The Best Cat Litter Deodorizer

You get home after a long day at the office, throw your coat on the hook, and bend down to grab your furry bundle of love that’s been waiting so long for you. All of a sudden, you notice something a little off about them. You head on over to the cat box to see what is the matter and lo and behold the overpowering smell of sour cat urine hits you like a brick. You take a moment to thank the heavens that it’s in the litter box and not on the new upholstery.

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve been there. Nobody likes coming home to that. And sometimes, simply cleaning your cat box on a daily basis is not enough to get rid of the foul stench they leave behind. That’s why cat litter deodorizers have taken the market by storm.

Cat litter deodorizers are the real deal. They make use of potent odor neutralizing ingredients to freshen up your cat box so it is back to normal in no time. However, there are many different varieties of cat litter deodorizer so it’s best to know exactly which kind of deodorizer product is best for you and your cat. Keep reading to find out more about what makes the best cat litter deodorizer according to your cat’s specific needs.

What is the Best Cat Litter Deodorizer?

Why the Foul Smell?

We all gotta go. But we all know it, cat pee is especially foul. There’s something about that pungent scent that will drive a house guest right back out of the door. So what is it about cat pee that makes it reek so bad, and should you be concerned if the aroma has changed?

It’s all about bacteria. Cat urine, when left to fester for even short stretches of time, quickly accumulates a slew of potentially harmful microbes and bacteria. These bacteria, as they grow, emit a chemical compound called ammonia. This nasty little waste product is the number one reason why cat pee has such a powerful smell to it. And as the ammonia sits, another pesky chemical called mercaptans is released which makes it even worse.

If you have noticed that your cat’s leftover litter has gotten worse, there is typically no reason to take alarm. This tends to occur naturally as cats age. However, according to Dr. Kathryn Primm from I Heart Cats, on rare occasions this can be an indication of a urinary tract infection. If you’ve noticed that your cat is actually unusual, straining, or starting to pee in inappropriate places, then it may be worth hauling your kitty to the vet for a check-up.

As you may have guessed, eliminating the ammonia and the mercaptans from your cat’s waste is how deodorizers work. This won’t get rid of all aspects of the urine, as pheromones, hormones, and uric acids will be left behind, but thankfully that severe scent will be eviscerated.

While deodorizers are the right choice for many cat owners, it can get a little confusing as to which variety you should go with. Check out our handy guide to help you decide on the best cat litter deodorizer is according to you and your cat’s specific circumstances.

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Finding the Right Litter

A major component of deodorizing your cat box is to simply find the right litter type. Sound easy? Well, not quite, as there are an overwhelming amount of litter varieties now on the market. Clumping versus non-clumping, clay versus silica, natural versus conventional—there are simply too many considerations to weigh all at once.

Luckily for you, we’ve broken down all the important aspects of choosing the right litter to minimize unwanted cat box smells. Read on to find out what will work best for you.

Scented Litters

While scented litters have the benefit of overpowering any nasty smells that might emit from your cat box, they also have the potential to clash with them. Nobody wants that. We recommend only going for the top-of-the-line scented brands if you do decide on scented varieties, as they are trusted to not cheap out in their time of need.

If you have room in your budget to splurge a little on the good stuff, then go for it. Otherwise, we recommend only opting for scented brands if your cat box is located somewhere that desperately needs some air freshening. Think bathrooms, musty basements, or mud rooms.

Unscented Litters

If you are sensitive to powerful smells or aromas, then unscented cat litters may be for you. The same is true if you prefer plain-and-simple neutrality over big, room-filling fragrances like lavender or lemon. But do not confuse neutrality with weakness, as non-scented cat litters often pack just as much of a punch as their scented counterparts.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is the threat of exposure to allergens. Talk to your vet about what your cat may be allergic to. If they have any risk of exposure, it’s better to take the safe route and choose an unscented product as their formulas do not include as many potentially harmful adulterants as scented ones.

Finally, always look for dust-free options when it comes to picking your litter. Cheap litter options are known to kick up a nasty plume of dust left over from the dry clay or silica. Not only are these dust clouds potentially harmful for you and your cat, but they leave gag-inducing smells on your floor and walls thanks to the residue they leave behind.

The bottom line? Choose a cat litter option that brands itself as being “dust-free”. This is critically important to minimize the foul smelling residues that litter dust leaves behind. Second, we recommend opting for a scented litter product as this can overpower any unwanted smells from the cat box—just check in with your vet about allergies first.

Deodorizers: You Mean Baking Soda?

Deodorizers come in a variety of form factors: sprays, powders, beads, and granules. The days of mixing a measly spoonful of baking soda  in with the cat litter are behind us now. And it’s all thanks to cutting-edge developments made in deodorization technologies. While they hit the wallet a little bit harder, they make up for it many times over in their effectiveness.

Don’t get me wrong, adding baking soda to your litter box doesn’t hurt if you need an emergency solution. However, serious cat lovers should keep a more effective product on hand for when it’s needed most. Baking soda powders can lead to tracking, and usually leave a strong scent themselves.

In contrast, granules are typically scent-free and won’t cause any unwanted clinging to your cat’s paw-pads. And if convenience is a deciding factor for you, then you simply can’t beat liquid spray bottles or anti-ammonia beads.

For a more in-depth look at which product might be best for you, read on as we break down the unique benefits of each deodorizer type.

Reviewed: The Best Cat Litter Deodorizers

Quick Look : Best Cat Litter Deodorizers in 2022

By now you’re an expert on the ins and outs of cat litter deodorizer. But that’s a lot of information to process all at once. So if you’re still a bit torn as to what deodorizer variety to go with, we’ve got you covered. Check out our trusted product reviews below to discover the best cat litter deodorizer for you.

Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder Check Price

Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder

This is the one classic deodorizer nearly all cat parents have seen on store shelves. And for good reason—it packs maximum value into every scoop. The Arm & Hammer Deodorizer Powder is premium baking soda powder that has been trusted for years to mask unpleasant aromas and keep messy clumps out of unwanted places.

It’s simple, you just tear open the box and pour the powder into your empty litter box. Not only does the powder work to neutralize the odors that fester at the bottom of the box, but it completely prevents clumps from sticking to the plastic. Plus, at such a low cost this makes for a risk-free choice for those who like sticking to a budget.

For those who want a deodorizer that’s been tried and trusted for generations, go with the classic Arm & Hammer powder.


  • Trusted for decades to provide maximum value
  • Ultra-low cost
  • Prevents clumping and sticking
  • Neutral, subtle fragrance


  • Less convenient to use than other varieties
  • Unscented powders may leave traces of unwanted smells

Tidy Cats Litter Box Deodorizer for Multiple Cats Check Price

Tidy Cats Litter Box Deodorizer for Multiple Cats

Sometimes deodorizer powders just don’t get the job done. When that’s the case, it’s time for an upgrade. Tidy Cats Litter Box Deodorizer stomps out the competition by offering a unique formula made with all-natural calcium carbonate. Its potent odor-fighting granules fight even the strongest cat box aromas, requiring only 2 tablespoons with each cleaning session.

While only marginally more expensive than baking soda, it packs a far greater punch. This makes Tidy Cats that go-to choice for those looking for a deodorizer that lasts. To boot, its fresh scent smells of herbs and natural, lush flora to keep all unwanted smells at bay. To keep your home smelling clean and fresh for weeks on end, we recommend Tidy Cats Litter Box Deodorizer.


  • Perfect for multi-cat households
  • Calcium-based compound beats out baking soda
  • Herbal scent freshens up the room instantly
  • Highly potent


  • The natural scent may be too powerful for some
  • Not very absorbent

Hartz Fresh Scent Deodorizing Litter Beads Check Price

Hartz Fresh Scent Deodorizing Litter Beads

For those who aren’t a fan of spilling powders or grains on the floor, a bead-based option might be right for you. While powders are a pain to measure, convenient pebble-sized beads provide the same deodorizing results without the mess or spillage. Hartz Fresh Scent Litter Beads provides best-in-class odor control while minimizing the risk of a mishap.

And with Hartz, you have options to choose from. Is it going to be the fresh Cool Mountain Wind or the lush Spring Meadow variety? No matter, both solutions offer the same odor-eliminating formula. All it takes is one easy sprinkling on top of your full litter box and odors are instantly destroyed on contact with moisture.

Lastly, their fun, compact form will keep your cat entertained while they go about their business. Having the appearance of a small colorful stone, cats are known to bury and push around the beads while in the litter box. This will have your cat coming back for more, so you don’t have to worry about your little friend going on the new carpet instead.


  • No mess or dust left behind
  • Multiple, fresh scents to choose from
  • Easier to apply and measure
  • Eliminates odor on contact


  • More expensive than powder varieties
  • Requires more product to fully deodorize

Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Spray Check Price

Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Spray

The Arm & Hammer Deodorizer Spray is the ultimate in providing odor-fighting convenience at your fingertips. Their signature blend of odor-blasting compounds fills the room with a cool, mild scent that keeps unwanted smells unnoticeable.

With Arm & Hammer, clumping is a thing of the past as their patented formula adds a slick coating to the sides of your litter box. This means no more funky litter build-up on the sides of your box.

While coming in at a higher price point than powdered solutions, one coating of spray is all you need for complete, all-day freshness. This makes it a cost-effective remedy when compared to granular or bead-based products. And an added benefit of Arm & Hammer’s wide-nozzle design is that only one or two squeezes will provide coverage for the whole litter box.

When compared to measuring out tablespoons of baking soda, this handy spray solution is the clear winner in terms of usability. So for a long-lasting, no-stick solution to your cat’s odor issues, go with the best. Go with Arm & Hammer’s Cat Litter Deodorizer Spray.


  • The ultimate in convenience
  • Provides all-day freshness with one coat
  • No obnoxious scent


  • Not ideal for multi-cat households
  • Sometimes leaves residue

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