This Cat Litter Doesn't Just Prevent Stinky Odors, It Actually Makes My Bathroom Smell Good

When you love your cat, but not his mess.
By Katie Macdonald
July 30, 2020
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gain cat litter
Credit: Getty Images

My 12-pound tabby cat, Boudin, is the light of my life. He's my personal lap warmer, cooking companion, yoga partner, and cheapest therapist. Especially now that I'm working from home, we're basically inseparable.

But—and I say this with all the love in my heart—Boudin is a stinker. For the four years we've lived together, his litter box has been the bane of my bathroom. Despite trying countless brands of "odor-absorbing" litter, scented candles, infusers, and room sprays, his distinct eau de toilette has been impossible to shake. 

That's why I was so excited when I learned that Fresh Step, a leading brand of kitty litter, just launched a new formula that promises to keep stinky smells at bay for more than a week. Its Febreze Freshness Gain Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter uses activated charcoal and a special ammonia-blocking formula to stop bacterial odors for up to 10 days. Boudin and I were more than ready to put it to the test. 

Immediately after opening the box, I noticed a difference—it smelled good. Rather than the chalky, musty scent I've come to expect with clay-based litters, the combination of Febreze and Gain made my bathroom smell like freshly laundered sheets. Plus, I noticed that it didn't effuse a mini dust storm as I poured it into Boudin's box. I guess its 99.9 percent dust-free claim was legit. 

As the week went on, the intensity of the fresh smell dissipated—but my bathroom remained pleasantly odorless. I no longer had to hold my breath as I scooped out Boudin's business, and even my roommate commented on the improvement. I was also impressed by how well the litter clumped, making it much easier and less messy to spot-clean rather than dump out the entire litter box. 

Priced at $10 for 14 pounds, the Febreze- and Gain-scented litter is actually cheaper than what I'd normally buy at my local grocery store. Plus, I realized its odor-fighting formula meant I could go longer between refilling the litter box. Even after using it for a couple of weeks, I've only gone through half of the container.

As for Boudin? Well, he didn't even notice my experiment, which, honestly, is fine. He's perfect and never needed to change a thing.

Fresh Step Febreze Freshness Gain Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

To buy: $10,

See what else I swear by.