The Best Top Entry Litter Box and the Benefits of Top-Entry Boxes

If you are in a rush and want to skip ahead to our favorite top entry litter box, look no further than the Petmate Top Entry Litter Box

Some cats are quite careless when they do their business, kicking litter all over the place.

I understand how frustrating that can be.

You may be wondering if there is anything that can put your mind at rest.

I have good news for you.

Top entry cat litter boxes were created exactly for that purpose. Keep your house clean, and all the litter inside the litter box.

We researched and reviewed five of the best top opening litter boxes in the market and answered some of the frequently asked questions. Read on to find out:

  • What are the benefits of top-entry litter boxes?
  • What to look for when purchasing one
  • How does a top entry cat litter box work?
  • Do cats like top entry litter boxes?
  • How to use a top opening litter box

If you want to jump right to the boxes we reviewed, here is a list you can choose from:

Benefits of a Top Entry Litter Box

It is common for the “litterbox room” to get dirty and full of litter everywhere. You clean it pretty much every day, but your cat is able to continue to kick out litter faster than you are to sweep it.

I’ve seen people give up on the idea that the litter box room could be clean, but you don’t have to.

cat throwing litter on the floor

Luckily for both of us, top-entry boxes exist. So, let’s look at a few of the benefits of using a litter box that your cat can only access from the top.

Top entry cat litter boxes:

  • keep the cat litter inside them. Less scattering of litter.
  • help control odor.
  • easily stop your cat from tracking litter around the house.
  • tend to be aesthetically more pleasing than regular litter boxes
  • can fit some tight spaces where regular litter boxes would not fit

Perhaps you have a dog that enjoys snacking on kitty poop (may seem crazy but some dogs do). A top-entry litter box is what you need to keep Fido away from those “appetizers.”

If you’re the type of person that likes everything looking nice and neat, just like me, top entrance litter boxes may make you really happy.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Top-Entry Litter Box

Will my Cat be ok with a top entry cat litter box?

While most cats find top opening boxes easy to use, some cats may not fancy them or may need some time to get used to them.

After all, they are very different from regular litter boxes.

However, in my experience, most cats will usually have no issue adapting to a top opening litter box. They may just need some time and guidance.

The important thing is to ensure that your cat is physically fit to use the top-entry box. As you know, he will need to do some climbing and jumping.

So if your cat is a bit older and has mobility issues such as arthritis, a side-entry litter box with low sides is preferable.


Once health issues are out of the way, size is the next crucial factor to consider. The size of the entrance is usually big enough to accommodate most Cats. What you need to watch out for is the internal space.

Top-entry litter boxes are usually not as wide as side-entry ones. You should pick one at least of the same length as your cat from nose to tail (when not extended).

How does Top Entry Cat Litter Box Work?

A top entry litter box offers a single entry and exit point – the top, hence the name. This allows is to keep the litter enclosed so that your kitty can’t kick it all over the floor.

Another feature of many top opening cat litter boxes is the grate-like lid. That is very useful as it traps any litter that got stuck to your cat’s paw and lets it fall back into the box.

With this amazing feature, you get to save some money on catch mats and reduce tracking further.

To get the best result from a top entry cat litter box, I suggest that you use it with good, dust-free litter.

Do Cats Like Top Entry Cat Litter Boxes?

The straight answer is yes.

Have you ever observed a cat doing toilet business outside the house? You will see them looking around for a concealed location.

This behavior is a result of their need to protect themselves from predators in the wild, especially when seeking a moment of relaxation.

These boxes obviously provide better privacy and protection.

For that reason, most cats prefer to use top-entry litter boxes, though there is often an initial suspicion to overcome.

Below, we discuss a few ways you can help your cat get used to her new top-entry litter box.

Helping your cat use a top-entry litter box

Place the new box in the same spot as the old one. This will help avoid any confusion about where your kitty should “go”. 

Don’t leave the old box out. Cats are creatures of habit, by default they may continue using whatever they are used to.

Make your cat feel welcome. Transferring some of the litter from the old box into the new one will get your cat’s scent in the new litter box. That will signal him that it’s a safe place and will help him accept his new toilet.

Use the same litter. Changing the litter box is already a big change, try to leave everything else (litter, location etc..) the same to avoid traumatizing your cat.

Let your cat inspect it and familiarize with it. Try to have your cat inspect and be around the new box, which will help him ensure that it is actually a safe place to conduct business.

In a situation where you have followed these steps but your cat refuses to use the litter box, you may have to play smart to help him adjust. A way to do that is to remove the lid and allow your cat to use the box like that for a while. You may have to deal with a little mess, but you can replace the lid once he is comfortable using it.

Alternatives to Top Entry Litter Boxes

If you and your cat have a problem with tracking but your cat doesn’t seem to like top entry boxes, there are a few more things you could consider:

The Best Five Top Entrance Litter Boxes

IRIS Top-Entry Cat Litter Box (High End version)

IRIS Top-Entry Cat Litter Box (High End Version)

Irrespective of your cat’s size, the IRIS Top-Entry Litter Box is a greatoption, boasting of a spacious 10.5″ by 9″ entry/exit hole. There is enough room for your Cat to move around and also keep his “business” buried to satisfaction in a space that measures 20.47″ x 16.14″ x 14.56.” The design is aesthetically pleasing and it fits well into tight spaces.

The filtering lid acts as a catch mat to trap paw-litter before your cat steps off unto the floor. However, your Puss may find it difficult to use correctly if he decides to “go” right at the entrance and he doesn’t cover up well. The box comes with a litter scoop.

Aesthetically pleasing and durable designLarger box size require a lot of litter
Accommodates larger cats easilyLitter may scatter if cat jumps out and box tips over
Grooved lid captures litter in pawsDogs may still get in
Comes with a sturdy litter scoop
Ships from the USA 

Petmate Top Entry Litter Box

Petmate Top Entry Litter Box

The Petmate Top Entry Litter Box comes with a simple but effective design.

Manufactured by a company with over fifty years of experience making top-quality cat products, the box is designed to measure in at 20″ x 15″ x 15,” perfect for cats that are particular about doing their thing in private.

The high walls help to keep the mess inside, even with cats who dig and kick litter around. With the built-in handles, you can lift, pour, and move easily for cleaning. Petmate crafted this box out of 95% pre-consumer recyclable materials in the USA.

High walls keep litter inside the boxCaptured litter doesn’t drop into the box
Easy cleaning 
Includes litter scoop and side hanger 
Eco-friendly product 
Good for privacy freak cats 

IRIS Top-Entry Cat Litter Box (cheaper version)

IRIS Top-Entry Cat Litter Box (Cheaper Version)

This IRIS Top-Entry cat litter box comes as a cheaper alternative to the first one we reviewed above.

It is very similar to its high-end sister, except that the quality of materials looks lower. This Top-Entry litter box comes in a variety of colors and also features a grate-like roof and an enclosed design.

Your kitty won’t have any difficulty entering and exiting the box, having a spacious opening (9.25”) to accommodate cats of all sizes.

Did I mention that it is more affordable than most other top entry boxes?

Spacious opening for all sizes of catDogs may still get into the box
Removable top for easy cleaning 
Cheaper than most boxes 

Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box

Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box

This box is made in the US, delivered in a clever design that is durable, measuring at 20″ x 15″ x 15″, with an entry/exit hole of 9 inches diameter.

Overall, buyers of the Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box have an average satisfaction rate of 88%. The grooved top catches paw litter from your Cat before stepping on the floor. The high walls prevent urine leakage and other wanted materials flinging from a passionate poop coverer.

This award-winning top entry litter box is really tall and does a great job reducing tracking, while also keeping out most dogs. However, it likely won’t be a good fit for elderly or disabled cats. If your cat is old or disabled, you may want to look for a side-entry litter box.

Grooved lid captures more litterOnly available in a few colors
Made from durable, high-quality plasticThe top may be difficult to clean
Keeps litter out of sightMore expensive than most similar products

PetSafe ScoopFree Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box

PetSafe ScoopFree Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box

This is a uniquely crafted self-cleaning hooded Cat litter from PetSafe.

As the name implies, the box can automatically remove wastes. It controls odor using crystal litter which absorbs urine and keeps the waste dehydrated.

Like most other top-entry litter boxes, this one has a grate-like top surface that collects litter from your Cat’s paws and returns them into the box. This amazing box also helps you to monitor your Cat’s health by counting the number of times that your loved one uses the toilet daily.

Plastic tray lining protects against leakingTrays and cartridges are expensive to replace
Automatic waste removalMay not be easy to find a litter that fits the auto-clean feature
Comes with moisture-absorbing crystals 
Helps to monitor your cat’s health 
U.S. based customer service 

The Winner is…

If I am to decide which top entry litter box carries the trophy for this roundup, I would go with Petmate Top Entry Litter Box.

The first thing I love about the box is the eco-friendly material used to produce it, unlike most other boxes. Although it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the beautiful IRIS Litter Box (which we also really like and would recommend), the Petmate has many great qualities; spacious entry point, high walls and great quality. Let’s not forget that they all come at a reasonable price.

I hope you found the information I shared here useful to help guide your decision of which top entry litter box to get for your cat.

Please let us know your experience in the comments below or by emailing me at [email protected]

Happy litter catching!


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