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Are Litter Box Liners A Good Idea?

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Cleaning your cat litter box can be a real hassle. It’s not the most pleasant task in the world.

We all know that scooping out used cat litter is gross and smelly and it takes time and effort to clean up after our feline friends. Plus, if you don’t clean the litter box regularly, cats are more likely to use other areas of your house as their toilet area which is even worse for everyone involved!

The solution? A liner that makes cleaning up after kitty easy peasy! Are litter box liners a good idea? – Yes.

What Are Cat Litter Box Liners?

A litter box liner lines the base and sides of a litter box. The litter is then poured into the box on top of the liner.

The primary function of the liner is to make emptying the litter box easier. Scoop the litter box as usual. When changing the litter, the liner, which often has a drawstring, is gathered into a bunch and the litter and the liner are disposed of together.

The liner also protects the bottom of the box. The box is now easier to clean as there will be no residue from cat urine or faeces.

Litter box liners are usually made from plastic but not always. The Modkat litter box has a liner that can be reused as they are made from rip resistant tarpaulin.

Different Types Of Cat Litter Box Liners

About Drawstring Cat Litter Liners
About Cat Litter Liners with Elastic
About Sifting Cat Litter Liners
About Biodegradable Cat Litter Liners
About Reusable Cat Litter Liners

Drawstring Litter Box Liners

The problem with removing litter from a cat litter box is that it can be messy and time-consuming.

A good cat litter liner with a drawstring, will make this job much easier because the drawstring gathers and pulls all edges together.

This makes it easy to tie at the top and dispose of in the usual way.

Jonny Cat Heavy Duty Litter Box Liners, Jumbo, 5ct

There is more information here about different types of drawstring cat litter box liners.

Elastic Litter box Liners

An elastic litter box liner has elastic around the edge. The elastic edge fits over the rim of the cat’s litter box. The elastic prevents the liner from falling back into the box when the cat is digging in the cat litter.

The cat may pull the liner with his claws when digging which in turn can pull the liner back into the box. Having elastic around the edge of the litter box helps avoid this problem. Some liners have an elastic edge and a drawstring.

Alfapet Kitty Cat Litter box Disposable, Elastic Liners- 12-count-For Medium and Large, Size Litter Pans- With Sta-Put Technology for Firm, Easy Fit- Quick + Clever Waste Cleaners

There is more information here about different types of elastic cat litter box liners.

Sifting Litter Box Liners

Sifting litter box liners come in a stack, usually about five. The liners have holes in them hence the name sifting. Think of a flour sifter. Every couple of days, depending on the number of cats you have, the bag is pulled together in the centre and lifted from the box.

Because there are holes in the bag, the remaining clean litter is sifted through the holes in the liner and stays in the box. Sifting litter box liners will work best with clumping litter.

The next liner which is already in the box is now ready to use. There is one liner that sits is at the bottom of the stack that is not a sifting liner.

This sifting liner shown below is made from 100% recycled cardboard. The liners can be used in a litter box (depending on size).

The liners can be used with a protective shield, also made from recycled cardboard that then constitutes an entire litter box, with liners.

A perfect solution for the elderly and even the kids can handle changing the liner.

Kitty Sift Disposable Sifting Litter Box Liners (Large, Pack of 12), Plastic Free

There is more information here about different types of sifting cat litter box liners.

Biodegradable Litter Box Liners

We are all trying to do our best these days when using plastic. We are far more aware in our family, of limiting plastic use and finding alternatives.

Plastic shopping bags have long been banned where we live and we have all coped with taking our own bags to the shops, even though we forgot a fair bit in the beginning.

Most litter liners are plastic. For something to be biodegradable it must fit this criteria

Biodegradable (of a substance or object) capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.

We examine the claims concerning the meaning of biodegradable and compostable litter bags for cats, that are said to be eco friendly. Is there a perfect solution just yet? Probably not.

Compostable trash bags which may be seen as an option for kitty litter liners are usually too thin to hold the weight of cat litter or to survive scratching. Plus there is the fact that if they begin to break down, you will just be left with a whole lot of mess as the bag starts to degrade.

Biodegradable Small Trash Bags 4-6 Gallon Ultra Thicken Drawstring Garbage Bags Compostable Kitchen Trash Bag Degradable Wastebasket Liner Bag for Bathroom Office Cat Litter

There is more information here about different types of biodegradable cat litter bags.

Instead, we are currently reviewing cat litter poop bags that can be used in the litter tray. Litter bags are perfect for scooping waste out of litter boxes! 

Reusable Litter Box Liners

Modkat, which is a brand of litter box has always had reusable liners. The liners last for approximately 3 months. The cost may seem like a lot upfront but considering how long the product lasts it is definitely worth the initial outlay.

The liners are made from a rip-resistant tarpaulin. There are different size and shape liners for different Modkat liners.

Modkat Flip Litter Box Kit Includes Scoop and Reusable Tarp Liner

Note: June 2022 – Some Modkat liners are unavailable.

There is more information here about reusable Modkat cat litter box liners.

FAQ For Cat Litter Liners

  • Are Cat Litter Liners Necessary?

    Using a cat litter liner is a personal choice. It is not a necessary requirement to use litter box liners. A lot of people use the liners in litter boxes because they make cleaning more convenient. The liners are easy to dispose of or a reusable liner can be used. Cat litter box liners help keep the litter box clean longer and also protect the surface of the box.

  • Are Cat Litter Bags Recyclable?

    Some cat litter bags may be labelled recyclable. It should be noted though that cat litter itself is best treated as non recyclable and should be disposed of in the trash. For the bags to be recycled they would need to be cleaned before recycling at a commercial facility. This is not practical and not advisable from a health standpoint.

  • Do Cat Litter Liners Work?

    Cat litter liners do work very well if the right size is chosen for the box. Size is an important consideration. If the liner is too large it will bunch up at the bottom and the cat is likely to scratch the bag if the litter becomes low.
    An overly large bag also makes scooping the box difficult. Choose the size that will best fit the box you have. Some litter boxes such as this one, have bags that are made for the box. This takes the guesswork out of choosing the right size.

  • Should I Use Cat Litter Liners?

    If you are unsure about using liners, the best advice is to give them a go. Spend some time researching the liners that will best suit the box you have.
    Take into consideration different factors such as
    * cat litter liners that have elastic around the edges. The elastic helps to keep the liners in place.
    * cat litter liners have a drawstring that is pulled together when it is tied to empty the litter, making it easier to remove the bag.
    * cat litter liners that have a sifting function are another consideration.

    The different types of liners are described above with a link to reviews where you can see the products and read the comparisons. We have done the research so that you can decide what will work best for you.

  • Can I Use Generic Trash Bags In Place Of A litter Liner

    If you decide to use a trash bag, choose thick trash bags. Cat claws can nick thin trash bags so you need heavy duty trash bags.
    The bag won’t fit as comfortably as a liner, which means cutting it into a smaller size. Without a way to secure the bag, like a drawstring you might find yourself dealing with the bag falling back into the litter.
    Trash bags labelled as compostable will be too thin to work properly as a cat litter liner. Kitty litter is too heavy.

  • Are Plastic Cat litter Bags Compostable?

    A typical home compost pile won’t work for composting litter poop bags. Note, this refers to the poop bags and not the bags or liners that line the litter box. You would need to find a commercial composting facility to compost the poop bags to meet health guidelines. Compostable cat poop bags are usually referring to the smaller poop bags that can be used when scooping the litter.

    Composting cat litter (without the liner) is not advised for the home gardener unless you are an experienced composter and know that you can follow the requirements to compost cat litter safely.

  • DIY Cat Litter Liners?

    The idea I am about to suggest is rather a different way of thinking but certainly worth considering. Repurposing old fabric scraps into an absorbent cat litter bag would not be difficult with some simple sewing skills.
    Disclaimer: I haven’t done this but someone with some sewing skills could do this in no time. Color coordinated cat litter liners could be the next big thing. Having a half a dozen would give sufficient time to wash the liners before reusing.

  • Do Litter Liners Help With Odor Control

    Some liners do offer odor control. These liners are available with or without odor control. The scent is a light floral scent which is not overpowering or strong.

  • Do Cat Litter Boxes Need Liners?

    The chemicals in cat urine will damage the plastic of the box eventually. The bottom of the box also gets scratched when using the litter scoop. The cats claws can also scratch the bottom of the box whether that be plastic or stainless steel.
    This means that at some point the box will need to be replaced as it will be difficult to clean and may harbour bacteria. Are litter box liners a good idea? Yes they are a good idea to prolong the life of the cat’s litter box and make cleaning the litter box easier.

  • How To Use Cat litter Liners?

    A cat litter liner is placed into the litter box before the litter is added. If the liner has a drawstring and elastic or one or the other, the edge is fitted over the side of the box.
    The litter is then poured into the box on top of the liner. Pour the litter carefully to keep the bag in place. The weight of the litter can cause the liner to fall back into the box, if the litter is added too quickly.
    An elastic edged liner does help with this problem as the elastic helps to keep the liner in place. Pour the litter to a depth of 3 inches or so so that the cat is not scratching the liner with his paws and claws.

  • Are there litter box liners alternatives?

    Looking for a litter liner alternative? You can make a litter box non stick if this is your primary reason for using a liner. You can do this yourself and it is not difficult. This article gives different DIY ideas to make your litter box non stick the DIY way. Start with the easiest way first.

two cats reading about cat litter liners
Let’s make life a bit easier! Sounds like a good idea!

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