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Cat Litter Box Liners – Vet’s Advice on Litter Pan Liners

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Cat Litter Box Liners – Vet's Advice on Litter Pan Liners

Scooping and cleaning the litter box is one of the least favorite tasks of cat lovers. Some cat lovers use litter box liners (also known as litter pan liners) to help keep the box clean.
Let's start with the basics. What are litter box liners?

Litter box liners are plastic bags that line your cats litter box. The liner goes over the empty litter box before the litter goes in the box. The litter then goes on top of the liner.
There are two types of litter box liners.

Traditional Litterbox Liners

First, there is a regular litter box liner that keeps the box clean and allows the pet owner to quickly and easily change out the litter. (Think of it like a garbage bag inside of the garbage can. You just change out the bag and put in a new one – which saves you from needing to clean the garbage can.) You can still scoop regularly and when you are ready to change out the litter – you just gather up the entire bag full of litter for easy disposal.

Sifting Litterbox Liners

The second kind of litter box liner has holes in it and allows you to "sift" the litter. This liner keeps the clumps in the bag and allowing the clean litter to flow back in to the box. Generally the sifting liners come in a package of 20 to 30. To use these liners, you place all 30 layers in a clean empty litter box securing the sides of the bags to the box. You place the litter on top of the liners. When the box is dirty, you remove the top liner only and allow the clean litter to sift through the bag onto the clean liners. You do this daily and the group of bags can last 30 days. Here are some simple instructions to make your own sifting litter box liners. Go to: How to Make Sifting Cat Litter Box Liners.

So, are litter box liners a good thing, or a bad thing?

Pros for litter box liners:

  • Sifting bags can make the box easy to clean
  • Convenient
  • You get all the waste – don't miss anything

    Cons for litter box liners:

  • Some cats don't like liners
  • Cats with long sharp nails can tear flimsy liners if they vigorously scratch the bottom of the box
  • As you sift it can be "dusty"
  • You still need another bag to place the droppings in after you sift
  • It is more expensive to use liners than to just scoop

    Both types of liners are available from a variety of manufacturers. You can buy litter box liners or you can make your own.

    You can carefully scoop on top the liner but whenever the waste builds up, remove the top plastic sheet and the clean litter will sift through to the next clean layer.

    Ideally, if litter box liners are new to your home, keep one litter box as it was with no changes and no liners and add liners to a different box. You don't EVER want to give your cat any reason to ever quit using the box. Liners can be great but make sure your cat likes them before you make a definitive change.

    I hope these give you more information about litter box liners and decide if they are right for you and your cat.


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