In theory, litter box liners may seem like a convenient way to keep the litter box cleaner and make changing the litter a breeze. Unfortunately though, liners can create problems for the cats who use the litter box as well as the humans who try to clean it.
A Less Than Perfect Fit for a CatY
Liners that don’t fit perfectly can end up with folds in them where urine can pool and create quite a smelly situation. If the liner isn’t secured well on all sides of the box, it can fold back into the box as the cat uses her paws to cover her waste.
Your Cat’s Claws + Plastic Liner = Holes
Cats with claws can poke holes in the liners as they scratch, allowing urine to seep through to the bottom of the litter box. If cats get their claws stuck in the plastic as they attempt to cover it can create an unpleasant association with the litter box. This can result in cats seeking out other elimination locations.
How Does the Cat Feel About This?
Some cats object to the feel of the liners, especially ill-fitting ones that end up with lots of folds. This may lead to litter box aversion if the box becomes an unpleasant place.
Potential Problems During Clean-Up
When it’s time to scoop the litter, the scoop itself can get caught in the folds of the liner which can make it difficult to gather up all the soiled litter. You can also accidentally create a hole in the liner with the sharp edge of the scoop.
To completely change out the litter you should be able to simply lift up the litter-filled liner and toss the whole thing away without any mess, right? Well, if there are holes in the liner then litter will fall through in several tiny streams. If urine has leaked through the holes then you’ll have either wet or dried urine on the outside of the liner as well as on the bottom of the litter box. Suddenly the liner doesn’t seem so convenient now.
Don’t Take Shortcuts
The best way to keep the litter box clean is to scoop it a couple of times a day and thoroughly scrub the box and change out the litter as often as needed. Don’t take a shortcut by using litter box liners. Your cat will appreciate having a litter box set-up that is appealing, clean and won’t cause his claws to get stuck in plastic.
Need More Information?
For specific information on how to create the ideal litter box set-up, or how to deal with litter box aversion problems, refer to any of Pam’s books.
Pam is unable to respond to questions or remarks posted in the comment section. If you have a question about cat behavior, you can find many answers in the articles Pam writes for the website as well as in her best-selling books.