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When you’re fighting tough litter box odors, the best result is no scent at all. For optimal, odor elimination, you might try cat litter that is specially formulated with activated charcoal. We’ve researched this super absorbent, odor-eating element to tell you how it works.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal, or activated carbon, is a carbon-rich powder comprised of microscopic pores. It is created by heating carbon-rich materials such as coconut shells, wood, or coal to extremely high temperatures (1,110°F -1,650°F) and gathering the remaining charcoal powder. Activated charcoal has been treated with additional elements to create a more extensive, porous network.
How Does Activated Charcoal Absorb Odor?
Because it is made from porous carbon, activated charcoal is highly absorbent. Microscopic pores covering the surface area of each charcoal particle attract molecularly smaller solids, gasses, or liquids from the air to trap them inside. Quality activated charcoal can trap up to 50% of its own weight, making it a useful absorbent material.
Foul-smelling odors, like those associated with your cat’s litter box, are the result of a high concentration of organic gas, or vapor, that lingers in the air. Simply placing activated charcoal in the vicinity of the odor is enough to let the absorption power begin to take effect. The activated charcoal will pull the odorous gas from the air and trap it in its pores.
Cat Litter with Activated Charcoal
Eliminating odor from your cat’s litter box is easy when you select a cat litter that contains activated charcoal. Some odor-eating litters manufacture charcoal directly into the litter granules or pellets. Others mix the charcoal into the already formulated granules or pellets.
Alternatively, you can purchase an odor eliminator product that contains activated charcoal separately to be added to any cat litter. If you’re searching for odorless cat litter options, keep reading to see our list of the best six cat litters and additives with activated charcoal.
1. Fresh Step Light Weight Unscented
Fresh Step is an excellent choice for a multi-cat household. Made from clay material, Fresh Step’s low-tracking, low-dust, ultra-absorbent litter forms tight clumps by soaking in urine for easy scoop-ability. Odors are eliminated with the powerful combination of added Ammonia Blocker technology and activated charcoal. Not only will Fresh Scent help you with an easy clean but, you and your cat will experience fresh air using this unscented formula.
2. Tidy Cats Light Weight Free & Clean Unscented
Purina fights tough litter box odors using activated charcoal added to this clay-based, clumping litter. An additional Ammonia Blocker prevents lingering smells from infiltrating your home. Not only will the low-tracking, low-dust proven formula keep litter inside the litter box for a cleaner home but, you can easily clean away tightly clumped, soiled areas to keep unused litter tidy for your cat’s next visit.
3. Ever Clean Unscented Extra Strength
The name Ever Clean says it all for this clay-based, clumping litter. Extra strength, odor eliminating formula not only mixes activated charcoal into the litter but bonds activated charcoal to each individual granule. Fast absorbing clay makes quick work of removing scoop-able, tightly clumped soiled areas. An added anti-microbial agent keeps the litter box bacteria-free between cleanings.
4. Fresh Step Advanced Unscented
This advanced formula litter uses Fresh Step’s powerful Ammonia Blocking technology and activated charcoal combination to prevent odors for up to 10-days. Smell nothing when you scoop out soiled areas from the litter box while using this clumping, low-tracking, dust-free, clay-based litter. Surfaces and air surrounding the litter box stay cleaner longer with this ultra-absorbent litter.
5. Prestige Pet Magic Odor Eliminator Additive
No matter the type of litter you use, fight against pesky odors by adding this all-natural odor eliminator to your cat’s litter box. A non-toxic, dust-free, scent-free blend of odor absorbent materials (peat, coconut fibers, nutshell fibers, lignite, and activated charcoal) is safe to use for kittens and cats. Add a bit of Prestige Pet Magic (2 oz./week) to extend the use of your litter by keeping the litter box odorless.
6. Bolux Tofu Cat Litter Unscented
Pellet litter made from 100% biodegradable material, Bolux is dust-free, low-tracking, and flushable. Already absorbent tofu has additional soaking power using Clump Lock technology for quick clumping action and easy scoop-ability. Scent-free, activated charcoal locks away unpleasant odors. You and your kitties will have a fresh air, eco-friendly litter box experience.
Carbon Filter Litter Boxes
Although activated charcoal is non-toxic and safe to use near your kitten, cat, other pets, and children, loose charcoal mixed with litter can leave remnants of black dust. You might try a carbon filter to purify the air in the vicinity of your cat’s litter box to avoid excess cleaning.
Several types of enclosed litter boxes have a pre-cut slot to insert a carbon filter. Extremely absorbent carbon filters pull odorous gasses from the air efficiently and cleanly. Check out our list of three, top rate carbon filter litter boxes:
1. Catit Jumbo Hooded Litter Box
Private yet, spacious enough for multi-cat families, this covered litter box will keep litter and excrement inside and smells out. Equipped with a carbon filter to absorb unpleasant odors, you’ll find this streamlined design fit for any room in your home. Easy to clean with a removable snap-on hood.
2. So Phresh Jumbo Enclosed Litter Box
Stylish, modern curves and neutral navy color blend this covered litter box into any room of your home. Respect your cat’s privacy and keep a tidy litter box vicinity beneath the hood (removable for ease of cleaning). A carbon filter whisks away unpleasant odors making each experience pleasant for your cat.
3. Nature’s Miracle Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Experience no odor and no fuss when you use Nature’s Miracle Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Specializing in the elimination of pet odors for over 35-years, Nature’s Miracle equips this efficient litter box with a carbon filter for maximum odor control. Motion sensors detect when your cat has finished her business and automatically scoop the box after every use. Sizes available for single-cat and multi-cat households.
Keeping an odorless litter box just got a lot easier by using cat litter with activated charcoal or a litter box with a carbon filter.
Looking for a DIY solution? You can purchase loose activated charcoal to leave in the vicinity of your cat’s litter box and:
- Sprinkle directly into any cat litter.
- Make an activated charcoal pouch by filling cheesecloth, nylon, stocking, or fine mesh bag.
- Set out a dish of activated charcoal, out of reach of children.
Add a carbon filter to any covered or high-walled litter box by:
- Cutting slots in the top of the hood/sidewall and affixing a carbon filter over the slots using double-sided tape.
- Drilling a grid of holes in the top of the hood/sidewall and affixing a carbon filter over the grid using double-sided tape.
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