Do Air Purifiers Work on Pet Odors?


Sleek, attractive unit
Sleek, attractive unitI’ve been looking for an air purifier forever. First, because I’d like to keep certain, ahem, litter box odors to a minimum (have I mentioned one of our boxes is situated in my home office? .)

I’ve been looking for an air purifier forever. First, because I’d like to keep certain, ahem, litter box odors to a minimum (have I mentioned one of our boxes is situated in my home office?)

Second, I’m allergic to cats. Surprising I know, seeing as how they sleep on my pillow, but I would not give up my cats for anything. And having to kick them out of the bedroom at night? Impossible. So, I have found ways to manage the allergies….. meds, regular nasal rinses, hardwood floors, frequent cleanings and now, the Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier.

I love it. Like I said, I’ve wanted to try an air purifier for a while now. I just didn’t know what worked well and what didn’t. The good air purifiers aren’t cheap and I hated to take a chance on something that would end up in the corner, unused, with a layer of dust and dander (the very stuff it’s supposed to filter) on top of it.

So, when the Alen folks offered me a unit to try, of course I jumped on it.

When it arrived, I admit, I let the unit sit around unused for a couple of weeks because I was busy and didn’t think I had the time to figure out how to work it. Well, the joke’s on me because it took me all of three minutes to get it set up and running. It took longer to get it out of the box. Jeesh.

1. Insert filter and snap into place
2. Plug in the unit
3. Press power button “on”

This is simplicity at its best.

While the unit isn’t small….it’s sleek and unobtrusive. And, it’s pretty quiet; no louder than a fan.

Best of all, it’s easy to operate with manual timer and auto settings, different fan speeds and a filter change button. Plus, the button on the top tells you how pure the present air is. Red means it’s working really hard to purify your air…..yellow means it’s getting there and blue signals that you have lovely pure air.

I get a kick out of watching the button change colors depending on who….or what…. is in the room. One day it was on red and yellow, with an occasional blue, all afternoon and I could not figure out why. Finally, I looked behind the unit and both cats were lounging five inches from it. Oh boy, it was working hard on that pet dander!

Working REALLY hard
Working REALLY hard
Working hard....
Making progress….
Lovely clean air
Lovely clean air

Do you need an air purifier? What do they do?

Well, according to the Alen web site, “Many are surprised to learn the Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental health issues we currently face. Poor indoor air quality can create a variety of health concerns, including aggravating your allergies, triggering asthma attacks and the development of serious health conditions.”

That makes sense to me.

Basically, the air purifiers capture the air pollutants in their filters, leaving fresh air in your home.

I tried the unit in various locations in my house to see how it worked and also, because I was curious about what type of airborne issues different rooms of the house might have.

And, there are several types of filters available for different needs. The BreatheSmart unit I tried contained the HEPA Fresh plus filter designed to filter dust and allergens (pet dander, mold spores, pollen, etc.) and for chemical and odor control.

Well, Does it Work?

I definitely have been breathing better at night. I also have noticed less dust in the room where the unit is situated. And, lo and behold, I’ve noticed fewer litter box odors and odors overall. There’s a part of my house with some older furniture that has a musty smell from time to time and it’s completely eliminated that smell.


And, get this: they offer a Lifetime Limited Warranty: “If there is ever an issue with your Alen Air Purifier—either 1 year or 20 years from now—we will repair or replace it, as long as you are maintaining your air purifier by replacing its filter on a regular basis.”

And, if you are skeptical, they also have an Allergy Relief Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied within 60 days they will refund your money and even pay to ship the unit back.

Had I known this, I would have tried them out a long time ago. Thanks, Alen.

Here’s to happy litter boxes AND happy air!


  1. I have two cats, two litter boxes, and a construction worker husband creating dust and dander in our tiny one bedroom apartment. All of us have trouble breathing at night time. Most of us snore and have terrible congestion in the morning, especially when we can not open the windows. We use a cool mist humidifier, but it just doesn’t cut it. A new air purifier would help us immensely!

  2. OMC! I’d LOVE this air purifier. We’ve got 3 dogs, 1 pillow sleeping cat, litter boxes, pollen, dust and all take a toll on me at night. I have horrible allergies and like you I will take loads of meds, hepa filter the heck outta the house and sneeze like crazy all night long. This would be a miracle and I’d love a chance to win one. Thanks!

  3. I am also very allergic but have 4 lovely felines that I would never give up. They are my companions day and night. I have tried other air purifiers and have not had great results with eleviating the litter box odor. Pkease let this be the real answer to both smell and dander!

  4. Three kitties here, one of which is old and dandery like you wouldn’t believe! Daily brushings help the little guy but that causes more hair floating through my house like little feline tumbleweeds! Oh the things we put up with for our furry family members 🙂

  5. I have a lot of cats – that equals a lot of litterboxes. I scoop a lot too – but I’d love a purifier to help with odor control in between scooping.

  6. I have two cats, one of which sheds like 3 cats combined, and I have ongoing sinus issues with lots of headaches. Plus I live in an older home on a busy street, so there’s a lot of dust in the air. Obviously I need help 😉 I think an air purifier would help tremendously!

  7. I have three cats and five litter boxes! I would love to have fresh air, especially right after I pour new litter into the boxes…

  8. Hey there, great article! I was curious if air purifiers helped litter box odors as well, as there is nothing worse than going to someone’s home and you feel like when you sit on their couch, the litter box is sitting in your lap! How embarassing! Currently we only have one cat (and two dogs – that shed like CRAZY!), however she has urinary tract issues and even though she’s on special food, the smell of her urine is so potent. I always worry that when I invite someone over, my house smells. We also have a two year old daughter, another baby on the way, and we all have horrible allergies but fight through it due to our huge hearts when it comes to animals! We would LOVE one of these air purifiers, it would make our lives so much better and help us all breath easier. We could never afford $600 on an air purifier, so winning this would be amazing!!!

  9. I have one adorable Rag Doll cat. He is so cute but his fur gets all over everything. Would not give him up for anything in the world. And …. his litter box sure could use some help. An air purifier would help tremendously. Look out Oliver help may be on the way!!!! The other male member of the household is somewhat allergic to cats but this might help him also.

  10. Moving into a home that was built back in the early 1900’s with 3 perfect kitty cats and 1 perfect dog we could most certainly use this BreatheSmart unit!!! I would LOVE to try this neat air purifier!! This would be much appreciated and used daily since I have always had trouble with my allergies. Plus, 1 of my babies doesn’t seem to know what a litter box is but we give her a pass due to her being 19 years old. I work at keeping a good smelling home as most pet lovers do but it can be a challenge. Will be checking into this product 🙂

  11. OMG – I would love, love, love a SmartBreathe Air Purifier for my home! My 2 year old kitty, Saltie was diagnosed with Asthma this summer. 🙁 We now have to help him stay healthy with twice daily inhaler treatments (not mention the frequent cleaning of the home). We’ve been talking about getting an air purifier but they are so very expensive! Please consider us for this giveaway.
    Thank you. 🙂

  12. Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue provides sanctuary to senior and special needs cats and kittens, finding them loving homes when possible. Otherwise they remain with us in a loving home like environment in our facility.

    We would truly like to be able to win this for our precious kitties.

    Thank you.

  13. I really need an air purifier for my two cats. I live in an apartment building where other people’s odors seem to flow into my apartment. I want the best for my kitties and my boyfriend has asthma too. I know that it is a waste to buy a cheap air purifier and yours sounds awesome for lack of a better word! It would be so nice to breath clean air inside my home.

  14. I have bad allergy problems (though, thankfully, I’m not allergic to animals) and now my 2-year-old cat, Charlie has asthma. Two of the items on my to-buy-after-I-pay-off-my-other-cat’s-$7,000-surgery-bill list is a Really Good Vacuum and an air purifier. I think the cats and I will feel a lot better when we can get better control over the dust and allergens in our apartment.

  15. This sounds like a great unit! My husband wakes up every morning with sinus problems. We also can not keep our two cats out of the bedroom! The litter box is also right off the bedroom and any help with odor would be great.

  16. Combine: petrified corncob “insulation” with 1 damp field stone basement, mix with a more than a dash of pet dander and who knows what else, simmer 200+ years and you have a recipe for serious air quality issues. With 6 rescue kitties living in such an old house there are plenty of things I don’t even want to consider that must be floating around in the air that we’re breathing. The Alen Air Purifier would help us all breathe a little easier.
    >^..^< Thank you.

  17. Hello – 15 cats and 11 litterboxes!! I have a litterbox in my living room right next to the TV! I would looooove to have one of these.

  18. This is amazing progress in pet allergy land. So many friends cannot step foot in my home. This would be such a gift for them and me. So very cool.

  19. My husband and I have 3 cats (4 litter boxes) and a dog. We are also expecting our first child together. We are a military family on a budget. As much as we love our fur babies, the litter boxes are a real nuisance. This new air purifier would make living with our fur babies much more pleasant! Thank you for your consideration!

  20. I have a 16 year old diabetic cat and a very active 6 year old cat so two litter boxes a 13 month old and a husband who is very allergic to these cats I love. He likes the cats but puts up with the allergies for me because he knows how much I love them. His main issue however, is the smell. I keep the boxes as clean as possible but he would prefer I stand over the boxes and scoop as the mess is made. Not able to do that especially with a little one into everything! This would be wonderful to win and I could feel I am able to make him feel more comfortable.

  21. Well I would really love to win this for my household of pets and lets not forget the smelly spouse I habitat with.

  22. Oh my goodness . . . I soooo need one of these for my small apartment. I have two senior rescue kitties, as well as a senior rescue dog. They all love to sleep on my bed, and they all shed like crazy. And,because my apartment is lacking in space, I have to keep the litterbox in one of my bedroom closets . . . ugh. Trust me . . . there is nowhere else to keep it. Needless to say, my kitties are big boys (15 lbs each) with big appetites, which creates big litterbox odors! I also have trouble breathing when lying down, due to a head and neck injury from a car accident. I would be forever grateful should you choose me as the recipient of this air purifier, as that price is way too far out of my budget . . . even with the pet parent discount. Everything I do is centered around raising money and awareness for animal rescue, so it would be nice to be the recipient of something so wonderful for a change. Thank you for your wonderful blog, and thank you for your consideration! For the animals . . . Raven ♥

  23. I would LOVE to win this air purifier. My daughter who is allergic to pet dander and hair adopted a cat from the shelter and loves her. This would make her bedroom breathable at night so Dot can keep sleeping with her.

  24. We really want to try this! We have several “:foster cats” and people come to our home to adopt, so we really get nervous a bout odors. Worse yet, we get used to them and sometimes don’t notice them–but someone coming in probably does. We’re always afraid that odors will drive them away, no matter how much we clean. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

  25. We have 5 cats in our home, all of which started out as fosters (we can never seem to give then back!). I am allergic to 2 of the cats, but can’t keep from snuggling with them! An air purifier would hopefully eliminate my need to take a daily antihistamine.

  26. We’ve got 3 cats and 3 litter boxes. My husband, daughter and myself all have allergies and are always trying to find natural ways to alleviate our sneezing and watery eyes. This would be a lifesaver! Hope we get the opportunity to try this out as we would never be able to afford such a great product!

  27. Currently have five cats and often take in ferals. It’s hard to keep up with all the cleaning needed. My dh had heart surgery and needs the air to be as clean as possible, so this machine would be wonderful for us. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  28. 11 cats, 12 litter boxes, dust, and lots of scooping to reduce odor-HELP! I really could use an air purifier to help me breathe easier and cut down on the dust.

  29. I like using air purifiers for my home. With several furry ones running this house hold I could use a GOOD purifier like Alen Breathesmart. This would probably help keep my one pups under better control also.

  30. I would love to try this awesome sounding unit. Have two dogs and am plaqued with chronic sinus infections and bouts of pneumonia. I wake ip with hesdaches on a dsily basis. Also recently diagnosed with skin cancer so am looking for ways to “clean the environment” around us. Would love a chance at this!

  31. Amazing !!! Would love to try the Alen unit …..I have purchased solo many, I have a huge rag doll and I’m redoing a hurricane home – lists of interesting odors. Thanks

  32. Would love to try one of these out, but could never afford to buy one. I have 24 rescue cats and 2 rescue dogs. Most of my kittens are special needs so some of them have issues occassionally and this would help tremendously.

  33. I sure would love to win! But, after reading all the comments, I wish everyone could get one. Thank you very much for reviewing this air purifier as there are so many and so many companies saying “ours is the best!!” I just gave up trying to figure out which one to get. I have four cats in an apartment, with four litterboxes. Two of them have long fur, which means fuzzy butts. Occasionally I come home to a random turd that was not let loose at the litterbox and came along for the ride to somewhere else in the apartment, thanks to that long butt fur. And don’t get me started on how much it smells after someone poops! One of my cats does not have any teeth, so we feed her canned food exclusively. Her poop stinks. A lot. I do not have allergies but if I do get any cold or sickness, it takes up residence in my throat and lungs causing congestion and making it hard to breathe. I wonder if I would recover faster, or not even get sick at all if I used an air purifier. Thank you again for the review and the chance to win a high quality air purifier.

  34. This might just be the answer that I’ve been looking for!!!

    I have 3 cats in my tiny one bedroom apartment and although I wouldn’t give any of them up, my allergies make it very hard to breathe most days.

    If I got something like this, then maybe my mom (who is HIGHLY allergic to cats) could come for a visit. She hasn’t seen my apartment since the day we moved in (before I unpacked and could bring the cats home).

  35. I’d love one! You are right, the cat pans can get a little smelly, and I’ve been fighting a sinus problem for a long time. I only have 1 cat now, and 1 dog, but boy if I could just find anything to clear up this sinus problem. Love you Romeo and Pugs!

  36. This would be so great in our small apartment. The only location for the litter box is in our tiny downstairs bathroom and it is right off the dining room. We use World’s Best litter which is amazing but can have some dust. I feel like this would be a great help to keep our air a better quality and help minimize odors so close to our dining area. We have 3 Sphynxes and despite not having fur they still produce dander!

  37. I would love one of these. I have asthma and two kitties. It would be wonderful if all of us could breathe a little easier!

  38. I have 2 kitties and 3 doggies and a fiance who is mildly allergic to everything. He has to wear a C-Pap device at night to sleep and is never really comfortable. I’ve heard that air purifiers can help with this ~ I would love to give the Alen a shot ~ what a great Christmas gift!

  39. That would be awesome! I have 4 cats, 2 dogs, and 2 kids. No central air in my house, so circulation is minimal.

  40. OMG this would be a godsend for me ,I have 3 cats ,and COPD ,and sometimes the odor can be overwhelming. Thank you, Linda

  41. I really need one since I foster kitties along with my own. One of my own babies has asthma requiring 3-5 inhaler treatments a day. At times she needs to be given steroids to open her up more. The air filter would help her quite a bit. I also have allergies, and of course cats are a high trigger, which at times causes me to have asthma attacks and sinus infections. I have MS so any type of infection causes many issues. I have too many furbabies counting on me. Due to the high cost of taking care of my kitties and a feral colony of 12, the money to purchase a unit is impossible.

  42. We need this air purifier!! I’ve got 8 cats, lots of litter boxes (14!) and dander! 🙂 Plus I live in the woods where we have plenty of mold and mildew. My original air purifier never worked very well, was loud, expensive to run and over heated! So we need a new one badly lol!

  43. I would love to win this. I also have allergies and I use a Swivel Sweeper every day. I have one for upstairs and one downstairs. I would never give up Max due to allergies. I am 70 and he snuggles next to me at night and I fall asleep petting him.

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