Best Litter Box Liners

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

56 Models Considered
16 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best litter box liners

Litter box duty is perhaps the single most dreaded chore among cat owners, but there are a few accessories out there that can help make the job easier. If you're tired of scrubbing away at smelly, wet litter that's seemingly cemented to the bottom of your cat's litter box, litter box liners could be the solution.

Litter box liners prevent stubborn, clumped-on messes (and the odors they leave behind) by providing a barrier between the litter and the box. When it's time for a litter change, simply remove, replace, and refill — easy as one, two, three!

While the concept of a litter box liner is fairly simple, choosing the right one isn't always easy. If you have questions, we can help you find the answers. We've sifted through piles of information and dug up the best litter box liners currently on the market to help you find a good fit. Read on for everything you need to know about litter box liners, and when you're done, choose with confidence from our favorites highlighted above.

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Plastic litter boxes can absorb odors over time, and bacteria can easily hide in scratches and scrapes. By acting as a barrier between the box and your cat's waste, litter box liners effectively reduce odors and improve hygiene.

Key considerations

Types

There are a few different types of litter box liner to choose from: disposable, sifting, and reusable.

Disposable: These litter box liners are made of plastic and work much like a trash bag in a garbage can. Simply place a liner inside the litter box, fold any excess plastic over the sides, then lift, tie, and toss when it's time for a complete litter replacement. If you like the idea of quick and easy litter removal, disposable liners are the way to go.

Sifting: If you're looking for a way to extend the cat litter, sifting liners are an option well worth considering. These liners are similar to disposable liners but work using multiple layers: a solid liner at the bottom with several perforated plastic liners on top. When your cat's litter box needs freshening up, simply lift the uppermost liner and clean litter sifts out through the holes, leaving only solid waste in the bag. Each time your cat's litter box fills up, you repeat the process until you reach the solid liner at the bottom. By this time, a complete litter replacement should be in order. Lift out the bottom liner, dispose, and replace with a fresh batch of liners before refilling your litter box.

Reusable: These litter box liners are generally constructed from heavy-duty tarpaulin and can be used many times before being thrown away. These robust liners are highly tear resistant and hold up well to digging and scratching. However, it's worth noting that reusable litter box liners require regular cleaning with soap and water (or an enzymatic cleaner), and you'll still need to empty the liner into a trash bag when it's time to replace the litter. While this certainly isn't difficult, it requires much more hands-on time compared to disposable liners.

Size

When it comes to avoiding tears and leaks, a good fit is vital. Ideally, a litter box liner should fit with at least a little room to spare. Forcing a liner that's too small over the sides of your litter box can create tension and stretching that may cause the liner to rip.

Litter box liner sizes typically range from small to jumbo:

Small (28 x 13 inches): These liners usually work best on small litter boxes measuring 16 x 12 inches or less.

Large (31 x 17 inches): If you have a medium to large litter box measuring up to 19 x 15 inches, you need large litter liners.

Jumbo/XL (36 x 18 inches): Extra-large or jumbo liners generally fit medium, large, and extra-large litter boxes measuring up to 23 x 19 inches.

Keep in mind that these sizes are a rough guideline only. Sizes can vary somewhat from liner to liner, and it's always a good idea to check the measurements before you buy.

Thickness

Most litter box liners have a thickness of between 1 and 3 mils. The thicker the liner, the more resistant it will be to scratching and tearing. While 1-mil liners may be adequate for smaller litter boxes and cats who've had their claws capped, most pet parents agree that liners of 2 and 3 mils deliver the best scratch resistance.

litter box liners
Did You Know?
When it comes to cleaning reusable litter box liners, using an enzymatic cleaner is more effective and much easier than washing or wiping them down.
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Features

Drawstring handles

Some litter box liners have drawstring handles to make cleanup even easier. By pulling on the drawstring handles as you lift the liner out of the box, you'll find that the liner more or less seals itself. Not only does this take care of yet another step in the litter removal process, but it also helps reduce exposure to bacteria, odors, and dust.

Improved fit

A loose-fitting liner or one that sits near the rim can easily be pulled down into the litter box. Needless to say, this can cause a serious mess if cats decide to go ahead and do their business anyway, and even more so if your feline feels the need to look for a more inviting “toilet” elsewhere in your home. To keep this from happening, some liners come with elasticized edges or a large elastic band that can be used to secure the liner to the litter box.

Odor control

While it's true that all litter box liners can help reduce odors simply by keeping the litter box itself clean, some options offer extra odor control. This is generally achieved through the addition of artificial scents, antimicrobial agents, or a combination of both. If your cat's litter box is particularly smelly, scented liners can help make things a bit more bearable by masking odors. However, it's important to note that many cats are extremely sensitive to fragrances, and some may even avoid litter boxes with scented liners altogether.

Sifting litter box liners work particularly well with clumping cat litter. When lifting the top liner, try not to shake the bag too much because this can cause clumps to break up and sift out through the holes.

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Accessories

Litter pail/disposal system: Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal System
Whether you use a litter box liner or not, regular scooping is a must. Litter pails work just like diaper pails and can help keep a lid on odors.

Cat litter deodorizer: NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer
Litter deodorizers absorb and neutralize litter box odors. Sprinkling some into your cat's litter box can help extend the litter and keep your home smelling fresh.

Litter mat: iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper Mat
Using a litter mat can help reduce tracking by trapping any particles that manage to follow your cat out of the litter box.

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Did You Know?
If your cat manages to shred even the thickest litter box liners, try placing a thick layer of newspaper on top of the liner before filling the box with litter.
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Litter box liner prices

Inexpensive: For around $8, you can purchase a pack of 15 heavy-duty, no-frills jumbo disposable liners. Larger quantities of disposable liners are also available at this price point, but these generally tend to be thin and flimsy.

Mid-range: Thick and sturdy jumbo elasticized liners and sifting liners usually cost from just under $10 for smaller packs (7 to 12 liners) to $20 for bulk packs (30 or more liners).

Expensive: Reusable litter box liners tend to be the most expensive, usually starting at around $30 for a pack of 3. While this might sound like an exorbitant price to pay for a litter box liner, a reusable liner can often be used for months before needing to be replaced.

Tips

  • Size up. If you aren't completely sure which size to choose, your safest bet is to simply go bigger. While an oversize liner can always be folded over the sides of the litter box, a smaller liner with a forced fit is likely to tear.
  • Consider your cat's preferences. If you have a fussy cat, it's probably best to steer clear of scented liners. No matter how much you might need the extra odor control, upsetting your cat's litter box routine just isn't worth it.
  • Secure the sides of the liner. To keep the liner from sliding into the litter box, you need to secure the sides. If your liners don't have elasticized edges, try using clips or pegs to hold them up instead.
  • Go for convenience. The whole point of litter box liners is to streamline your litter box cleaning routine, so don't skimp on convenience. Features like drawstring handles and elasticized edges may seem unnecessary, but they can make a big difference.
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Some cats dislike liners that are overly "crinkly" and may avoid using their litter box as a result. If you notice signs of litter box avoidance and think it could be caused by noisy, crinkly litter box liners, try a different brand.

FAQ

Q. How long do reusable litter box liners last?

A. Reusable litter box liners can last for quite a while. In fact, one reusable litter box liner can last as long as three months if used by one cat. While reusable liners may seem a bit overpriced, many cat owners feel that they pay for themselves in the long run.

Q. Won't a plastic bag work just as well as a disposable litter box liner?

A. Recycling plastic bags from the grocery store by putting them to work as litter box liners can seem like a good idea, but most pet parents find them to be unreliable at best. Ever notice how many of the plastic bags used for shopping seem to always have tiny holes? These can create an unnecessary mess in your litter box and leak litter when you're trying to remove it. Another issue is size. Achieving a proper fit on a larger litter box can be almost impossible. And, of course, there's the question of thickness and quality. With regular plastic bags, there's just no way of knowing how well they'll hold up to heavy litter and repeated scratching.

Q. Are litter box liners worth using with clumping cat litter?

A. Some cat lovers argue that there's no point in using litter box liners if you're already using a good clumping cat litter. However, it isn't all that uncommon for cats to squat in such a manner that feces or urine ends up on the sides of the litter box, especially if you have a smaller litter box. Enthusiastic diggers can sometimes also dig right to the bottom of the litter box, exposing the plastic beneath. Regardless of the type of litter you use, at the end of the day the litter box will always be cleaner when it's covered with a liner.
 

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