Furniture

 Top Entry Litter Boxes

If your cat tends to kick litter everywhere before or after using his tray it can be a real pain. Firstly, because it is messy and inconvenient for you, plus it is not very healthy to be flinging litter potentially covered with bacteria all-around your home. 

A top entry litter box may be the solution to your problems. These nifty cat litter boxes, can significantly reduce the amount of litter and dust your cat is kicking or tracking out of the tray. 

We have considered and researched a lot of different litter boxes and produced a list of our 6 favorite top entry litter boxes and why they managed to pull the top spots. We will also look at the benefits of these modern cat litter boxes, and also if they could be a suitable choice for your cat. 

Our Top Picks:

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan
  • Non-slip, textured lid to catch litter with grates to aid it falling back into the pan 
  • Wide opening to allow your cat to get in and out comfortably 
  • Rounded edges/handles to make lifting the pan easier 
  • Built-in hook for litter scoop 
  • Flip-top lid 
  • Eco-friendly: made from 95% pre-consumer recyclable materials
Iris Top Entry Cat Litter Box
  • Large circular entrance makes it easy to get in and out, even for bigger cats. 
  • Scoop included, with a convenient storage hook on the side. 
  • Stylish grooved lid helps clean paws and remove excess litter, helping to keep your floors clean. 
  • Rubber feet to keep the litter box firmly and safely in one place 
Amazon Basics Top Entry Cat Litter Box
  • High quality, durable, non-porous plastic box 
  • Grated lid collects litter after the cat exits 
  • Helps prevent dogs from accessing the litter box 
  • Easy to clean, with removable top
Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box
  • Sturdy, durable plastic litter box 
  • Large top entrance for easy entry 
  • Zig-zag lid reduces tracking 
  • Significantly reduces litterbox odor 
Arm&Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan
  • Textured lid with grates to allow litter to fall back into the box 
  • Lid securely closes to keep curious dogs out 
  • Treated with MICROBAN for built-in antimicrobial protection. 
  • Small hook for litter scoop storage 
  • Large opening on the lid

What is a Top Entry Litter Box?

 A top entry litter box has an entrance on the top, so the cat has to jump onto the box and climb in to go to the toilet. This differs a lot from traditional litter trays which have low sides, don’t have a covering or lid, and the cat can exit from any side once it’s business is done. 

At first, it might sound like a strange idea to make your cat go to so much effort to get into his litter tray. However, the main purpose of a top entry litter tray is to eliminate or reduce the tracking of litter out of the box. Some cats like to kick back a lot of litter after toileting and cause a real mess, others tend to get it stuck in their paws and walk it all over your home. If your cat is guilty of doing these things, then a top entry litter box may a good choice for you and your cat! 

Let’s take a look at our top 6 top entry litter boxes on the market today, and why we found them so great.

Top 6 Top Entry Litter Boxes

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

The Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan is a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why as it is a sturdy, good quality product at a budget price.  This top entry litter box has a wide opening, so your cat can get in and out comfortably, and the high walls make sure that any flying litter will be kept inside the box.

The non-slip, textured lid helps trap any litter on your cat’s feet when it jumps back out, and the grates on the lid encourage the litter to fall back into the pan.  It has a flip-top lid which is easy enough to open but strong enough to keep out any curious dogs in the home.

This is a great option for environmentally conscious cat owners as it is made in the USA from 95% pre-consumer recyclable materials.  Finally, the rounded edges and molded bottom handle really do make it easier to lift the litter pan, even when it is full. 

Key Benefits

  • Non-slip, textured lid to catch litter with grates to aid it falling back into the pan 
  • Wide opening to allow your cat to get in and out comfortably 
  • Rounded edges/handles to make lifting the pan easier 
  • Built-in hook for litter scoop 
  • Flip-top lid 
  • Eco-friendly: made from 95% pre-consumer recyclable materials 

Iris Top Entry Cat Litter Box

The IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box has a funky innovative design paired with great value for money. It is available in a range of colors including white, black, grey, and orange, so you just need to choose which one blends in best with your home décor.

The plastic box is BPA-free and kitty safe and has a large inviting circular top entrance so even bigger cats will be comfortable getting in and out. The lid has stylish grooves that not only look great but they work work well to brush and trap any excess litter off your cat’s paws. There are also durable rubber feet on the box, to keep it firmly in one place.

The curved box makes it easier to clean as less dirt gets trapped in corners. It also comes with a litter scoop and a nifty built-in hook on the side of the box to conveniently store it.

Key Benefits

  • Large circular entrance makes it easy to get in and out, even for bigger cats. 
  • Scoop included, with a convenient storage hook on the side. 
  • Stylish grooved lid helps clean paws and remove excess litter, helping to keep your floors clean. 
  • Rubber feet to keep the litter box firmly and safely in one place 

Amazon Basics Top Entry Cat Litter Box

Amazon Basics Cat Litter Box with Top Entry gives your cat all the privacy he needs to toilet, and significantly reduces the smell and mess that comes with traditional litter trays. It has a textured top with grates so that any trapped litter from your cat’s paws falls back into the box when he exits.

It has a good-sized opening which most cats will find comfortable to get in and out of. The lid is divided into two parts and each end can open and close independently which is convenient for quick scooping. The top can be completely removed and the snap-on covers lock firmly in place, which is good to keep out nosey dogs.

Key Benefits

  • High quality, durable, non-porous plastic box 
  • Grated lid collects litter after the cat exits 
  • Helps prevent dogs from accessing the litter box 
  • Easy to clean, with removable top 

Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box

The Clevercat Top Entry Litter box is a simple yet sturdy option. It has a zig-zagged lid which is comfy for cats to walk on and works well to catch litter from their paws.  There are no holes or grates, so the litter stays on the lid and doesn’t fall back into the box.

Although this means slightly more cleaning the main advantage of a lid without holes means it is darker and more “hidden” for cats, who usually prefer more privacy to do their business. You need to decide which is more important for you and your kitty.  The lid clicks firmly into place to keep dogs out. It does a great job at trapping smells too, so it will help keep your home smelling fresh.

Key Benefits

  • Sturdy, durable plastic litter box 
  • Large top entrance for easy entry 
  • Zig-zag lid reduces tracking 
  • Significantly reduces litterbox odor 

Arm&Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan

Arm & Hammer is a brand well known for quality and reliability, and their top entry litter box lives up to their reputation. This high walled box has a generously wide opening on the lid to allow your cat in and out comfortably.

The lid is not as textured as some of the other litter boxes on our list, but it does have grates that allow any captured litter to fall back into the box- which really cuts down on cleaning time. To allow for easy cleaning, the lid does flip open easily and securely closes to keep out curious dogs. It also has a built-in small convenient hook to hang your litter scoop. 

Key Benefits

  • Textured lid with grates to allow litter to fall back into the box 
  • Lid securely closes to keep curious dogs out 
  • Treated with MICROBAN for built-in antimicrobial protection. 
  • Small hook for litter scoop storage 
  • Large opening on the lid 

Why are Top Entry Litter Boxes so Popular? 

Top entry litter boxes have been gaining popularity recently and that’s because they are a cheap way of keeping your home cleaner by reducing the mess your cat makes while using his tray. That means you can spend less time cleaning up after your cat and more time doing the things you actually enjoy! 

They are so popular because they really do work, a great litter tray can make such a big difference to your home.  

What are the Benefits of a Top Entry Litter Box? 

Some cats are pretty energetic in their attempts to dig or cover up their poop, which can cause havoc in your home with dirty litter being kicked all over the floor. As top entry litter boxes have high sides and a lid, they prevent litter from being kicked out onto the floor. If your cat sprays, then it will also prevent urine from being sprayed onto the floor too. 

These litter boxes usually have textured lids, to brush off any excess litter and dust from your cat’s feet and prevent him from tracking it all around your home. Some top entry litter boxes also have grates or holes on the lid so the trapped litter falls back into the box.  Both these features help to reduce litter and dust being walked over your home, and can significantly reduce your cleaning time! 

Another benefit of these boxes is that they just look much more neat and tidy, and as they have a lid it keeps the litter tray hidden and discrete. Most cats prefer to use a top entry litter box as it gives them much more privacy to do their business. 

The lid helps to keep odors in the box, and this effect can be maximized by using odor control clumping litter. Having a lid isn’t an excuse to not clean the litter tray as frequently, but does help your home stay fresher. 

Finally, if you have a dog that loves to investigate the cat’s litter tray then you will be happy to know that this style of litter box is pretty much dog proof.

Do Cats Like Top Entry Litter Boxes?  

You might be surprised to learn that most cats do like and over time prefer top entry litter boxes. The main reason is that top entry litter boxes give them a sense of security and privacy that traditional litter trays just can’t offer them. This makes sense as in a box they feel enclosed and hidden.             

However, if your cat has used a tray all his life and you suddenly change to a top entry litter box he may rightly be a little cautious and suspicious at first. Most cats don’t like change and need to figure out in their own time that everything is safe. On the other hand, some cats will bounce right in and use it on the first day without any problems. Younger cats seem to make the transition faster. 

Some cats won’t like top entry litter boxes, and this might be down to their personal preferences and we all know that some cats are just stubborn and don’t like change! However, there may be some other reasons why your cat won’t use a top entry litter box.

Why Won’t My Cat Use Their Top Entry Litter Box?  

  •        Sudden change 

The most common reason for a cat not using his top entry litter box is usually down to the sudden change from his previous type of litter tray. If you want to change to a top entry box, then take it slow and allow your cat time to adjust if he needs it. When you first bring the top entry litter box home get it set up with your litter inside and show your cat the new box. Give him a treat and a cuddle to show him there is nothing to worry about and try placing him into the box to help him understand this is his new place to toilet. Try not to change too many things at once, so keep the position of the box and the type of litter the same for now. Start with the lid completely off for about a week if you need to, so your cat can get in and out easily. Once he is using his tray without problems, then you can add the lid back on. 

  •        Location 

Is your litter box located in a high traffic area of the home? Cats like to have some privacy when doing their business. Some cats can feel anxious if they have to toilet somewhere loud or with people and dogs around, leading them to toilet outside the litter box in other areas of the home instead. Try placing the litter box in a quieter area of the home. 

  •        Litter 

Have you recently changed the type of litter you use? Sometimes it can take a cat a while to adjust to a new type of litter if it has a different smell or texture. For example, even though we can find strong floral smelling litter very pleasing many cats will not! If your cat doesn’t like the litter, then he will probably flatly refuse to use the tray. 

  •        Older Cats 

Some cats, especially older ones, will find it difficult to climb in and out of a top entry litter box. If your cat has an injury, arthritis, or another joint issue then these types of litter boxes are not a good choice, as they will put too much strain on your cat jumping in and out. Thankfully, there are lots of other options out there, and a walk-in litter tray with a lid might be better for these guys.

How Can I Stop My Cat Jumping Straight Out of the Top Entry Litter Box? 

It is worth noting, that some cats like to jump straight out of their top entry litter box onto the ground, avoiding the lid altogether. This can be frustrating as the whole point of the lid on this type of box is to try to reduce the amount of litter and dust getting flung around your home. 

You can try to combat this behavior by placing the box in a corner with the hole closest to the wall, and this will encourage your cat to jump onto the lid first. You could also place something such as a house plant (a cat safe one of course!) on one side of the box to encourage your cat to jump onto the lid and not straight out onto the floor. 

Finally, some cat owners have had success placing the box right beside a long mirror on the wall. The opening on the lid is placed against the mirror, so when the cat goes to jump out it will try to avoid the mirror as it is fooled into thinking another cat is there. This works well for some cats, but might be stressful for the more sensitive kitties out there! 

Are Top Entry Litter Boxes Suitable for Kittens and Large Cats? 

Most of the top entry cat litter boxes on the market are sized appropriately for all sizes of cats. They usually have a generous opening on the lid to allow even larger cats to get in and out comfortably. However, if you have a very large cat you may need to pay closer attention to the sizes of the entrance and the box and choose an extra-large box. 

Top entry litter boxes are not recommended for small kittens as they won’t be able to climb in and out of the box. You want to make it as easy as possible for your kitten to use his tray to prevent any toileting accidents. Therefore, a traditional litter tray is a better choice until your kitten is big and strong enough to jump in and out of a box comfortably. The exact age a kitten is ready for a top entry litter box will vary between different cats but is usually some time between 4-6 months of age.

Final Thoughts

Top entry cat litter boxes are a revolutionary way to reduce cat litter being kicked and tracked throughout your home. Not only is it unhygienic to have cat litter flung on the floor throughout the day, but it also means you waste lots of precious time cleaning up after your cat. When compared to a traditional cat litter tray the top entry boxes are more discrete and tidy, and can help to reduce odors too.

Thankfully, most cats really do love them as it offers them more privacy and security to do their business. That means that top entry litter boxes are a win-win situation for both you and your cat, and could be a great way of ensuring your home is kept clean and tidy!   

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