Our kitties provide us with many wonderful things, including love, affection, and companionship. But they also provide us with some not-so-wonderful things, mainly a smelly litter box. If you’re experiencing litter box funk no matter how many times you scoop, it may be time to try an air freshener for your litter box. This list covers five of the best litter box air fresheners for any living situation.
1. Best Overall: Hamilton Beach TrueAir Plug Mount Odor Eliminator
Uses a standard 110-volt outlet and is easy to use.
Filter replacement indictor let's you know when it's time to change the filer.
This air freshener takes a two-step approach to better smelling air around your litter box area. The first step is the built-in fan that draws smelly litter box odors into the unit, where they become trapped in a replaceable carbon filter. The next step is the release of clean, lightly scented air back into the room. The carbon filter lasts up to three months and is easily replaceable with inserts that can be purchased separately.
This air freshener from Hamilton Beach plugs into any standard wall outlet and can even come with a nightlight. The fresh scent that this air freshener releases is optional, so you can have cleaner smelling air without the artificial fragrance.
Since this air freshener has a fan, it’s going to make some noise. This can be an issue depending on the size of the room that you put it in. Also, the scent packet doesn’t last as long as the filter, so if you want a little artificial smell on top of the filtering, you’ll need to replace it more often.
- Removes odors, doesn’t just mask them
- Plugs into any standard outlet
- Optional nightlight
- Replaceable filter that lasts up to three months
- The fan does make some noise
- Scent packet doesn’t last as long as the filter
- Doesn’t work for very strong odors
2. Best for Allergies: LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Pet Hair
Super quiet operation while in sleep mode.
Improve air quality and helps you and your pet relieve allergic symptoms like sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, and sinuses.
Comes with a lock button so your pets can't tamper with the settings.
If your kitty is causing more than just an odor problem in your home, the Levoit Air Purifier can help rid your home of the litter box smell and pet dander at the same time. This air purifier uses HEPA filtration to remove 99.97% of those harmful irritants from the air, including litter box odor. This provides a fresher smell for your home and healthier air to breathe.
On top of removing odor and pet dander, this air purifier also removes mold, smoke, and pollen. It is quiet enough to use in a bedroom and has a sleep timer should you need a more silent mode for nighttime. There is also a pet lock system in place to help keep your fur babies from pushing buttons and changing the modes. The small size makes it perfect for litter box areas, but it is capable of cleaning the air in a 219 square foot room.
This product is a little pricier than other air fresheners on this list. On top of the initial cost, filter replacements can be expensive too. It is also recommended that the filter be vacuumed at least every two weeks for the best results.
- Removes odors, pet dander, and other irritants
- Quiet operation with extra quiet sleep mode
- HEPA filtration can help reduce allergies
- Costs more
- Replacement filters are expensive
- Needs to be cleaned at least every two weeks
3. Best Cat Litter Additive: NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer
Fragrance free and easy to apply.
Extends the life of your kitty litter.
The NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer is a product that you sprinkle on top of your regular cat litter. From there, it neutralizes litter box odors at the source with no additional work from you. Odors will be locked in and thrown away with the litter when the litter box is cleaned. This product is safe and non-toxic to you or your kitty.
Not only will NonScents neutralize your litter box odors and leave your cat’s area smelling better, but it will also help extend the life of your cat litter. This will allow you to use less litter, save money, and reduce waste. This product has no fragrance, so you and your cat won’t be overpowered by a perfumy smell.
This is a dry, powdery product, so there is a possibility of respiratory issues if inhaled. Your best bet is to use the product and leave the room, allowing it time to settle. If possible, don’t let your kitty in the room for a few minutes as well. Even though it is a fragrance-free air freshener, some pet owners say it has a slightly chlorine-like smell, which is not over-powering but noticeable.
- Neutralizes litter box odor, doesn’t mask it
- Fragrance-free for sensitive noses
- Extends the life of your cat litter
- Very dusty and messy if you use a lot of it
- Some people do notice a chlorine-like scent
4. Best Solid Air Freshener: Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid Air Freshener
Convenient, continuous odor control.
Another option for cat litter box areas without access to an outlet is the Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid Air Freshener. This product can be placed in your litter box room and left to do its magic. It uses baking soda and other odor eliminators. Not only does this solid air freshener absorb unwanted litter box funk, but it also releases a light citrusy or linen scent. This scent isn’t masking litter box odor; rather, it should be seen as a bonus fragrance.
The Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid comes in different sizes to accommodate different types of areas. They also last for varying amounts of time. The smaller eight-ounce version lasts for up to six weeks, while the larger 20-ounce version can last up to 14 weeks. This means you can set one out and forget about litter box odor for over a month.
If you have a multi-cat household, you may need to look for something a little bit stronger.
- Absorbs odors instead of masking them
- Has a light citrus or linen scent
- Easy to use and long-lasting
- Doesn’t handle very strong odors
- Citrus scent may be overpowering for more sensitive noses
5. Best Spray Air Freshener: Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator
Does not cover up or mask odors with a fragrance or perfume.
Works on clay and clumping litter.
The Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator is a great option for quick and easy litter box odor removal. This spray can be used on surfaces or sprayed into the air. Spray it directly on your clumping or non-clumping cat litter for quick odor neutralization. This spray traps odors and neutralizes them so that they no longer linger in your household.
Zero Odor doesn’t have any additional fragrances to mask the odor. However, it does have a tracer scent that lingers temporarily to help you know where you have sprayed. This product is also biodegradable, safe, and non-toxic to you and your cats. It also won’t irritate allergies or other respiratory sensitivities. Other products from Zero Odor can be used on laundry and other areas of the home as well.
This air freshener spray from Zero Odor is made to work with clumping and non-clumping clay litter. Other litters might not yield the same results. In fact, corn or other flushable litters didn’t show the same odor clearing results. Also, this product might not last very long. It neutralizes the odors in the air or on the surface but doesn’t linger to capture future odors.
- Safe, non-toxic, hypoallergenic
- Spray on any surface or in the air
- Neutralizes odors instead of masking them
- Doesn’t work as well with non-clay litters
- No long-lasting effect
Best Litter Box Air Fresheners Buying Guide
Even though you love your feline friend, their litter box odor can sometimes wear out their welcome in your home. When scooping and cleaning aren’t enough, you may want to look into getting an air freshener for your litter box. Here’s what you need to know.
What to Look for in Air Fresheners for Litter Boxes
Getting the right air freshener for your litter box isn’t as easy as picking out a pleasing scent. Instead, there are many different attributes to take into consideration.
- Type of Air Freshener: Some air fresheners simply cover up odors rather than get rid of them. If that’s ok with you, then look into a scented plug-in or spray with a scent that you like and use when needed. However, if you’d rather neutralize odors, you’re going to need something a little stronger. There are air fresheners out there that use a filtration system to remove odors and others that use chemicals or products, such as baking soda, to absorb or neutralize odors. Some air fresheners will need an outlet, some will need replacement filters, and some will need to be reapplied often.
- Ability: As with anything else, not all air fresheners for litter boxes are created equal. Some do a better job than others at getting rid of litter box smells. Your best bet is to look for products that contain carbon filters or baking soda to get rid of odors. Chlorine is also an option if you don’t mind the smell.
- Fragrance: If you want your litter box to carry more of a pleasant scent, rather than no scent at all, look into an air freshener with some fragrance. However, it’s important to remember that your kitty may be put off by strong smells in their space, making them not want to use their litter box at all. Your best bet is to go with a subtle fragrance rather than an overpowering, perfumy one.
- Safety: Of course, you don’t want to get a product that isn’t safe for you or your cat. One way of doing this is by getting a product that is specifically designed for litter boxes. The other way is by reading the labels for any safety warnings.
- Duration: There isn’t an air freshener for litter boxes out there that lasts forever. Every product is going to have a life span. Finding a long-acting air freshener will ensure that your cat’s litter box odors are kept at bay for longer so that you won’t feel like you have a part-time job changing it.
- Multi-Purpose: You may choose to get an air freshener that does more than just combat litter box odor. If that’s the case, many on the market also double as cleaning agents or air filters and can be used around the house to control other odors as well.
Just be sure to think about your specific litter box situation when purchasing an air freshener. If it’s tucked away in a confined space, a smaller freshener may be better. If it’s out in the open, you’ll need something that can handle larger areas. Also, consider your access to an outlet if you’re looking for something that needs power. Finally, consider your kitty’s needs. If they are sensitive to smells or sounds, you’ll want to find something more inconspicuous.
More Tips to Keep Litter Box Odor Down
Reducing the smell of the litter box in your house is going to take multiple actions. Air fresheners often aren’t enough to effectively keep things smelling fresh.
- Scoop Often: If you have the time, scoop after every visit your cat makes to the litter box. Since that often isn’t feasible, scoop at least once a day, preferably twice, to keep all noses happy.
- Wash the Box: Changing the litter isn’t enough. To effectively remove litter box odor, you’ll need to wash the litter box with soap and water at least once a month.
- Enough Litter Boxes: The general rule is that you have one more litter box than you have cats. That means for four cats, you would want five litter boxes. This helps decrease competition and helps cut down the messiness that each box experiences.
- Air it Out: Keeping your litter box in a tight space may help hide it from view, but it can also increase the smell. A well-ventilated area is better to help air out those odors.
If your cat’s litter box odor is starting to come between the two of you, it may be time to get a litter box air freshener. Whichever one you choose, make sure that it is safe to use around your cat. After that, you can choose one based on your personal preferences and litter box needs.
Dr. Chyrle Bonk has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons, where they spend their free time exploring the great outdoors that is right in their backyard.