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Fresh Step Cat Litter Review

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With a name like Fresh Step, you might assume that this brand is known for odor control and you would be correct. The Fresh Step brand produces a wide range of odor-absorbing cat litters, most of which are powered by the fresh scent of Febreeze.

Whether you have a single cat or a house full of them, Fresh Step cat litter is highly affordable, and a brand cat owners love. It forms hard, tight clumps that lock away odors and make it quick and easy to scoop the litter box. Plus, hard clumps minimize wasted litter, which ultimately saves you money, even with this affordable brand.


  • Variety of Products – 5/5
  • Price Per Pound – 4/5
  • Multi-Cat Formulas – 5/5
  • Clumping Ability – 5/5
  • Long-Lasting Odor Control – 5/5
  • Natural/Alternative Options – 3/5

Overall Score: 4.5/5

How We Tested:

  • We purchased 3 of the best cat litters Fresh Step has to offer
  • We spent a few weeks testing the cat litters on several cats
  • We did not receive these product in exchange for a favorable review, they were purchased with our own money

Brand Overview

The Fresh Step brand is owned by the Clorox Company, formerly known as Clorox Chemical Co. An American global manufacturer of consumer and professional products, this company also manufactures the Scoop Away and Ever Clean pet brands.

Throughout the brand’s history, Fresh Step has been known for innovation. The majority of their products are made with high-quality sodium bentonite clay mixed with activated charcoal and antimicrobial agents, though they do offer Fresh Step Crystals made from silica gel as well. Today, the company offers a wide selection of clumping cat litters powered by the fresh scent of Febreeze, including multi-cat and lightweight cat litter formulas.

In addition to being committed to providing cat owners with high-quality products, the Fresh Step brand is also committed to giving back. They donate over 1 million scoops of litter to shelters around the country every year.

They also offer the Paw Points program, which enables customers to earn rewards for purchasing and reviewing Fresh Step products. Redeem points for coupons and free products or donate your points to help your favorite shelter get the same.

Name Materials Clumping? Life Stage Additional Features
Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter Clay Yes All Odor Control, Clumping, Scented, Lightweight
Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter Clay Yes All Odor Control, Clumping, Scented
Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter Clay Yes All Odor Control, Clumping, Scented, Multi-Cat Formula

Popular Alternatives to Fresh Step Cat Litter:

Here are some of our favorite cat litter brands you can choose from today. Most offer a heavy discount on your first order so you can see how your cat likes it.

  1. Pretty Litter
  2. Dr. Elsey
  3. Feline Pine

What Kinds of Litter Does the Brand Offer?

The Fresh Step brand of cat litter offers a wide variety of different products. In addition to their typical clumping litters, they also offer one non-clumping formula as well as one crystal cat litter.

Most of Fresh Step’s cat litter formulas utilize the scented power of Febreeze. Choose from original, multi-cat, and lightweight formulas fragranced with different Febreeze scents. Fresh Step does also offer a collection of unscented cat litters for cats with sensitive noses.

The three formulas we’re reviewing here are clumping formulas, one of which is lightweight.

Top 3 Cat Litters Reviewed

Product Name Type Price Overall Rating
Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter Clumping $1.02 per lb 4.25/5
Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter Clumping $0.65 per lb 4.5/5
Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter Clumping $0.59 per lb 4.25/5

#1 Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter

Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Every cat owner has had the unpleasant experience of lugging around a giant bag, box, or bucket of cat litter. Buying the largest container available is generally the best way to save money, but at what cost? If you’re looking for a lighter option, try this Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter. It delivers the same number of uses as a 22-pound bag but weighs just 15.4 pounds.

This lightweight cat litter offers a wide variety of benefits in addition to being much more portable than typical clay litter.

The formula is made with the power of Febreeze, to keep your litter box (and your home) smelling fresh. The scent is paw-activated, so the litter box will get a burst of freshness each time your cat uses it. This lightweight litter also contains activated charcoal which traps and eliminates odor for up to 10 days at a time.

In testing this lightweight cat litter, we found that it was noticeably lighter than typical clay litter but still a litter heavier than we expected.

We also noticed a difference in the shape of the granules – they were more like tiny shards than typical round granules. In terms of absorbency and clumping, however, this formula performed very well. It formed tight, hard clumps to absorb odor and absorbed liquid quickly.

The scent was definitely noticeable and perhaps strongest of the three formulas tested. Though we didn’t consider it to be a problem, many cat owners prefer unscented or lightly scented litter.

The fact that this is the only lightweight formula may leave some cat owners disappointed.

Category Rating
Price 4/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 5/5
Dust/Mess 4/5
Scent 3/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.25/5


  • Same number of uses as 22 pounds in a 15.4-pound box
  • Activated charcoal traps and eliminates odors for up to 10 days
  • Paw-activated Febreeze fresh scent for long-lasting odor control


  • Scent was very strong, many users find it overpowering
  • Very fine granules may track more than some formulas
  • May not live up to the “low dust” promise

This litter comes in a 15.4-pound bag. This particular formula is designed to be lightweight, though the 15-pound size was still a little heavier than some cat owners may be used to.

#2 Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter

Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Odor control is a concern for every cat owner, and this Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter takes it to the max. Not only is this formula powered by Febreeze in Mountain Spring scent, but it features Ammonia Block Technology to combat even the strongest odors from feces and urine.

Plus, the paw-activated fragrance releases a burst of freshness every time your cat uses the litter box.

In addition to offering excellent odor control, this scented cat litter forms tight, hard clumps to make cleaning the litter box quick and easy. Thanks to ClumpLock technology, the litter absorbs liquid on contact, forming tight, hard scoops that are easy to scoop with minimal waste. As long as you scoop solids daily, you’ll enjoy a full 10 days of odor control.

In testing this Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter, we were impressed by how quickly it absorbed liquid and how easy it was to scoop the tight, hard clumps.

The scent was certainly noticeable, but we didn’t find it to be overpowering and it was not noticeable unless you were close to the litter box.

We did find the formula to be a bit dustier than promised, but overall, we were very pleased.

Category Rating
Price 4/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 5/5
Dust/Mess 4/5
Scent 4/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.5/5


  • Powered by the Mountain Fresh scent of Febreeze
  • ClumpLock technology to form tight, hard clumps
  • Provides a full 10 days of odor control with paw-activated scent


  • Somewhat dustier than promised with moderate tracking
  • Some users find the scent to be too strong or overpowering

This litter comes in a 25-pound box or a 4-pack of 10.5-pound bags. Because the litter is made from clay, it is somewhat heavy – especially since the smallest size is 25 pounds.

#3 Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter

Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Having two cats means double the litter box odor. That is unless you buy a cat litter like this Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter.

This formula is uniquely designed to tackle strong odors in multi-cat households, keeping your litter box fresh for up to 10 days at a time. This clumping clay litter contains activated charcoal that traps and eliminates odor on contact while also absorbing liquid in an instant and forming tight, hard clumps that leave behind no stinky crumbles.

This Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter features paw-activated fragrance which means you get a burst of freshness every time your cat uses the litter box. With the power of Febreeze behind it, you’ll enjoy an odor-free litter box for over a week at a time with daily scooping. Plus, the hard-clumping formula minimizes waste which saves you money.

In testing this Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter, we found the scent to be very noticeable up close but not overwhelming. The granules were extremely fine, however, and there was a significant amount of dust. The fine texture of the granules also led to moderate tracking.

Overall, we were pleased by this formula’s clumping action and odor-busting ability, but it may not be the best choice for cats with sensitive noses where dust and fragrance might be an issue.

Category Rating
Price 4/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 5/5
Dust/Mess 3/5
Scent 4/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.25/5


  • Designed for 10-day odor control in multi-cat households
  • Paw-activated freshness every time the cat uses the box
  • Activated charcoal traps odors and litter forms hard clumps


  • Very dusty, even compared to the other two formulas
  • Moderate to high tracking, granules are very fine
  • Scent is fairly strong, some may find it overpowering

This litter comes in a 14-pound and 25-pound box as well as a 42-pound bag. You can also purchase a pack of 4 bags, each weighing 10.5 pounds. As a clay litter, this formula is fairly heavy.

What Do Customers Think of Fresh Step Cat Litter?

There is a significant number of positive reviews for Fresh Step cat litter and many cat owners who are completely loyal to the brand. The hard-clumping action and odor control cannot be denied, though the amount of dust and tracking is a frequent issue. Many users also comment on the strong scent of the perfumed formulas, which is all that we reviewed.

This being said, every customer’s experience is unique, and there are both good and bad reviews for the brand online. Keep reading to see a positive and negative customer review for each of the three cat litter formulas featured above:

Positive Customer Reviews for Fresh Step Cat Litter

“I love this stuff! I’m pretty shocked by the reviews about people not able to lift the boxes…. the weight is listed on the product page. Anywho, I’ve tried it all. I had a picky kitty, who has passed now, and we went through pine (though I’m allergic), crystals, Tidy Cats, even wheat kitty litter, and he went everywhere anyway. I found this, and he loved it, so I have been sticking with it. My kitties do not go anywhere else. I have 3 cats, 3 boxes, and I don’t have any issues, scooping.”Meag, reviewing Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter

“I am a new cat owner, so I do not have much experience with buying cat litter. But, this by far has been the best cat litter we have tried. We keep our litter box in the bathroom and since we have been using this cat litter that bathroom has smelled completely clean with a fresh Febreeze scent. I usually try to clean the litter box every day, but we went 3-4 days, and there was no odor at all. I was pleasantly surprised. I would definitely reorder this litter again, and I would also recommend this to others.”- Amanda, reviewing Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter

“During life with my previous kitty, I had to shop around before I found a litter she would use. She chose something other than Fresh Step, which made me a little sad, but I went with it because she was the boss. I recently purchased a self-cleaning litter box and decided to try Fresh Step again with the 2 kitties I recently rescued. They love it, and so do I! It clumps “just right,” and the odor absorbing feature is great. I love that it doesn’t produce as much dust as the previous brand, and am so glad my two new furry loves approve.”- SallyT, reviewing Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter

Negative Customer Reviews for Fresh Step Cat Litter

“Ordered this by accident wanting Lightweight and thinking this was Unscented. After filling box, seeing the dust cloud, I was overwhelmed with the cloying perfume odor. Makes my house and my poor cats reek of Febreeze. Tracks much worse than the Unscented – I can see it everywhere on my dark wood floors. After a few days, I emptied boxes, rinsed out, and refilled with locally purchased Unscented, which controls odors perfectly. Two cats, two boxes, scooped every day – they never smell.” – CatPainter, reviewing Fresh Step Lightweight Extreme Cat Litter

“After reading all the positive reviews on chewy here, I decided to try this litter out since my current litter wasn’t doing the job anymore. As soon as I opened the fresh step box up, I noticed right away the strong scent. It’s probably the febreeze, but it was unbearable. When I started pouring it into the litter box, an extremely large amount of dust accumulated in the air. Even when I tried to pour it very slowly, there was so much dust and smell, I had to leave the room for a bit. Overall, this litter does an amazing job of clumping!! But because of the strong smell, dust, and the fact that I don’t want my 2 fur babies inhaling all this chemical in, I won’t be repurchasing.” – Yher046, reviewing Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Scented Cat Litter

“I purchased this litter to mix in with my slide litter to add extra fragrance, it worked great, so I decided to transition to using this litter on its own. Awful mistake. The smell of the Febreeze is SO strong it is nauseating. I clean my cats’ litter box regularly once sometimes twice daily. After maybe 24 hours, the bottom of the litter box had become hardened, stinky mud. It took me over an hour and broke 2 scoops (luckily I had a couple extra) to clean the MUD from the litter box. Never. Again.” – Horrible, reviewing Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter

How Much Does Fresh Step Cat Litter Cost?

Generally speaking, the Fresh Step cat litter brand is highly affordable. Two of the three litters reviewed are priced just over $0.50 per pound, and the savings are greatest when you buy the largest package size available. The lightweight formula costs about $0.30 more per pound, but that is typical for a lightweight cat litter. Overall, the brand is still considered very affordable for budget-savvy cat owners.

Overall, Is Fresh Step Cat Litter a Good Choice?

As a whole, we’re pleased with the Fresh Step brand of cat litter. Not only is this brand highly affordable, but they offer a wide variety of products. This brand seems to have the art of clumping down, with all of their formulas offering excellent clumping ability which contributes to improved odor control.

One thing to be mindful of with this brand is the dust and the scent. Though Fresh Step does offer unscented formulas, the three we reviewed all contains Febreeze fragrance. We also found that the three formulas consistently did not live up to their promise of being very low dust.

All cat litters have their high and low points. The low point of Fresh Step cat litter is the ultra-fine granules which have a tendency to track and create dust. The high point is the excellent odor control and hard-clumping action. Scooping the box daily will help keep odors to a minimum and will ensure that you don’t waste any litter as well.

Where Is Fresh Step Cat Litter Sold?

Fresh Step Cat Litter is sold online and in pet stores. You can find it for sale from online retailers like Chewy and Amazon as well as big box stores like Walmart and Target as well as local and national pet stores such as PetSmart and Petco.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a writer with over twelve years of experience in the pet industry. She is an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach and has completed coursework in therapeutic nutrition, raw feeding, and the formulation of homemade diets for pets at an accredited university. Kate enjoys cooking, reading, and doing DIY projects around the house. She has three cats, Bagel, Munchkin, and Biscuit.

19 thoughts on “Fresh Step Cat Litter Review”

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  1. Betsy Anderson

    I am surprised that you did not review fresh step crystals. It’s the only litter we’ve used for as many years as can be remembered. Our 2 19 year olds just passed away and was looking for other uses for this product since we buy 10 bags at a time when I ran across this article. Even with kidney issues the last couple of years, which produce lots of urine, these crystals were unsurpassed in quality of controlling odor. The litter box was kept in a corner of our bedroom, which should clearly show we always had a fresh scent. During the end years we did clean and empty the box every 2 weeks instead of once a month. We also used a 10” sided clear storage container to allow them more room, which also made it easier to keep up with maintenance.
    Do not sell short this amazing litter……several of my friends began using it when they saw our success.

    1. All About Cats

      Hi Betsy,

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention, you make a good point and we’ll add this product to the review in the 2020 update we have planned for it

  2. Kenny Clanin

    I have 11 cats. Fresh Step Extreme is the only cat litter that works for me. 5 litter boxes cleaned once to twice daily. Surprisingly little smell and all my cats like it. Just use a dust pan when I clean and it takes care of the tracking. Have tried them all and this is the best!

  3. TheReportotTheWeek

    Though tracking was tough for us to test at the cat cafe, Dr. Elsey’s Ultra has grains that are on the larger side, meaning it should track less than some of the competition. Our staffers’ long-term experience experimenting with litter bears that out. “It tracks a bit, but not as bad as other litters I’ve used,” Streams said.

  4. Timothy Hardy

    This is the worst litter I’ve ever used. It does clump, odors eliminated…but, I find I waste three times as much litter as its competitors. Urine is absorbed to the point of large clumps, so large it takes away as much as two cups or more of the litter, I find myself having to replenish the amount every couple of days. The clump sticks to the litter scoop like oatmeal on a fork, thus having to clean it with hot water.

    I would not recommend this to people on a fixed budget, the other products available provide the same results without using as much product.

  5. denise micken

    i purchased light weight extreme extra strength 99.9% dust free, I am sorry worst litter i have ever purchased. I was using Arm & Hammer but decided to try yours, It doesn’t absorb, my cat leaves litter cat prints on the floor when she leaves the litter box (never happened before) wet paws when she jumps on my lap, there is litter all over the floor, the couch, and worse every morning in my bed sheets. she is a short hair cat , but this is disgusting plus triples my house work. i am changing sheets everyday. sweeping and mopping 3 plus times a day. i am so embarrassed to have anyone come and visit. sorry this does not allow me to post pictures i was shocked to read that your website suggests adding 3-4 inches scoopable to make your litter more absorbent. Surprise its not written on your box at all. I have never written any comment like this before, i usually just change product and thats it but this was way too much, you see why if i could have posted pictures. I am sorry but you lost a customer.
    thank you for listening

  6. Stephen Martin

    Fresh Step Crystals is NON CLUMPING. I’ve been using this litter for 15 years. You made an error in calling this clumping litter. Other Fresh Step litters fill that description.

  7. 1luckykitten

    I agree with other reviewers that Fresh Step is the worst I’ve ever used! It hardens, yes, but also sinks and bonds to the bottom of the litter box, almost like concrete. A nasty mess that’s very difficult to scrape from the bottom of the box! Also, much waste and has to be replenished more often than other brands.

  8. 1luckykitten

    I’d like to add one more thing… Fresh Step stuck to my older cat’s paws and between her toes and hardened like concrete. She could hardly walk! Extremely difficult to dislodge! I switched to a more natural litter for her.

  9. Sherrie

    Fresh Step had been my favorite kitty liter for years, but lately I have become very disappointed in the way it does not clump any more at all! And does not eliminate odors! I’m not sure what you changed, but it’s not good!

  10. Catpainter

    I use Fresh Step Unscented Clumping formula for multiple cats. Litter never smells, I don’t have that heavy fragrance that I dislike and that my cats hate. I scoop every morning after breakfast. I have litter mats under my cat box and the clumps are large and hold together very well. My two cat sisters are happy with it and with sharing the extra large high-sided catbox. I have no reason to change.