Litter box chores aren’t any fun, but some products can simplify things when it comes to keeping your cat happy and your home smelling fresh. Take, for example, litter box liners and cat litter bags – use these to clean the box and dispose of waste more efficiently.  

What are the right liners for your litter box and the best bags for litter box cleanup? We spoke with cat behaviorists and compiled information on the pros and cons of these products. We compiled a top 10 list of these items to make your search easier. 

Litter Box Liners and Bags: How They Help

Scooping your cat’s litter daily and doing complete litter changes frequently are necessary chores. But if you don’t like scraping your kitty’s box to clean off stuck litter, high-quality liners can help you avoid that. Litter box liners are placed in your cat’s litter box to help keep it clean between total litter changes. 

When scooping your cat’s litter, you might reuse the plastic bags you got while shopping at local stores. Alternatively, you could buy cat litter bags, just like you’d buy dog poop bags to pick up after your pooch. Using these to dispose of waste may help control odors coming from your trash.  

Benefits and Drawbacks of Litter Box Liners

Do cat litter boxes need liners? No, they aren’t required. There are pros and cons to consider before using them. 

A couple of the benefits of using liners in your cat’s litter box:

  • Quicker and easier litter changes – Provided that a liner remains intact, it will hold all of the litter until you’re ready to do a complete change. Then, when it’s time to put fresh litter in the box, you simply remove the liner. The box should be clean so you can add a new liner, fill the box with litter, and be on your way. 
  • A good option for those with disabilities – According to Molly Kelsey, a New Zealand-based Feline Behavior Specialist, litter box liners “may make it easier for people with disabilities to empty the litter out with minimal mess.”

Two potential drawbacks of using litter liners:

  • Liners might deter some cats from using the box – Not all cats like liners, especially if they don’t fit properly or are scented. As a result, some kitties may refrain from using the litter box. If you want to use liners, select the right size for your litter box and stick with unscented products.  
  • Messes are still possible – If a litter box liner doesn’t fit properly, there’s the chance that your cat will end up pulling it down and into the litter, creating more of a mess and potentially getting waste on the floor or between the liner and the side of the box. Also, a cat’s claws can cut through a litter liner, causing tears and holes. As your cat continues to use the box, urine could end up on the bottom of the box, under the liner, creating quite a stench and mess. So, when you go to lift the liner to remove it, the litter will also spill out.  
cat exiting litter box

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cat Litter Bags

Cat litter bags can provide the following benefits:

  • Reducing odors – Tossing litter waste directly into your trash will lead to a stinky bin in no time. Litter box bags are the right size to hold the waste you take out of your cat’s box, and they often have handles that make it possible to close them tightly. That way, the odors won’t become overwhelming when you throw them in the trash.
  • An option for those living in small homes or areas with plastic bag bans – Because litter bags can help contain odors, they’re a good option for those living in tiny homes or apartments. Also, if you live in an area that no longer gives plastic bags to shoppers but you used to reuse those bags to throw out litter waste, you can buy litter bags instead. 

Before buying cat litter bags, consider the following potential drawbacks:

  • More plastic waste – Cat litter bags made of plastic can lead to more plastic pollution. The good news is that eco-friendly options, such as biodegradable and plant-based litter bags, can help reduce plastic waste. 
  • Not all bags are durable or large enough. When shopping for litter bags, ensure they are tear-resistant and large enough for your litter scoop and pet waste. That way, you won’t have a horrible mess on the floor. 
cat looks at litter box

Types of Cat Litter Liners and Bags

Not all litter liners and bags are created equal. Here are some of the different types you’ll come across:

Solid Litter Liners 

Use a solid litter liner once – when it’s time for a total litter change, throw the liner away with any remaining litter. These liners are often made of durable materials to avoid tears, but some might be more flexible. Also, some have elastic edges that help ensure they’ll fit snugly on your litter box, while others have drawstrings that make it easy to close them before tossing them in the trash. 

Sifting Litter Liners

Cat litter sifter bags help reduce scooping. Though they won’t eliminate the need for scooping (e.g., when your kitty has diarrhea, sifting it would be pretty messy), they might be helpful to save time. When you purchase these liners, you’ll get more than one. The sifting liners will be layered on top of a solid liner so you can remove one at a time. The clean litter will fall through the holes in the liner and back into the box, leaving the clumps and solids in the liner you’ll throw away.  

Liners and Bags for Specific Litter Boxes or Pails

Some litter box companies, such as Modkat, sell liners designed to fit their unique boxes. And, when it comes to litter bags, you can find those made for specific litter pails, such as the Litter Genie.   

Environmentally-Friendly Liners and Bags

To take an Earth-friendly approach, search for liners and bags made of recycled and recyclable materials. There are also compostable or biodegradable bags to ensure they’ll break down more quickly when disposed of. 

Litter Box Liners & Cat Litter Bags: Our Top Picks 

When searching for the top litter box liners and cat litter bags, we kept the following in mind:

Unscented choice only: Experts recommend using unscented products in litter boxes, so avoid scented liners. Remember, a cat’s nose is very sensitive to fragrances, so something that might not smell that bad or that strong to you may overwhelm your feline friend. Unscented litter liners can help ensure your cat will continue using the box, mainly if you make it a point to scoop at least once daily – keeping the litter clean will reduce odors, too. 

Design and materials: Liners and bags should be easy to use and made of solid materials that won’t tear easily. We selected products that are tough and tear-resistant, whether they’re plastic or plant-based.  

Customer ratings: We checked the customer ratings and reviews on various litter liners and bags to see what people had to say about features like durability, size, design, and fit.   

Price: We searched for affordable options because litter liners and bags get replaced often.   

Our List

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Here are our top 10 selections – 5 litter box liners and 5 cat litter bags for your consideration.

5 Best Litter Box Liners of 2023

We looked at many cat box liners to find those you and your kitty will likely love. Here are our top five picks. 

Overall Best Litter Box Liner

Our Pick: Jonny Cat Heavy Duty Litter Box Liners    

Jonny Cat litter box liners for cats

The jumbo-sized litter liners from Jonny Cat are affordable and can fit most litter boxes. Instead of litter getting stuck to the bottom of the box, these liners will hold the litter and keep the box clean. When it’s time to change the litter, removing the liner is a snap with the drawstring closure. Plus, these are heavy-duty and tear-resistant, so if you trim your kitty’s claws, you should find that she can’t easily tear holes in them. 


  • Plastic liners are 2 MIL thick and resistant to tears
  • Easy to use, with drawstring closure for quick cleanup
  • Affordably priced
  • Unscented

Things to Consider 

  • These cat liners should fit most litter boxes, but some reviewers state they’re too big or too small. 

Best Heavy Duty Litter Box Liner

Our Pick: Hyper Cat Jumbo Cat Litter Box Liners Drawstring Litter Bags for Boxes 

extra heavy duty hyper cat liners

This option is suitable if you want a tough litter box liner. Each liner is durable enough to withstand your kitty’s claws and won’t tear when you lift it out of the box during a litter change. The drawstring makes cleanup even more convenient because you can close the liner tightly before throwing it away. Measuring 18 inches high by 36 inches wide, these liners can fit a variety of boxes.  


  • Extra heavy-duty and tear-resistant
  • Drawstring closure and large size
  • Thick plastic is less likely to break

Things to Consider 

  • It may be too small for larger litter boxes

Best Sifting Litter Box Liner

Our Pick: AlfaPet Sifting Elastic Kitty Cat Litter Pan Liners

jumbo cat liners

Sifting litter box liners are different from regular liners. Instead of just one-liner placed on the bottom of your litter box, several will fit snugly on the box. Simply lift the top liner and allow the clean litter to fall through the holes, leaving only the waste in the bag. Once you get through all the sifting liners with the solid one at the end, take that out for a complete litter change.  


  • Each box contains multiple sifting liners and one solid liner
  • Designed to fit a litter box securely
  • These litter sifter bags can reduce the need for scooping

Things to Consider 

  • These liners only work with clumping litter
  • Made for extra large and jumbo boxes, these might be too large for smaller boxes

Best Elastic Litter Box Liner

Our Pick: So Phresh Elastic Litter Liners for Cats

SoPhresh elastic cat liners

So Phresh kitty litter liners are a good option if you prefer using more eco-friendly products, as they are made of 40 percent recycled material. The edges are elastic for a snug and secure fit on your litter box, and you can adjust the fit with the elastic handles. Like other liners, these are tear-resistant to help prevent messes and make litter box maintenance and cleanup a breeze. 


  • Elastic edges help keep the liners in place
  • Tear-resistant
  • Made of 40 percent recycled material

Things to Consider 

  • These liners don’t have drawstrings
  • Available in large and extra-large sizes

Best Budget-Friendly Litter Box Liner

Our Pick: Fresh Step Fast & Easy Cleanup Drawstring Cat Litter Box Jumbo Liners – Unscented 

Fresh Step drawstring litter box liners

These Fresh Step litter liners are unscented, so they don’t have any fragrance that might deter your cat from using the box. The plastic is tear-resistant, too, so when your cat digs in her litter, she’ll be less likely to cause holes and cause messy cleanup. When you need to do a complete litter change, use the handy drawstring to close the bag tightly so you can quickly dispose of the litter before adding a new liner and fresh litter. 


  • It can fit large litter boxes and be used on open and covered boxes
  • Drawstring closure
  • Unscented and heavyduty

Things to Consider

  • Some customer reviews state that these liners can be torn by a cat’s claws, leading to leaks and messes. 

5 Best Cat Litter Bags of 2023

Putting your kitty’s waste into a cat litter bag can be an excellent way to keep odors at bay after throwing dirty litter away. But which litter bags should you buy? Here’s our list of five options worth considering.  

Overall Best Cat Litter Bags

Our Pick: Litter Genie® Standard Refill

Litter Genie cat litter disposal system

The Litter Genie is a pail designed to hold cat litter waste so it won’t stink up the room. After scooping the litter, throw the waste into the Litter Genie, which houses the brand’s litter bags. The Standard Refill bags are easy to place in the pail, and a single refill can last as long as two months for one kitty. These bags have seven layers and barrier technology, so they work perfectly with the Litter Genie pail to control odors without needing to rely on fragrances that your cat may hate. 


  • Made for Litter Genie pails built to control litter odor
  • Easy to use and long-lasting
  • These bags have multiple layers to prevent odors from permeating the room that your litter box is in. 

Things to Consider

  • Follow the directions to place the refill in the Litter Genie correctly
  • These bags for cat litter won’t work in the Litter Genie Easy Roll Pail

Best Large Cat Litter Bags

Our Pick: PLANET POOP Home Compostable XL Sized Cat Litter Box Cleanup

Planet Poop compostable cats

Plastic waste is a problem, so you might be reluctant to use plastic kitty litter bags that will end up in a landfill. Thankfully, eco-friendly options, like these compostable bags, can be used to pick up after dogs and clean litter boxes. They’re large, thick, leakproof, and have handles you can tie to trap odors. Even the core is made of recycled cardboard. When you put these in a composting environment, they’ll break down in about 90 days. All that will be left are biomass, water, and carbon dioxide. 


  • 100% compostable and free of plastic
  • These biodegradable bags are made from non-GMO plants
  • Measures 17.7 inches tall x 17.5 inches wide
  • Unscented and leakproof

Things to Consider

  • Some customer reviews state that these bags can rip or tear easily. 

Best Biodegradable Cat Litter Bags

Our Pick: EcoLeo Biodegradable Cat Litter Waste Poop Bags

Cat litter waste bags

Another eco-friendly option is biodegradable cat litter trash bags like these from EcoLeo. They’re plastic-free, BPA-free, vegetable-based, and compostable, making them better for the planet. Thanks to the extra wide opening, you can quickly get your litter scoop into the bag without spilling it on the floor. Plus, these are leakproof and tear-proof. Tie the handles to seal each bag before tossing it into the trash, knowing it will decompose over time. 


  • Biodegradable cat litter bags are better for the environment
  • Extra large size can hold a lot of waste and fit just about any scoop
  • Thick and durable
  • Unscented

Things to Consider

  • These bags shouldn’t be reused, so throw them away after each use

Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litter Bags

Our Pick: beyondGREEN Plant-Based Cat Litter Poop Waste Pick-Up Bags with Handles

beyond green cat litter pick up bags

These plant-based cat litter box bags from beyondGREEN are yet another good choice for those seeking to reduce their use of plastic. They’re leakproof and a good size, measuring 8 inches wide by 16 inches high. They also have convenient handles that you can tie to reduce odors. In addition to being tear-resistant, they’re compostable with recyclable packing and made of FSC FSC-certified paper. Overall, there are many reasons to feel good about using these bags when scooping your cat’s litter.  


  • Made of plant-based material, these bags are compostable
  • Unscented and leakproof
  • Bags have handles

Things to Consider

  • These aren’t as wide as other cat litter disposal bag

Best Budget-Friendly Cat Litter Bags

Our Pick: Boxiecat Scoop & Tie™ Litter Bags

boxiecat litter bags

The Scoop & Tie Litter Bags from Boxiecat are large enough to fit any scoop, helping prevent messes. The container it comes in makes it simple to get each bag out when needed, with handles that are easy to tie. Plus, these BPA-free bags are unscented. With 120 bags in each box, it could last a few months, so this affordable option suits your needs.  


  • Unscented and leakproof
  • One box contains 120 bags to last a long time
  • Affordably priced

Things to Consider

  • Several customer reviews state that these bags need to be bigger. 

Litter Box Liner and Bag Buying Guide

Before buying cat litter box liners and cat litter bags, consider the following:

Good Fit and Tear-Resistant

A good fit and tear-resistant, unscented materials are a must for liners.

Remember, stinky messes can happen even when using a liner; sometimes, they could be worse than not having a liner in place.

“Because liners are flexible, urine can pool, and feces get caught in folds, making it difficult to scoop boxes,” says Marilyn Krieger, an internationally recognized Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and author.  

Check a liner’s dimensions to ensure it will fit your cat’s litter box properly. It should provide enough coverage without shifting around, regardless of the type of box you’re using (e.g., open, covered, top entry, tall-sided, etc.). 

Also, bear in mind that liners can tear. Kelsey says kitties might get hurt if their claws get stuck in a liner. Search for durable materials that are resistant to tears and tough against claws. 

“Cats often get their claws caught in the plastic, creating holes and sometimes shredding the liners. Excrement can then become trapped under the liners. Instead of becoming a solution, liners can create more problems for cat parents, and cats can develop a negative association with their litter boxes and avoid using them,” adds Krieger.   

As mentioned above, fragrances can cause cats to avoid the litter box, too. If you’re set on using a liner, Kelsey advises looking for those that don’t have any added fragrance.  

Durable Materials

Litter bags should be made of durable materials.

Cat litter bags should be made of tough materials to ensure they won’t break, especially if you have multiple cats and a lot of heavy waste will go into each bag. You don’t want the waste to end up on the floor because the bag ripped. 

If you prefer bags with handles that can be tied quickly and efficiently to keep odors contained, ensure the handles won’t break either. 

Getting the Most Out of Litter Box Liners and Bags

Would your cat like using a litter box with a liner? 

Some cats don’t mind litter liners, while others detest them. Observe your pet to see how she reacts.  

“As with any changes to a cat’s litter box setup, it might take some cats a while to get used to stepping into and using a box with a liner inside,” says Kelsey.  

Krieger warns that liners can lead to litter box aversion. “Cat paws are sensitive, and liners do not feel natural when cats scratch and cover their excrement.”

If your kitty isn’t a fan, go back to maintaining a clean litter box without a liner.  

Can you change your scooping habits if you use a litter box liner? 

“No, still scoop and change as needed,” says Kelsey. 

“There are no shortcuts. Litter box liners are not replacements for good litter box management. Ideally, it would help if you scooped litter boxes twice a day, and the boxes dumped frequently, washed with unscented soap, and refilled with new litter,” states Krieger.