Last Updated: November 15, 2020

Best Top Entry Cat Litter Box

Best Top Entry Cat Litter Box

Top Entry litter boxes are a unique and effective way to keep your cats from kicking litter all over your house. They can also keep dogs out! Based on price, paws-on testing, and popularity with kitties, the Iris Top Entry Litter Box continues to be our longstanding favorite top entry litter box.

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Best Overall
Iris Top Entry Litter Box
Iris Top Entry Litter Box Best Overall
$35
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Largest top opening we’ve seen so far
  • Lid holds even the largest cats
  • What we Dislike
  • Small interior size, even in large
Product Details
Pan Size 20.47” x 16.14” x 14.56”
Entrance Size 10.5” x 9”
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

Iris USA’s top-entry litter box is one of the best-looking and best-performing litter boxes with a top entrance. The entry on this litter box is large enough to accommodate even the largest cats, and we’ve yet to see one with a larger space. The lid is secure and snaps into place with paw-print buttons, perfect for keeping the lid from sliding around while your cat is climbing in and out. 

This litter box looks great and performs well. The lid is skidproof so your cat can climb out easily. Simply deposit the tracked litter back into the box and it won’t be all over your floors. Beware that the interior height is a bit small for larger cats. Still, most pet parents will find that this box is just the right size to keep their cats happy.

Modkat Top Entry Litter Box
Modkat Top Entry Litter Box
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Beautiful, modern design
  • The swivel lid makes for easy cleaning and litter retrieval
  • What we Dislike
  • Liners can sometimes leak
Product Details
Pan Size 15.94” x 15.94” x 14.57”
Entrance Size 9” x 9”
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

This litter box is a perfect, sleek square – so unusual when compared to other litter boxes. The top entry is in a corner so your cat has plenty of room under the lid to get their business done. The holes on the lid are the perfect size to sift litter back down into the box itself. When you’re ready to clean it, you can swivel the lid to access the litter beneath.

This box comes with several reusable liners, but they may leak due to the sewn seams. Still, you can use disposable liners as well as long as you can find the right size. Just make sure that they are rip-and-tear resistant, as your cats may be able to get at them when they’re burying their waste. Overall, this litter box looks great and does its job.

Iris USA Premium Top Entry Litter Box
Iris USA Premium Top Entry Litter Box
$73
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
4/10
  • What we Like
  • A sloped lid to funnel litter back into the box
  • Larger than some of Iris’s rounded top entry litter boxes
  • What we Dislike
  • Complicated design
  • Liners are prone to tearing and ripping
Product Details
Pan Size 17.5” x 17.5” x 14.5”
Entrance Size 7.9” x 7.9”
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

This top entry box by Iris USA is larger than their other round litter boxes we’ve seen here. That’s a good thing, as it’s easier to clean a square box in general. It still looks great and will match just about any decor. The top entry is a little small, but still large enough for bigger cats to get in and out comfortably.

However, it’s a little complicated. Instead of being a full unit, it’s a cover for a square litter pan. It may work out for you, but there are a lot of parts working together to ensure that this litter box is seamless. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for some of these parts to get messy. Make sure to invest in tougher liners than the ones they recommend, as they are quick to rip and tear.

Arm & Hammer Top Entry Litter Box
Arm & Hammer Top Entry Litter Box
$67
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Large box size
  • Deep enough for larger cats
  • What we Dislike
  • The lid may be a little loose/wobbly
Product Details
Pan Size 20” x 15” x 15”
Entrance Size 9" x 10"
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

Arm & Hammer’s top entry litter box is fairly standard as far as top-entry litter boxes go. However, this box is deeper than most of the others we’ve looked at. This means that even your largest cats can turn around inside with no problems. The lid is sturdy (though it may be loose in places on occasion). The differently-sized holes on the top help clean litter off of your cat’s paws and send it back inside where it belongs.

This litter box has a wide entryway that will help even large Maine Coons get inside. It’s easy to clean since the edges are rounded (but not so much that it becomes a problem). You don’t have to worry about leaks, liners, or other common issues with this litter box.

Favorite Hooded Cat Litter Box
Favorite Hooded Cat Litter Box
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Slip-free grid on the top helps your cat get in and out
  • High back helps to eliminate leaking
  • What we Dislike
  • The top entrance is just a different type of hood
  • Seams may still leak
Product Details
Pan Size 25” x 19.5” x 16.5”
Entrance Size 9” x 9”
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

This litter box by Favorite is great for pet owners who want to try a top entry litter box on a budget. Essentially, this is a large litter box with a lid that clips onto implement a top entry. This can be a great tool if you want to make sure that your cat will use a top entry box before moving on to more expensive options.

The box features a no-slip grid on the top so that your cat can easily get in and out, even if they need a little help at first. It’s easy to assemble. On the plus side, if your cat doesn’t like the top entry style, you can simply remove the hood and use this as a regular high-sided litter box with a high back. The choice is yours!

Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox
Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • A good size for larger cats
  • The zig-zag texture on the lid catches litter
  • What we Dislike
  • Does not contain odors well
  • Higher price point
Product Details
Pan Size 20” x 15” x 15”
Entrance Size 9” x 9”
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

Clevercat’s Top Entry Litter Box is shaped a little differently than some of the others we’ve looked at, but it also helps give your cat a little more room to move around. Since it’s so wide, it won’t flip over if you don’t load it down with litter. The lid features a large circular entrance and a textured lid that can help remove excess litter so you don’t have to clean up all the time. 

Pair this litter box with a litter mat to catch all the excess and your floors won’t be compromised. You can purchase heavy-duty liners that are specifically designed to go into this box. That’s helpful when trying to determine the size you should use, and it helps keep the litter box smelling fresh!

Best Budget
Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan
Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan Best Budget
$22
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • The lid is on a hinge for easy cleaning
  • The textured lid helps prevent litter tracking
  • What we Dislike
  • Base of box has crevice that catches clumps
  • Quality control issues
Product Details
Pan Size 20.29” x 15.07” x 15.2”
Entrance Size 10"
Type Standard
Odor Control

Our Review

Petmate’s Top Entry Litter Pan is great for pet owners on a budget. This is one of the most inexpensive top entry litter boxes we’ve looked at, and the quality doesn’t suffer at all. The opening at the top is larger so that even the biggest cats can easily get inside. We especially like the height of this litter box, as it allows larger cats plenty of room to get inside and move around as they look for the perfect spot.

The lid is also textured to help keep litter from tracking all over your floors. The texture helps litter gently fall off of your cat’s feet so it doesn’t get all over your home. It’s also installed on a hinge so that you can easily lift the lid and clean it without having to unclip it and move it around.

Best Quality
Modkat XL Top or Front Entry Litter Box
Modkat XL Top or Front Entry Litter Box Best Quality
$150
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Reusable liners that won’t move around
  • Top or front entry so your cat has choices
  • Can be used with a door or without one
  • What we Dislike
  • Lid may not be very secure
Product Details
Pan Size 17.32” x 21.26” x 16.54”
Entrance Size 8.5” x 10”
Type
Odor Control
Our Review

Modkat XL’s litter box is one of the most unique top entry litter boxes we’ve seen. There are two entrances: a front entrance that you can use with a door, or a top entrance. If you use the door, your cat can enter through the front entrance but has to use the top entry to get out. This is engineered to keep from tracking litter all over your floors.

However, take the door off and you can make the litter box a welcoming option for cats that prefer top entry or front entry. If your older cats aren’t going to be able to use the top entrance, this is a great solution for them. This litter box is large and can easily accommodate multiple cats.

Best Self-Cleaning
Petsafe Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Petsafe Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box Best Self-Cleaning
$130
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Self-cleans so you can avoid scooping
  • Monitors your cat’s bathroom habits to help keep them healthy
  • What we Dislike
  • Uses expensive crystal litter cartridges
  • Small top entrance
Product Details
Pan Size 27.25” x 19 x 6.38”
Entrance Size 9.25" x 10.5"
Type Self-Cleaning
Odor Control Filter/Crystal Litter
Our Review

Petsafe’s Scoopfree Ultra is one of the best self-cleaning litter boxes on the market. While it may still suffer from some of the issues that all self-cleaning litter boxes have to deal with, it seems to have fewer issues overall. This box uses crystal litter cartridges to help reduce odor and make sure that the mechanisms continue to work. They are dust-free and won’t track around your house.

One of the best features of this litter box is the health monitoring system. Since it works with a sensor and cleans when your cat uses it, it can tell you how often your cat is using the bathroom. This goes a long way towards determining your cat’s health, especially since so many cats hide their health issues.

Best Cabinet
Petsfit Double-Decker Litter Box Cabinet
Petsfit Double-Decker Litter Box Cabinet Best Cabinet
$200
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Multi-functional
  • Dog-proof
  • What we Dislike
  • Higher price point
  • Not for larger cats
  • Not for high-spraying cats
Product Details
Pan Size 19" x 22" x 13"
Entrance Size 8" x 10"
Type Furniture
Odor Control

Our Review

If you like the idea of giving your cat the ultimate privacy, hiding her litterbox in a virtual basement far away from a dog’s prying nose and eye, this is a great choice. The cat hops into the second floor opening, and then through the top opening into the lower level where you can place an open litterbox or pan of your choice there for her. The problem is that if your cat misses the box, it’s going to rapidly stain and damage the inside of the cabinet unless it’s either reinforced with a protective coat or you use a pan whose edges are so high she’ll have a hard time hitting outside the walls. Thankfully there are some great options out there, just be aware that as cute as this cabinet looks, you’ll want to protect it before the cat stains it.

Best Products Best Top Entry Cat Litter Box
Product Name Best for Rate
Iris Top Entry Litter Box Best Overall 8
Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan Best Budget 5
Modkat XL Top or Front Entry Litter Box Best Quality 7
Petsafe Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box Best Self-Cleaning 8
Petsfit Double-Decker Litter Box Cabinet Best Cabinet 8

How to Choose:

Top entry litter boxes can keep litter inside, offer a challenge for acrobatic cats, and offer a pleasing aesthetic for your home. But there are many things you have to keep in mind as you shop for a top entry litter box. 

Here, we’ll go over some of the things to consider in your top entry litter box, as well as why a top entry isn’t ideal for every cat.

What to Look For in a Top Entry Litter Box

Some factors are more important than others, but here is what you should look for in a top entry litter box. 

Pan Size- Pan size is one of the most important factors to consider in a top entry litter box. Since most of these boxes are smaller than regular-sized boxes by default, keeping an eye on how big the box is can be extremely beneficial. 

You’ll need a box that’s big enough for all of your cats, including the largest ones. If you have multiple cats or larger cats, you should look for a larger pan size to help accommodate them. 

Also, keep in mind that the size of the pan itself is different from the exterior size. Don’t expect the measurements the manufacturer provides to be an accurate indication of the interior pan size.

Entrance Size- Most top entry litter boxes have large enough openings for all cats. If your cats are smaller or of average size, you likely won’t need to worry about them being able to get in and out of the box. However, larger cats may have trouble with some of the smaller openings. 

Keep an eye on this measurement for your larger cats. Being able to comfortably get in and out of the box is extremely important if you want your cat to use it without a fuss.

Type- Most top entry litter boxes are standard boxes. However, there are a few different types of litter boxes represented on this list. You may find:

  • Standard Litter Boxes: These litter boxes have no special features, at least as far as cleaning goes. These are the boxes that you have to manually scoop. They don’t contain grates for sifting or mechanisms for self-cleaning.
  • Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes: A self-cleaning litter box uses mechanical means to clean your cat’s waste. This usually means using a rake or other scooping mechanism to remove the waste from the box whenever it’s used. The clumps and waste are deposited into a drawer or disposable container that you can empty without having to touch the litter.

Odor Control- Litter boxes have an odor. It’s an unfortunate part of being a cat owner. Some boxes feature filters or special plastic coatings that help reduce odors. If you feel like your home would benefit from active odor control, choose a litter box with a filter or antimicrobial plastic. 

But even if a box doesn’t have active odor control features, there are ways that a box may control odors. Covered litter boxes are much more likely to control odors. Entrances that use doors can help keep odors inside as well. Look for these options on your search!

How Many Pieces? 

Some top entry litter boxes include a hood that attaches to a standard litter box. Others are a single piece down with a removable lid right at the top. You may not think that this matters much, but it does. 

If you have male cats that usually aim high, a top entry litter box with a seam may present problems. The seams can leak, causing liquid waste to get caught between the pieces. This will make the box smell worse and lead to a lot of extra cleanups overall. 

To combat this problem, look for a top entry box that is a single piece. Of course, the lid is going to be removable, but the area below the lid should be a continuous piece of plastic to avoid leaking seams or broken clips later on. 

Top Entry: Not For Every Cat

A top entry litter box can be great for both you and your cat, but only if your cat chooses to use it. For some reason, top entry litter boxes can be more difficult for some cats to overcome. 

First and foremost, top entry litter boxes are not recommended for senior cats, cats with mobility issues or disabilities, or kittens. They may have issues getting in and out of the box, as it requires your cat to jump and climb. If your cat has issues with these activities regularly, the top entry litter box style isn’t for them.
On the other hand, sometimes your perfectly healthy cat will refuse to use it as well. Your cat’s preferences are important, and to avoid the stress of additional cleanups and unexpected messes, you may have to conform to them. Make sure that you give your cat ample time and patience to adapt to the top entry box. If they still don’t like it or refuse to use it, you may have to switch back to a more traditional litter box. 

We suggest trying one of the less expensive top entry options on this list first, especially if you suspect that your cat may not use it. You don’t have to settle on it, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run if your cat decides top entry just isn’t for them. If they do like it, you can upgrade to the box that best suits your lifestyle and decor instead. 

You should never force your cat into the litter box. They will figure it out on their own. Forcing them will only make them more reluctant to use the box in the long run. You don’t want to start your cat’s new litter box journey with negative associations.

Introducing a New Litter Box

Cats enjoy the familiar, and introducing them to a new litter box can take a bit of patience. Getting them to use a top entry litter box (especially when they’ve used more traditional boxes) can take even more patience, so keep that in mind before you begin this journey. 

First, you want to make the new litter box as appealing as possible. You can put their favorite litter into the new box, but only if the box doesn’t require special litters (such as clumping litter for sifting boxes or crystal litter for applicable litter boxes). On top of this, putting the new litter box right next to the old one can pique your cat’s curiosity and get them to check it out. Familiarizing them with the new box while still offering the comfort and familiarity of the old box can make your cat feel more secure. 

Once your cat is comfortable with the new box being in his space, stop cleaning the old one. If you can stand the odor for a few days, having no other clean alternative can help your cat pivot towards the new box. Cats like their litter boxes to be clean. They’ll gladly use a clean box over a dirty one at any opportunity, so nudge them gently in that direction. 

Never force your cat into the box. You might think that you have to show your cat how to use a top entry litter box, but that isn’t the case. Your cat will figure it out on his own, and forcing him inside will only make him wary of using it. 

With a little bit of patience, some peaceful surroundings, and a gentle nudge, most cats can get the hang of using a top entry litter box. As we discussed above, that isn’t always the case. Some cats just don’t like using top entry litter boxes. That’s a risk you’ll have to be willing to take if you’re switching from a more common litter box layout.