The litter box is a necessary evil if you have a cat in your home. However, it’s better than the alternative of letting your kitty outside to do their business. Fortunately, the industry has stepped up with better products that make this part of pet care less unpleasant. Some even make the task almost completely hands-off.
No one wants their home to smell like they have cats. Luckily, you’ll find many litters and other care products that handle odor control well. Used with a litter box designed with this purpose at the forefront can make it a non-issue for pet owners. Some options work better than others, however.
Our reviews include various products, from economy choices to high-end ones, that will cover a broad range of needs. We hope that this list will make your purchase decision easier.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 10 Best Cat Litter Box for Odor Control — Reviews & Top Picks 2021
1. Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan — Best Overall
The manufacturer of the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan designed this product with the owner in mind. It is a large box that includes anchors to keep the litter liners in place for easy cleaning. That’s especially important because the material may absorb odors over time. Using liners can prolong the life of the product.
The litter box is a good size that can accommodate most pets. It has a replaceable charcoal filter to improve odor control. There is also a detachable door. However, we can see a cat avoiding a box with it in place. Still, the product is well made, which makes it our pick for the best overall cat litter box for odor control.
2. Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box — Best Value
The Frisco High Sided Litter Box is our pick for the best cat litter box for odor control for the money. While it has an open design, it compensates for any loss of odor control with high walls that do an excellent job of keeping litter inside of it. That’s cost saving on its own! It includes a litter scoop and caddy.
The litter box is well-made, with reinforcements all around to add to its strength and durability. The material is also recyclable. It’s easy to clean and wash, which is another thing to consider when choosing these kinds of products. Best of all, it’s made in the U.S.A.
3. Litter-Robot 3 Connect Essentials Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box — Premium Choice
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect Essentials Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box is as about high-tech as you can get by today’s standards. It’s user-friendly with its self-cleaning feature. It also has a smartphone app that will alert you when it’s time to clean it. You can also monitor your pet’s health.
These features make this product a better fit for someone who is tech-savvy, although the learning curve isn’t steep. You have to put it near an outlet so it can work. That’s not a big deal, but the litter box is huge compared to comparable products. That means finding the right spot might present challenges. Then, of course, there is the price. It is, after all, a deluxe model.
4. Nature’s Miracle Advanced Hooded Litter Box
The Nature’s Miracle Advanced Hooded Litter Box has a corner design that helps optimize space and reduce litter waste due to its high sides. That makes it easier when you take off the top because not much litter will be along the edges. There are several features that make this box worth a look, including the antimicrobial coating that is also slick to keep litter from sticking.
The litter box is big enough for larger cats or multi-pet households. It can contain more than enough litter and holds up well to regular use. It has a replaceable charcoal filter to help with odor control. It works, but its useful period is shorter than expected.
5. ScoopFree Smart Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
The ScoopFree Smart Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box making maintenance about as easy as possible. It takes care of the task and makes it hands-off as any pet owner would want. You simply put a fresh tray in and pop out the used one when it’s done. That’s a persuasive selling point for individuals who want as little contact with cat waste as possible. Unfortunately, that also adds to the cost of using it, due to the replacement trays.
You can rake the litter whenever you want with its manual control. It also has a smartphone app to keep track of its usage. If you want a set-it-and-forget-it solution, this product is worth a look.
6. Nature’s Miracle Silver Oval Hooded Litter Box
The Nature’s Miracle Silver Oval Hooded Litter Box takes advantage of the features that we see in similar products, with non-stick surfaces and an enclosed design to reduce litter loss. The shape is compact, which makes it easier to use in places where space is tight. The handle is a nice touch to make it easier to take to a washtub to clean. It also has a replaceable charcoal filter to reduce odors.
The litter box is affordable, which is always a plus. While it’s not self-cleaning, it is easy to spruce things up in between uses. We liked the small lip on the entry, which helps cut down on the litter on your kitty’s paws when they exit the box. It’s a small thing, but one that pet owners will appreciate.
7. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
The Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System has a unique take on odor control. This product uses absorbent pellets in a grate over a pad that captures the urine and contains the unpleasantness. The premise is sound, but it ups the cost when dealing with the proprietary materials. However, it uses an open pan design, which makes it easy to maintain.
The pellets are dust-free, which is a plus. They also last a relatively long time. The same applies to the disposable pad. It will work fine for a household with one cat. It’ll probably be a different story if you have more than one, though. The initial purchase is affordable, despite the ongoing cost.
8. Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Pan
The Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Pan makes easy work of keeping it clean. The hooded design works to contain odors. It has a removable door to make it less noticeable, which delivers what it promises. But your cat may not use it if the door touches their back and tail areas. After all, some pets are spooked more easily about new things.
The box is affordably priced. However, it still comes at a cost. The construction is adequate but not the best if you have a full pan. You’ll likely find that it buckles a bit when you haul it to the trash. However, it has high sides that do an excellent job of containing the litter.
9. IRIS Top Entry Litter Box
The IRIS Top Entry Litter Box has a different take on odor control with its unique design. It keeps waste out of sight and below the opening to contain the odor because it sits down closer to the floor. The design is decent; it looks less like a litter box if you have to put it in a used area of your home. It almost looks like a flowerpot without the plant.
It’s roomy enough for what it is. Our primary concern is whether a cat would know how to use it. It seems a bit unintuitive, even for an inquisitive kitty. Overall, it’s a make-it-or-break-it solution for a litter box for odor control. It all depends on whether your pet can figure it out and use it in this different form.
10. Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box
The Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box offers an excellent option for cats that have a hard time stepping into a box, whether they’re arthritic or senior pets. Although it has an unattractive design, it does a great job at containing litter and saving on waste. The doomed design contains the odor, along with a replaceable charcoal filter.
Unfortunately, the top and the clips are flimsy, making clean it a bit of a pain. It’s a good size, except for larger cats, which would have to crouch to get inside and use it. The top isn’t as secure as we’d like, which can make moving it harder too.
It may surprise you how much thought manufacturers have given to the design and functionality of litter boxes. You’ll find a vast array of ways that companies have tackled the question of odor control. You’re not imagining it when you think that your cat’s urine has a strong odor.
Felines began life in arid and desert climates. Thus, they evolved ways to conserve water. They also fulfill their need for moisture because they are carnivores. Your housecat isn’t much different from its ancestors. That’s what makes odor control such an issue when it comes to litter boxes. When looking for one, there are several things to consider, which include:
You’ll find several types of litter boxes, each with a different take on how to manage odor. Open litter boxes are the most affordable but least effective. They always typically don’t have filters. However, they are easier to clean. That’s the best way to handle this task, in any case. It’s also healthier for your pet.
Hooded litter boxes offer better odor control because they are enclosed. That keeps the litter inside to make cleaning the area around it easier. The drawback is that they aren’t as simple to use as open pans. You have to take off the top and wash out the inside. That makes for more work. The other concern is your cat. If you’re not as diligent about cleaning their box, your pet may avoid using it because it stinks.
The epitome of litter box designs is the self-cleaning model. As the name implies, it cleans up after your cat every time they use the box. This model is effective because it gets rid of the source of odors promptly. That may prevent a picky pet from going outside of it if the box isn’t clean enough for their sensitive noses. The drawback is the mechanism. It may scare your kitty if it’s loud.
Getting the right size box is another effective step in odor control. It ensures that there’s enough litter so it can do its job. Many products contain odor-control materials. They are effective if you use enough of the product. A sufficient size ensures that there’s enough room for your cat, which may help keep the litter inside of it instead of on the floor.
If you’re looking at a hooded box, make sure to measure your cat’s height and length to get the right size. We suggest erring on the side of caution and opting for a larger one. It’ll do a better job of controlling the odors if there’s more litter in the box.
Odor Control System
Many products have a charcoal filter to help control odors. It’ll also make it more pleasant for your cat to use the litter box. Bear in mind that you must change the filter as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Of course, most have a proprietary design so you must get the same brand as the box. This will add to your maintenance costs.
You can add your own DIY odor control system to your cat’s litter box: baking soda. It can help neutralize odors and add to the effectiveness of the product’s design and features.
The Internet of Things hasn’t bypassed the cat world by any means, especially if you browse through the high-end offerings. Of course, these products are aimed at pet parents who will spare no expense for their cats. There are Wi-Fi-enabled litter boxes with smart apps to monitor its use. There are items with night lights, which is amusing considering how superior feline night vision is. Some boxes even tell you when to clean it.
Ease of use
Ease of use for the owner is often a deciding factor when choosing a litter box. It must be sturdy enough to hold a large amount of litter and be picked up to empty it. Cleaning should be a snap, without much fuss or disassembly. The more hands-off it is, the better. That’s a significant factor in favor of self-cleaning boxes. We also like things self-contained. After all, there are health risks of doing this task.
After going through our reviews, the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan received high marks for the best overall product, thanks to its additional features. It makes clean-up easy while ensuring that you get the most out of your purchase.
The Frisco High Sided Litter Box makes it easy to keep it clean with its open design that makes this task a snap. Therein lies its value. If the box is clean, you’ve taken care of the odor at its source!
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.