Owning a cat is full of laughs, mischief, and love — and stinkiness! Fortunately, most cats are excellent at giving themselves baths, so they typically smell just fine, but their kitty litter is another story.
Many pet owners want to add air fresheners to their homes, but unfortunately, most of them have the potential to be toxic to cats. This makes it critical to select a safe air freshener. But shopping can be incredibly time consuming, even online shopping!
So, we researched and developed reviews for 10 of the best air fresheners that are safe to use when you have cats. We hope that this will save you time and that you find something that will make your home smell fresher, even with a cat in the house!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
The 10 Best Air Fresheners for Cats
1. Pet Odor Exterminator Air Freshener — Best Overall
Pet Odor Exterminator’s Pineapple Coconut Air Freshener is the best overall air freshener for cats. It’s quite affordable and smells like a piña colada. It contains enzymes that are effective at eliminating odors rather than just masking them. This spray was explicitly made to be used around pets.
However, it does come in a relatively small container that might not last that long.
2. Glade Solid Air Freshener — Best Value
|Scents:||Lavender & Peach Blossom, Linen, Honeysuckle, Hawaiian Breeze, or Tropical Blossom|
The best air freshener for cats for the money is Glade’s Solid Air Freshener for Home and Bathroom. It’s available in five scents and is super affordable. Instead of constantly needing to spray, you open the cone and place it in an area where it needs air freshening the most for constant fragrance. You can also open it as much or as little as you want for just the right amount of scent.
The main issue with this air freshener is that it just masks the odor. Also, while the fragrance won’t harm your cat, you’ll need to place it near the litter box but where your cat can’t reach it.
3. Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel — Premium Choice
|Scents:||Fresh, natural scent|
The Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel is our pick for premium choice. This works as a neutralizer and odor eliminator by absorbing stinky odors. Each container of gel lasts for about 30 to 60 days, and it’s non-toxic and therefore, safe for pets and people. It contains natural plant-based ingredients, including pine needles, lime, anise, cloves, and cedarwood. The gel itself has a light fragrance of these ingredients and was given the Safer Choice label from the EPA.
But it is pricier than some other air fresheners, and there are a few cat owners who might not appreciate the scent.
4. Febreze Air Freshener Pet Odor Fighter
|Size:||8 oz. x 3|
Febreze’s Air Freshener Pet Odor Fighter is a specially formulated air freshener for pet owners. This product comes with three cans, making it quite affordable. It eliminates odors without masking them and is two times stronger in fighting bad odors than regular Febreze products. Just spray it in the area and it leaves a fresh scent.
The biggest issue with this product is about quality control, as some cans come with defective nozzles.
5. Pet House Mango Peach Freshening Room Spray
The Pet House Mango Peach Freshening Room Spray helps deodorize and neutralize bad stenches and leaves behind a lovely peach mango scent. It uses essential oils but is non-toxic and allergen and preservative free. This means it’s safe around pets and children, and the scent is not overpowering (unless you spray too much of it).
The downside is that considering the size of the bottle, it is expensive, and the scent doesn’t last that long.
6. Pet Odor Exterminator Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener
Pet Odor Exterminator’s Creamy Vanilla Air Freshener gives you an enzyme-based spray that effectively removes bad odors. This one smells like vanilla, which will leave your home smelling quite nice (if you like vanilla, that is). You can lightly spray it in smelly areas, and it will remove those odors rather than just cover them up. Also, it’s made just for pets.
Unfortunately, this is expensive, and it only seems to be effective in small spaces.
7. Bright Air Solid Pet Odor Eliminator
|Scents:||Citrus (plus 11 more scents)|
|Size:||14 oz. x 6|
Bright Air’s Solid Pet Odor Eliminator is a gel that comes in 12 different fragrances! The citrus scent is the only one made explicitly for pet odors, but there are many more options to choose from. Each container of gel lasts up to 60 days, and you get six altogether, so it could last you for an entire year. It contains plant-based gel with nature-inspired fragrances, so it’s safe around your cat. It also doesn’t contain BHT, triclosan, or phthalates.
If you love the product, getting six containers will definitely save you money, but if you don’t love it, that can be considered expensive. It also doesn’t seem to last as long as advertised.
8. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Odor Spray
Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Odor Spray is a specific spray that’s just for cats. It’s considered a three-in-one spray because it works in the air, on fabrics, and on hard surfaces. Nature’s Miracle eliminates odors by destroying them and leaving a pleasant lavender scent behind. It can be safely used around your cat’s litter box and will remove any embedded odors.
The only problem is that not all cat owners think that’s as effective as some other Nature’s Miracle products.
9. Mrs. Meyer’s Room and Air Freshener Spray
|Scents:||Honeysuckle, Basil, Geranium, Lavender, or Lemon Verbena|
Mrs. Meyer’s Room and Air Freshener Spray is a non-aerosol spray made with essential oils and available in five fragrances. It doesn’t contain propellants, parabens and phthalates, or artificial colors. This means Mrs. Meyers is environmentally friendly; even the bottles are made with 25% recycled material. They are also cruelty free.
However, the product leaves an oily residue and is not designed to neutralize bad odors. Additionally, the sprayer tends to break on some bottles.
10. Arm & Hammer for Pets Air Freshener Spray
|Scents:||Lavender or Fresh Breeze|
The Arm & Hammer for Pets Air Freshener Spray includes Arm & Hammer’s famous baking soda, which has been proven to be excellent at absorbing nasty odors. This spray is quite affordable and available in lavender and fresh scents. It contains natural ingredients and is safe to use around pets and children.
But a little goes a long way with this spray, and many people find the scent overpowering. Also, the spray tends to mask the odor rather than get rid of it.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Air Fresheners for Cats
Now that you’ve had a look at various cat-safe air fresheners, let’s go over a few important points that can help you with your decision.
No matter how safe these air fresheners are, never spray them in your cat’s direction, let alone directly on your cat. If your cat has any kind of respiratory problems, you should never spray anything with a fragrance near them, as it will likely exacerbate the problem.
Any air fresheners meant to sit on a shelf must be kept somewhere your cat can’t reach them. The last thing that you want is your cat ingesting any of these products.
Plug-in air fresheners are typically at cat level, so there’s more chance of overexposure, and candles have too many safety issues with children and pets. Keep in mind that sprays are essentially temporary, especially if you’re just spraying them into the air.
The gels work harder at absorbing odor, but don’t expect the fragrance to be as strong as the sprays. Most come with a ventilated lid, but don’t forget to open it up to peel off the liner inside and put the lid back on. Many customers fail to remove the liner, and it will not work.
Cats and strong odors don’t really get along, so you’ll want to avoid scented litter. When choosing a scented air freshener, keep in mind that cats hate the smell of citrus, peppermint, tea tree oil, and cinnamon.
If you plan on spraying your cat’s litter box, aim for scents that won’t upset your cat, or they might stop using the litter box altogether.
Essential oils are toxic to cats. Cats lack a specific enzyme in their liver that can metabolize and eliminate these oils. In many cases, exposure to undiluted essential oils can be fatal to cats. Some of the products on this list contain essential oils, but they are diluted, which is safer.
Still, you should never spray anything near or on your cat. If a cat inhales or ingests essential oils (and this includes licking it off their fur), they will need to see a vet immediately.
Pet Odor Exterminator’s Pineapple Coconut Air Freshener is our overall favorite. It’s affordable, smells like a piña colada, and contains enzymes that eliminate odors. Glade’s Solid Air Freshener for Home and Bathroom is cheap, comes in five scents, and provides continuous fragrance. Finally, our premium choice pick is Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel. It neutralizes odors by absorbing them, and it earned the EPA Safer Choice label.
We hope that these reviews of these different kinds of air fresheners have helped you pinpoint the one that will work best at getting rid of your cat’s stinky litter box odor.
Featured Image Credit: y_seki, Shutterstock