that you sprinkle the beads evenly over the surface of the litter and dispose of them whenever they become soiled. The beads eliminate odors without creating dust or any mess.
The containers are small and the product is on the expensive end, so the cost can add up quickly. – Buy It
- Large beads don’t create dust or mess
- Effectively neutralizes odors
- Easy to use
- Strong scent may deter some cats
Making Your Own Cat Litter Deodorizer
If you prefer a frugal and simple alternative to commercially available deodorizers, try these simple substitutes.
You might have noticed that many cat litter deodorizers are based on a simple ingredient: baking soda. This kitchen essential is an effective deodorizer that absorbs odor and moisture. It’s non-toxic, odorless, and safe for you and your cat to use.
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the empty litter box before pouring in the litter. If you’re dealing with a serious odor situation, you may want to sprinkle more on top of the litter after filling the box.
If you prefer a lightly scented herbal deodorizer, you may use cat-friendly herbs like chamomile, rosemary, lavender, spearmint, or licorice root. You can either sprinkle them into the litter alone to freshen up the smell of the box or use them in conjunction with odor-neutralizing baking soda.
If you’re mixing these herbs into the baking soda, it’s a good idea to transfer the mixture into a container with a shaker lid for easy application.
Alternatively, you may choose to use the herbs on their own as a scent spray: boil fresh cat-safe herbs in water, strain, and transfer the water to a spray bottle for spritzing.
Remember: most essential oils are not safe for your cat – even if the source of the oil is.
Odor Management Tips
Using a great litter box deodorizer can help, but it won’t get to the bottom of your odor problem.
Here are some tips to help you eliminate litter box odor:
Consider changing to a new litter.
If you’re relying on litter box deodorizer to keep odors down, it might be time to switch to a new litter that does a better job of controlling odors.
As a general rule, clumping litter has the best odor control ability. Choose a hard-clumping product that’s easy to scoop and won’t allow soiled crumbs to drop back into the box.
Provide enough litter boxes.
It’s easier to keep odors down when they’re distributed among multiple litter boxes. It’s generally agreed that you should provide one litter box per cat, plus one extra. If you have seven cats, it’s a good idea to provide eight litter boxes.
Diet can help.
Instead of trying to neutralize odors after they reach the litter box, why not promote better-smelling waste? Cleaning up your cat’s diet can help to minimize odor. A plant-heavy diet is not optimal for your carnivorous cat and can lead to excessive waste.
People who switch their cat to a biologically correct, grain-free diet frequently report a reduction in bad litter box smells.
If your cat’s litter box odor has suddenly intensified, it could point to health problems or food sensitivities. In this case, you’ll have to rule out parasites, a bacterial infection, or a reaction to a dietary change.
Thoroughly and frequently clean the litter box.
Litter box maintenance is the cornerstone of managing odor in your home. No amount of deodorizers, high-quality litter, or healthy diet can substitute for being a diligent and thorough litter box keeper.
Here’s how to effectively keep your cat’s litter box clean:
- Set the foundation by choosing the right litter box and litter scoop. Some litter boxes have non-stick surfaces that can help you to scoop everything out without residue, minimizing odor buildup. Select a scoop with square edges that can access the inner corners of the box.
- Scoop out the litter box at least once a day. If possible, scoop each time your cat uses it.
- In addition to scooping, you can use a non-toxic wet wipe to remove any waste on the edge of the box.
- Dump out all the contents of the litter box about once a week. While the box is empty, thoroughly scrape off anything that’s stuck to the inner surfaces. Clean it with warm water and vinegar or a gentle dish detergent. If possible, let it dry outside in the sun for added antimicrobial action. Once the box is clean and dry, fill it back up with clean litter.