Alen BreatheSmart HEPA Air Purifier

Air Purifiers for Cat Litter Dust, Allergies & Odor: 11 Need-to-Know Features

GemGuardian 3-in-1 Air Purifier

  • Best seller for bedrooms!
  • Clear 99.97% dust and allergens
  • Kill airborne bacteria, viruses, and germs
  • Charcoal filter to reduce common pet odors
  • Perfect for small rooms and low budgets, up to 100 sq. ft

Alen T500 Tower Air Purifier

  • Best seller for large rooms and living spaces!
  • HEPA-filter for allergies, microbes, strong odors and dust
  • Three fan settings with whisper quiet performance
  • Perfect size for portability, even on trips
  • Great for bedrooms, offices, up to 500 sq. ft

Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier

  • Best seller for larger living areas!
  • Energy Star Certified with quality and powerful performance
  • HEPA-Pure filter quietly and efficiently removes allergens and dust
  • Automatically detects and adjusts to changing air quality
  • Perfect for living rooms, large rooms up to 1100 sq. ft

As cat owners, it's fair to say we've all been there before - the litter dust particles waving through our breathing air, the flocks of cat hair flying through our living space and the pet dander that keeps us and nearly 10% of American population sneezing. Even with our constant vacuuming, it's difficult to keep our air and living spaces clean. Luckily, with air purifiers, we're able to combat these troubles, and get rid of allergens, dust, dander and other harmful particles.

If you're new to air filters, we recommend going the terminology so you can find the best buy for you. If you want to view our top recommended products, then click here to view our top-rated air purifier products !

Top 11 Things to Know Before Buying an Air Purifier

Before we dive into recommendations and overviews, let's go over some air purifier terminology. This will help you in choosing the perfect air purifier for you.

1) What is HEPA?

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. You'll want to buy an air purifier with HEPA filters, as they trap 99.97% the allergens, dust, mold, pollens, and other junk particles out of the air. Check out the infographic below; anything above the 0.3 mark is blocked off completely by HEPA filters.

Be sure it's HEPA and not HEPA-type! They are not the same thing.

Chart showing how much HEPA filters block for best air purifiers for cat allergies.
Chart showing how much HEPA filters block for best air purifiers for cat allergies. Courtesy of Prostar-Mechanical

2) Understand that you'll need to Replace your Air Purifier Filters

It's important to replace your HEPA and carbon filters at least once a year. This frequency depends on the type of filters and air purifier unit you buy. One thing you'll want to do is consider the price of replacement filters before buying an air purifier.

3) Size Matters

One of the first things you want to do is to measure the room you plan on placing the air purifier in, and check the product specifications to see how large each purifier covers. The range of coverage can go from small rooms (~150 ft2) to very large (2,000 ft2).

Additionally, check out the physical dimensions of the filter system, as you'll want to make sure the filter doesn't take up too much space in your home.

4) Filtration rates

Filters work by sucking air in, and pushing it back out. There are three terms that measure filtration rates: ACH, CADR, and MERV.

Air Changes per Hour (ACH)

This value tells you the volume of air that can be filtered per hour of use. You'll want a higher ACH to ensure that all alergens and dust particles will be trapped.

Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)

While ACH tells you the number of cycles relative to your machine, CADR will tell you how much clean air will be put into your room per minute.

Consumer Reports states that a CADR above 350 is excellent, while one below 100 is poor.

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)

MERV was developed by the American Society of Refergierating and Air-conditioning Engineers. It tells you how efficiently your air filter is working. A value of 10 is optimal.

Another way to ensure that your filter is working efficiently is to look for the Energy Star brand.

Look for cat air purifiers with the energy star logo for best air purifiers for cat allergies.
Look for cat air purifiers with the energy star logo for best air purifiers for cat allergies.

5) Noise

It's important to keep a good balance between noise levels and size. Often, a good quality air purifier, although expensive, will keep quiet.

Air purifiers come with a noise level rating in decibals (dB). The greater than dB, the noisier your air purifier is.

6) Run Consistently

It's important to run your air cleaners at least 4 hours per day. Air cleaners take some time to reach a "cleaning equilibrium", so it's important to keep your cleaners at work.

7) Avoid Ozone Generators

Some filters that work by placing a charge on the particles in the air before pushing them back out may cause ozone gas. They might smell "fresher," but can be unhealthy.

Luckily, many of the products on the market today readily convert the ozone gas back to oxygen before pushing it back out. It's good to make sure you check with each product to ensure there is no ozone being produced.

8) Keep your Windows Closed

Windows open mean fresh air...right? Interestingly, when using air filters, this doesn't apply. It's important to keep windows closed, as air purifiers function the best when recirculating the same air over and over again.

9) Place your Purifier Closest to your Roaming Area

You'll want to place your filters nearest to where you most frequent, so that you may breathe in the freshest air. If you're often on your computer in a room, then place the filter near there. Then you can move it next to your bed while you sleep.

10) Consider purchasing a Roomba or a Good Upright Vacuum cleaner

Air purifiers can make the air in your room cleaner, but that doesn't mean your household will be free of cat fur. In order to minimize the amount of time you spend performing chores, we recommend selecting from our guide of recommended Roomba robot vacuums. In addition to automating keeping the air in your home clean, Roombas will help you rid of cat hairs from your carpets.

If Roombas are not your thing, you could always select a pet vacuum cleaner that is built to pull cat hair out of your carpets.

11) Continue to clean

Unfortunately, having an air purifier isn't an excuse to stop cleaning. Remember that air purifiers are there to clean the dander and dust out of the air, but those particles can still be attached to the floor or walls.

Recommended products by price and size

Here is a list of items that were curated through the internet. It's best to first measure how large the room you want to place your air purifier in, then look up which product is built for that size.

Under $100 (small rooms, ~150 ft2)

GermGuardian 3-in-1: Best for smaller rooms, and dealing with allergies on a low budget

If you're on a budget and want and air purification system that helps fight dust, cat dander and allergies, try the GermGuardian 3-in-1. In addition to a HEPA filter, the GermGuardian fights germs and bacteria with its UV light technology. Additionally, its replacement filters are relatively cheap, keeping your budget steady for the long run.

Available on
Product Name
GermGuardian 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System
True HEPA, UV-C and Odor Reduction
150 ft2
2.5" x 9" x 21.5"
Noise Levels
"Quiet Operation"
Filter Type
True HEPA filtration with charcoal filter. Replace every 6-8 months
Unit Cost
$$ Check price
149.99149.99Amazon #{stars} logo(1,850+ reviews)

$100 to $250 (medium-sized rooms, ~465 ft2)

Alen T500 Tower Air Purifier: Best for small to mid-size rooms

If you have a little more to spend to get a much higher return than the GemGuardian, try the Alen T500 Tower Air Purifier. This is a powerful, quiet, compact, portable tower with up to 63% more efficiency than GemGuardian, and has the ability to clear out over 3 times the space!

  • 20%-25% smaller than comparable tower air purifiers, like the GemGuardian
  • Can clean up to 500 sq. ft
  • Perfect for bedrooms, offices and living spaces.
Available on
Product Name
Alen T500
HEPA Filters, Silent Fan, Energy Star Certified
21 lbs
500 ft2
Lifetime Warranty!
Unit Cost
$$ Check price
210210Amazon #{stars} logo(136+ reviews)

$250 to $500 (large rooms, ~750 ft2)

Rabbit Air MinusA2: Best for Germs, Odors, Pet Allergies

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 covers a large amount of space (up to 700 sq. ft), is ultra quiet and HEPA qualified. Select from the particular from a list of subtypes including Germ Defense, Odor Remover, Pet Allergy or Toxin Absorber. Its six-stage filtration system traps in dust, pet dander, pollen and charges particles in the air so that they may stick together and be removed more easily. Additionally, as with all Alen brands, it comes with a 5-year warranty, keeping your mind at ease in case of breakdowns!

Available on
Product Name
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700A
Six-stage filter: pre-filter (traps large particles and is washable), HEPA (captures dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores), then deodorizer. Virtually quiet - perfect for use next to bed.
25.9 lbs
700 ft2
25.7" H x 23" W x 12.5" D
Noise Levels
Quiet enough to sleep next to
Unit Cost
$$ Check price
499.95499.95Amazon #{stars} logo(167+ reviews)

$500 and above (large living spaces, ~1,000 to 2,000 ft2)

Alen BreatheSmart: Best for automated odor and pet dander control in a large (1100 ft2 room)

The Alen BreatheSmart is as elegant in looks as in its technology. This high-end model uses its SmartSensor Technology to detect airborne allergens and pollutants, and automatically turns itself up or down accordingly.

Additionally, the Alen Breathemart offers four different types of filters, interchangeable according to your purpose. There is a HEPA-Pure (for dust and allergens), the HEPA-Silver (for bacteria and germs), HEPA-OdorCell (for smoke and heavy odors, included in box) and HEPA-FreshPlus (for chemicals and VOC's).

Available on
Product Name
Alen BreatheSmart for Removing Odors
1,100 ft2
26.75" H x 17.75" W x 10" D
150, 185, 2225, 286
32 lbs
Noise Levels
41.5 db (low) 44 db (medium) 50 db (high) 56 dB (turbo)
Filter Type
Four options: HEPA-Pure, HEPA-FreshPlus, HEPA-Silver, HEPA-OdorCell
Lifetime Limited Warranty
Unit Cost
$$$ Check price
658658Amazon #{stars} logo(226+ reviews)

AirMega 400S: Best for large rooms dealing with asthma, allergies, fine dusts and odors

Looking for a heavy-duty air purifier that can cover a large living room? Try AirMega 400S, which has a coverage of 1,560 ft2. This is ideal if you want to keep a large living space (such as your main living room) clean for guests, who may be allergic to cats.

Available on
Product Name
AirMega 400S
1,560 ft2
14.8" H x 14.8" D x 22.8" L
Fan Speed
Sleep, Low, Medium, High
Application(1,2,4,8 Hr)+ Scheduler
Pollution Indicator
Yes, with iOS or Android app
Filter Type
Washable Pre-Filter+Max2 Filter Set (Activated Carbon + Green True HEPA)
Unit Cost
$$$ Check price
78497849Amazon #{stars} logo(21+ reviews)

We hope that this guide was helpful in selecting the best air purifier for pet allergies and cat litter! Any questions or concerns? Comment below!


Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America