The Best Cat Litter Boxes for Odor Control for 2022

Published: April 23, 2022

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Keeping your cat’s litter box clean and odor-free is essential for your cat’s health. It is also great for your home environment. While cats make great pets, having their odors take over your house isn’t something that any pet owner wants. Fortunately, there are plenty of litter boxes on the market today that make this chore easier and keep odors under control.

We’ve researched and reviewed the top litter boxes for odor control at a variety of price points. There are styles that are hands-free as well as those with a more traditional scoop setup. Find one that is perfect for your home and cat. Paired with odor-controlling cat litter, it is sure to keep your house smelling fresh and clean while still providing a healthy place for your cat to do its business.

Learn more about the top litter boxes and what to look for to keep your home odor-free.

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A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Cat Litter Boxes for Odor Control

    #1 Overall Best: Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan

    In our review, the best cat litter box for odor control is the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan. It is big enough to work for one or two cats, keeps the litter inside where it is meant to be, and has a carbon filter to trap odors before they escape into your home. The box also works with most budgets and is well-made for years of use. The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan meets every feature that we want in a litter box for odor control.

    The hood on this litter box is larger than some other similar products on the market. This makes it easier for you, the owner, to scoop the litter and clean the box. When you need to do a deeper clean or empty and change out the litter, the hood is removable and easy to disassemble.

    Even reviewers with multiple cats liked the odor control of this litter box. “I LOVE THIS BOX! It has changed my life,” wrote one pet owner with two kittens. “No more nasty smells, litter all of the ground, etc. And not to mention – it is HUGE! Which is perfect because I have two kittens who share it.”

    Some cats may not like the lid or door, although most reviewers said that their cats got used to the change. “The filter and door flap works very well to keep odors from leaking out until they’re really reached a critical level,” said one reviewer. “Although my cats initially took a while to accept having a door on their litter, they now use it just fine with only a little resentment.”

    Overall Best
    Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan
    • Features a carbon filter to trap odors
    • Durable, will last for years
    • Hood is removable for easy cleaning
    • Not too expensive
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

    2. Best Budget Option: Nature’s Miracle Hooded Litter Box

    For a great value on a budget, consider the Nature’s Miracle Hooded Litter Box. We love the corner-shaped option to keep odors contained in one small area as well as reduce the overall odor coming from the box itself. There are also similar products, also from Nature’s Miracle, in a traditional rectangular shape and an oval shape.

    This hooded litter box has a built-in charcoal filter on the inside of the lid. The surface is also made of non-stick plastic so you can be sure that soiled litter and waste will be easy to scoop. Built-up waste can be one of the biggest culprits of odors coming from the litter box.

    Some cats don’t like have a lidded litter box. The lid on this box is removable. The opening is also large enough for even large cat breeds like Maine Coons. This can make the transition to this litter box easier and faster for many cats. You can take the lid off if your cat has an issue with it but that will remove the odor-absorbing filter.

    Best Budget Option
    Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box
    • Built-in charcoal filter on the inside of the lid
    • Made from non-stick plastic
    • Lid is removable
    • Stylish corner-shaped design
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

    3. Best Premium Choice: Whisker Litter Robot WiFi-Enabled Litter Box

    If you want a robot to do all of the litter-related chores for you, you can get one! The Litter Robot from Whisker cleans the soiled litter, monitors usage, and alerts you when the waste drawer needs to be emptied. The box itself sifts out waste and soiled litter, depositing it into a drawer that is lined with carbon filters to keep odors in check. Because it is self-cleaning, this litter box can be used by up to four cats in a home. This eliminates the need to have multiple litter boxes available in a multi-cat household.

    This is an expensive litter box but with so many great reviews and devoted fans, it’s well worth the high cost. “Throughout life we had several cats and I spent so much time scooping. This box is so amazing,” wrote one reviewer. “No scooping and the way that it contains any smells is just amazing to me.” If you want to invest in a great litter box to keep the litter chore to a minimum while still taking care of odors, this is our top recommendation.

    Best Premium Choice
    Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
    • Waste is deposited in box with carbon filters
    • Can be used for up to 4 cats
    • Reduced litter usage
    • Can monitor and control with WiFi app
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

    4. Best Hands-Free: PetSafe Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box

    Another great option for self-cleaning that is at a lower price point is the PetSafe Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box. This option is shaped like a traditional rectangular litter box and a similar size. Your cat steps into it, does its business, and leaves just like normal. The litter box sifts through the soiled litter to push it to the tray below.

    You do need to use special crystal litter with this box, which adds to the overall cost. But it can’t be beaten for odor control and ease of use. “I am very impressed with how well this box controls odor,” wrote one reviewer. “I keep the box in my bathroom. When it gets a little stinky I just turn on the fan for a bit. I can’t smell the litter anywhere else in the apartment, and sometimes I hardly notice the smell in the bathroom.” They went on to note that they no longer have to scoop daily and still don’t notice any odors.

    Best Hands-Free
    ScoopFree Covered Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
    • Great option for self-cleaning
    • Very easy to use
    • The crystal litter removes smell
    • Easy to clean - simply throw the soiled tray away
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

    Choosing the Best: What to Look For

    Deciding to go with a litter box to control odors is a great step to keeping your home smelling great and your cat happy. When looking at all the options, consider your cat’s preferences, how often you want to clean or maintain the box, and your budget.

    Cat’s Preferences

    If you have a very temperamental cat, making a big change to their litter box setup may not make them very happy. You can choose to tough it out through the transition to a new box or type of litter. You may also want to try a more budget-friendly option to start with to see if they can adapt to a new type of box. One of the most common issues that cats and their owners have when switching to a new litter box is going from an uncovered box to a covered one. You can make the transition gradual or look for a box that has a large opening for them.

    Cleaning and Maintenance

    For cat owners who hate cleaning and scooping, a hands-free litter box might be the best option. While more expensive, these types of boxes can greatly cut down on the work associated with the litter box. A self-cleaning or automatic litter box will do the daily work for you. All you need to do is periodically empty a waste bin or replace the litter tray. You can even look for a Smart option that will alert you when it is time to do your part and give you insight into how much your cat is going.

    Budget

    Litter boxes can be found for as little as $10 or as much as $700 with many options in between. If you want something that does all of the work for you through self-cleaning, sends alerts to your phone, and keeps odors in check, expect to pay quite a bit. A simple box with an odor-absorbing filter is often much less expensive but doesn’t have the high-tech features. If you are transitioning your cat to a new style of the litter box, you may want to opt for a more budget-friendly option at first to see if they like it before investing a lot of money in a box that they refuse to use.

    The Different Types of Litter Boxes for Odor Control: Pros and Cons Compared

    Cat litter boxes that are great for odor control can be grouped into traditional scoop litter boxes (often with filters) and self-cleaning litter boxes. Here are the pros and cons to both options.

    Scoop Litter Box

    ProsCons
    Budget-friendlyRequires daily cleaning
    Familiar for catsNot as much odor control
    Use with any type of litterDon’t get alerts

    Self-Cleaning Litter Box

    ProsCons
    Cleans box for youExpensive
    Great for odor controlMay require special litter
    Smart technology sends alertsCats might not like it

    Verified Review: User Experience

    The Catit Jumbo Hooded Litter Pan is a great option for cats of all sizes. Reviewers said that it kept odors in check and was big enough for their cats to keep the litter and the waste inside the box. “This litter box is by far the best one I’ve ever had. It has impeccable quality, it makes upkeep easy, and is great for my cats,” wrote one reviewer.

    Another reviewer said that the Catit litter pan was definitely designed by a cat owner. “My cat liked the space and the bigger door. I like that nothing sticks to the walls!” they wrote. “It has a glossy coat on the sides that just makes everything slide off. No stains or scraping at it to come off. It is so easy to scoop every day.” This litter box does require manual daily scooping but is affordable and effective, making it a top pick among reviewers.

    The PetSafe Automatic Self-Cleaning litter box is a top favorite for hands-free litter cleaning. “We absolutely love this cat box,” said one reviewer. “We have it inside a cabinet with a pet door to keep our pup out of the litter and so far we’ve had zero issues with smell and no complications with the box itself. So far I’m nothing but impressed with it and it’s been a HUGE game-changer.” They went on to say that they have only had to change the tray once per month with one cat using the box.

    The PetSafe box is also cheaper than some other self-cleaning boxes while still delivering great performance. “This box is SO worth the investment, especially compared with the price of other self-cleaning litter boxes,” said one reviewer. “Luckily, my cat was already using crystal litter, so he transitioned to this no problem. I have literally never noticed an odor, either from stool or that acrid ammonia smell from too much urine.”

    About the Author

    Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches Creative Writing at Indian Creek School and was awarded an Author Fellowship to Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She also enjoys spending time with her three kids and cat.

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