With all of the fragranced cat litter options on the market today, unscented litter is easily forgotten about. Although it may sound nice to cover up unpleasant litter box smells with a tropical scent, it’s not always the best idea. Some cats are picky about their litter as it is, and you could be driving them away from the box by using a strongly scented litter.


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Choosing to use an unscented litter is a smart choice for cats who battle allergies, asthma or respiratory conditions. Below we discuss several other benefits of using an unscented cat litter, then we have a great list of recommendations for you!

5 Benefits of Using Unscented Cat Litter

Using an unscented litter can benefit both you and your kitty! It’s also a convenient option when shopping for your cats. Let’s discuss the benefits in further detail.

  1. Better for cats with allergies: When cats suffer from allergies, asthma or respiratory concerns, certain scents or fragrances can cause flare ups or worsen their condition. Unscented cat litter is the best option for cats with these types of issues so you can avoid adding to their health problems.
  2. Not overpowering: Sometimes fragranced cat litters can be extremely overpowering. And if it smells strong to you, it’s worse for your cat. A cat’s sense of smell is stronger than a human’s. Unscented cat litter won’t risk being too strong smelling.
  3. Widely available: Unscented cat litters are easy to find! Wherever you prefer to shop for your pets, you can find an unscented kitty litter. You could even buy an unscented litter at the grocery story! Convenience is an important factor for many cat parents.
  4. For cats with sensitive skin: Scented cat litters may have added chemicals, perfumes or fragrances. These additives may irritate cats with sensitive skin.
  5. Don’t forget sensitive humans: Humans who battle allergies may not appreciate the strong smell of scented litter. An unscented option will be better as to not further irritate the sinuses.

You head to the pet store but you’re seeing cat litter labeled as “unscented” or “odorless.” So, what’s the difference? Below we explain.

Unscented vs. Odorless Cat Litter

When cat litters are deemed “unscented,” it means that litter doesn’t have any additional perfumes or fragrances. There have been no chemicals added to the litter in order to make it smell a certain way. Cat litters are rarely labeled as odorless, and if they are, that most likely means it’s unscented. But why is this? If there are no fragrance additives in a cat litter, it will take on the scent of its material. For example, a clay litter will smell like clay and a corn litter will take on an earthy scent.

If you are a cat parent who is looking for a truly odorless cat litter, your best bet is choosing something like silica crystals or paper pellets. Clay, wood, corn and other natural materials will emit their natural smell.

After discussing benefits of unscented litter and delving further into the specifics, it’s time to look at some components to look for when deciding on which unscented litter to purchase.

5 Components to Look for in Unscented Cat Litter

When deciding which unscented litter to buy for your feline friend, consider the following components:

  1. Clumping or non-clumping: Whether you choose a clumping or non-clumping litter completely comes down to preference. Clumping litter is easier to clean and scoop but non-clumping litter tends to be better for odor control.
  2. Material: You can purchase unscented litter made from a variety of materials. It doesn’t matter if you prefer clay, corn, walnut, wood or paper – you can find an unscented litter that fits your preferences.
  3. Eco-friendliness: You can purchase an unscented cat litter that is eco-friendly. These types of litters are made from 100% natural resources. We do have unscented litters on our list that are safe for the environment, biodegradable and/or flushable.
  4. Other ingredients: Some unscented litters have one ingredient or several. As a cat parent you will need to make the determination on what you prefer. The ingredient list will be clearly labeled on the litter’s packaging. If you have a sensitive cat, certain additional ingredients may not be healthy for your kitty.
  5. Granule size: Unscented litters come in all different granule sizes. Tiny grains will be especially soft on a cat’s paws, while pellet litter or silica gel is best for cats with long hair. You’ll most likely want to choose what is best for your cat depending on their health, age and coat.

Overall Best Unscented Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Multi-cat strength
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Formulated by a veterinarian
  • Hard clumping action

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Litter is dust-free, all natural and hypoallergenic. This unscented cat litter is veterinary formulated to ensure it’s safe and healthy for your beloved kitty. Made from medium-grain clay, this litter stops liquid and moisture from reaching the bottom of the litter box, therefore avoiding stressful cleaning.

Dr. Elsey’s multi-cat strength litter offers superior odor control through hard clumping action and natural clay. Hard clumps are formed when your cat takes a trip to the box, then you can easily scoop it daily. This litter is ideal for cats with allergies and mechanical litter boxes. We also recommend it for humans in your home that may suffer from allergies or asthma. Dr. Elsey’s unscented cat litter is our top pick because of its quality and safety.

Pros:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dust-free
  • Veterinary formulated
  • Ideal for mechanical litter boxes
  • Superior clumping and odor control

Cons:

  • Not eco-friendly

Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Lightweight
  • Built with Odor Shield Technology
  • Biodegradable
  • Gentle on paws

Runner-Up Best Cat Litter without Smell: This Okocat litter is made from 100% reclaimed lumber. It’s natural, biodegradable and safe for the environment. As well as being friendly to the planet, this litter is great for your cat! The fine wood granules are super soft on paws, and will be tremendous for any cat to use. Even if you have a kitten, senior cat or post-surgical cat, the wood granules will be gentle on their paws. The litter will not irritate stitches or surgery sites like other litters might.

Okocat litter is naturally lightweight. It’s easy for cat parents to carry and lift, and the compostable package comes with a handle for convenient pouring. We like that all Okocat litters are made with patented Odor Shield Technology, making them great for multi-cat homes. The wood granules absorb up to 5X as much liquid as leading clay litter, and it stays dry and clean much longer. Although this litter is unscented, it does have a slight woodsy smell to it.

Pros:

  • Controls odors for up to 7 days
  • Natural clumping action
  • Lightweight
  • Biodegradable
  • Good for multi-cat homes

Cons:

  • Not the best for long hair cats

Frisco Multi-Cat Clumping Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Goes through a de-dusting system to reduce dust
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Low tracking
  • Ideal for multi-cat households

Best Budget-Friendly Unscented Cat Litter: Frisco multi-cat litter is unscented and hypoallergenic. It’s completely free of fragrances, dyes or plant proteins. For cats with allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, we strongly suggest this budget-friendly unscented litter. The fine granules are perfect for a mechanical or sifting litter box.

Frisco unscented litter is designed to neutralize odors immediately on contact. The low-tracking formula forms hard clumps which quickly trap odors, then are easy to scoop up. The superior odor control makes this cost effective, unscented litter ideal for homes with multiple cats. Overall it’s a highly effective clay cat litter at a great price, which is why it takes our top budget-friendly pick.

Pros:

  • Cost effective
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Great for mechanical litter boxes
  • Multi-cat strength
  • Excellent odor control

Cons:

  • Not environmentally-friendly
  • Not recommended for long hair cats

5 More Top Unscented Cat Litter Picks

sWheat Scoop Natural Fast-Clumping Wheat Cat Litter

This unscented cat litter is made from 100% wheat. It naturally and effectively neutralizes even the toughest of odors. Wheat naturally clumps, so your kitty’s box will be easy to clean. sWheat Scoop doesn’t contain silica dust, sodium bentonite, chemicals or fragrances. It’s a healthy choice for any cat, despite age or condition. The fine wheat granules are super soft on paws. We like that this litter is biodegradable, making it a phenomenal choice for your kitty and the planet.

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Long Hair Litter

We didn’t forget about the long hair kitties! Long haired cats often need a special litter than won’t get stuck and matted in their fur. We like Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Long Hair Litter for this reason. It’s unscented and made from silica gel. The crystals are infused with herbs to reduce stress in cats and draw them to using the litter box. This fantastic unscented cat litter is hypoallergenic, biodegradable and non-toxic! This litter is a must-have if you have long hair cats in your home.

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Pellet Non-Clumping Cat Litter

This unscented pellet cat litter is made from a blend of walnut shells. Although it’s non-clumping, it absorbs up to 7X as much liquid as traditional litter! Naturally Fresh pellet litter is eco-friendly and dust free, making it a great choice for those precious kitties with allergies. Since this is a pellet litter, it won’t track like standard grain litters will. We recommend this unscented cat litter for long hair cats and those with respiratory sensitivities.

Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Cat Litter

This Tidy Cats unscented litter is made from clay but it’s 99% dust free and free of fragrances and dyes. Made with TidyLock technology, charcoal granules become activated to trap and eliminate odors when your cat makes a pit stop at their box. This unscented litter offers tight clumping action for low maintenance scooping and cleaning. We like this budget-friendly choice for exceptional odor control.

Fresh Step Simply Unscented Cat Litter

This Fresh Step Simply Unscented litter is simple, just as the name suggests, but it gets the job done! Carbon activated granules help to neutralize and eliminate tough odors in kitty’s litter box. It’s free of chemicals, dyes and perfumes, making it easy on sensitive noses. This is not a clumping litter, but it’s virtually dust free and cost-effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do cats prefer unscented litter? – There have been scientific research studies performed to determine whether cats prefer scented or unscented litter. Those studies suggest that there’s no notable preference. However, it has been proven that cats are more likely to stray away from litters with floral or citrus scents.
  • Is scented litter bad for cats? – There’s no evidence that proves scented litter is bad for cats. However, just like scents can irritate a human’s allergies, the same can be said for cats. Your cat with respiratory problems may breathe easier if they are using an unscented litter.
  • Does unscented cat litter have less dust? – A cat litter’s scent has nothing to do with the amount of dust it emits. Typically clumping cat litters give off the most dust, as they generally contain an ingredient called sodium bentonite. Sodium bentonite is the element which enables clay litter to form tight clumps. Your best bet for low dust cat litters will be those made from natural materials or non-clumping litters.

Conclusion

The decision to use unscented cat litter often comes down to personal preference. Although it’s unknown whether cats truly have a preference on the scent of their cat litter, humans may be pickier about it. If you don’t like the natural smell of your litter, a scented litter may sound more attractive to you.

Cat parents can probably agree that their cat’s health is a priority. If you watch your cat struggle with allergies, switching to an unscented litter could be a no brainer. If your kitty’s litter doesn’t contain any dyes, perfumes or fragrances, it’s much less likely to irritate their sensitive nose.

In addition to using an unscented litter, you can also help your cat by keeping their litter box in a ventilated area. You should also clean it often – scoop the box at least once a day and completely replace the litter every two weeks. Remember to wash your hands after changing or cleaning the litter. Bacteria from cat feces can be harmful.

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