Best Top Entry Litter Boxes for Cats in 2019

Different cats portray different traits with some possessing the ability to kick more of a mess than others. This behavior can get frustrating at times and that’s the reason most owners are turning to top entry litter boxes to solve their problems. It is especially annoying having your kitchen floor or carpets littered with a filthy mess all over. For a cat owner, it only gets better when you realize top-entry designs can solve this problem completely and at a budget-friendly rate.

Our Top Pick

Iris Top Entry Litter Box

In our spirited endeavor to find the ultimate litter box over the years, we have come across several designs, some bigger, smaller or greater than others. With all aspects considered, we have put the Iris Top Entry Litter Box at the top of the list as the most convenient box available in the market today due to its attractive design, big size, and affordable price.

The 5 Top-Rated Top Entry Litter Boxes for Cats

Editor’s PicksBrandRating
Best Overall Top Entry Cat Litter BoxIRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box With Cat Litter Scoop4.9
Best Self-Cleaning Top Entry Litter BoxModkat XL Litter Box, Top-Entry or Front-Entry Configurable4.7
Best Affordable Top Entry Litter BoxesPetmate Top Entry Litter Pan Cat Litter Box Brushed Nickel/Pearl White4.6
Best Enclosed Top Entry Litter BoxAmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box4.4
Best Top Entry Litter Box for Multiple CatsArm & Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan4.1

Factors to Consider When Buying a Litter Box for Cats

A litter box should be among your first kitty supplies once you bring your furry friend home although a few people do not give much thought about this convenient supply. Looking at the boxes, one may think that all are the same. This isn’t the case. Each litter box is uniquely designed to match the needs of different types of cats. Cats look for specific features in a litter box such as shape, size, depth, among other attributes. And rightly so! Think about the bathroom in your home. How would you like it if your bathroom was small and cramped? What if you have to navigate through a maze to get entry into the bathroom daily?

These scenarios don’t sound interesting, right? That’s exactly how a cat feels if you buy them small litter boxes or those with sides and enclosures that make navigation a cumbersome task. Also, some cats are spooked by the “flushing randomly’ mechanism of litter boxes making it an important factor to consider before purchasing one.

Keep in mind that if the cat is inconvenienced or spooked by the box due to its complexities, it will more likely go somewhere convenient and less spooky like in your laundry. It may also decide to go outside the house which beats the point of buying the litter box in the first place and exposes the cat to outdoor dangers. To avoid all these and get the right box for your cat, these tips help will help identify important aspects that you should consider.

Number of Litter Boxes That you Need

Regardless of the number of cats in your household, you should always use the “n+1” rule when purchasing litter boxes. This means that the “one and done” purchase style does not apply when it comes to cat litter boxes. Just like you have good reasons for having many options, cats are similarly attracted to different styles of litter boxes.

When it comes to peeing and pooing in cats, the general rule is that you purchase an extra litter box. For example, If you have 3 cats, you should buy 4 litter boxes and so on. Complications related to “toileting problems” in cats can be reduced by having several litter boxes in the house.

The Size of The Litter Box

The size of the litter box is perhaps the most important factor you to need to consider before making a purchase decision. Unlike cramped quarters, a large enough litter box offers sufficient space where the cat can fit comfortably. The box should leave some space for the cat to dig without necessary stepping out. Essentially, there should be plenty of space to allow the cat to dig and move around without coming across “deposits” from previous visits.

The right size of a box is determined by the size of your cat. As a general rule, the correct length of the box should be at least the length of your cat from the nose to the tail when stretched. On the other hand, the width of the box should be at least the length of the cat from the nose to the tail when not extended.

Height Consideration

Before buying a litter box, it is important to consider your cat’s personality and “condition.” Identification of these factors will dictate the height of the box.

Best Litter Box Heights For Most Cats: For cats that do not routinely kick litter out of their boxes or are not “sprayers,” the best litter box should be large at about 5-7” high.

Best Litter Boxes for “Sprayers”: If your cat is a “kicker,” “sprayer,” or is mischievous with a bad aim in the “clowder,” then you will need a box tall enough to minimize damages caused by these undesirable habits. As you pay great consideration for the height of such boxes, you should also keep in mind that the cat needs to get in and out without causing any pain.

That said, the best box for “sprayers” is one that has three tall sides to prevent poop, pee, or litter from hitting walls. For this, boxes with a height of 8-12” are preferred although there is also a lower entry of 5-6” for cats that may face difficulties accessing the box.

Best Boxes for Mobility Issues: If your cat has a medical problem like arthritis or any other movement-related conditions, you will need to purchase a litter box that has at least one super-low side. For most of these cats, the standard height of the entry/exit sides should be approximately 2-4 to provide great balance while still maintaining the litter in the box.

Covered Versus Uncovered Litter Boxes: How to Choose The Best

Choosing between covered and uncovered litter boxes poses to be a difficult undertaking as there is no definitive answer to which type is better. Since there is no telling which “camp” your cat prefers, you should feel free to go either way. However, if your cat starts showing some preferential signs, you should be ready to adapt in one way or the other.

If you choose the covered boxes, make sure that the entry/exit point is not small to cause any difficulties when the cat is getting in or going out. Be flexible to accommodate an uncovered box in case your cat develops asthma or arthritis.

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Best Overall Top Entry Cat Litter Box

IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box With Cat Litter Scoop

At A Glance

Weight: 4.85 pounds
Dimensions: 20.8 x 16.1 x 14.6”

The Iris Entry Litter Box ranks as the best litter box in this list due to its fantastic balance of design and significance. This mild-ground litter box is made from the United States using BPA free plastic with features that make it easy to clean.

The large entry which measures (10.5” x 9”) makes it easy for both small and large cats to gain entry or exit in and out of the box. Litter tracking is reduced by the grooved lid tat catches lingering litter stuck on your cat’s paws. Besides, a litter scoop that hangs on the side of the box adds convenience.

Inside the box offers a lot of space with the widest area covering 20.0” x 16.0” and 14.0” high. The narrowest region measures 17.5” L x 13.5” W to offer adequate space for the cat to maneuver and find the best comfortable position.

4.8/5
Our Opinion:

I am a big fan of the Iris Entry Litter box not only because of the refined design but also of the grooves on top that adds a security feature and protects it from tracking. The wide range of colors makes the litter suitable for all color schemes.

  • Looks great
  • Grooved anti-tracking lid
  • Accommodates large cats
  • Affordable
  • Grooves sometimes collect feces
  • Not dog proof

Best Self-Cleaning Top Entry Litter Box

Modkat XL Litter Box, Top-Entry or Front-Entry Configurable

At A Glance

Weight: 9.48 pounds
Dimensions: 17.3 x 21.3 x 16.5 inches.

There is no doubt that the Modkat litter box is the best looking we’ve come across in our list although you realize some sacrifices that you need to make to acquire this great look.

The stunning mirror is what captures the eye in this litter box manufactured by Modkat using BPA free ABS plastic.

You get the impression the award-winning Modkat manufacturers have given serious attention to the design of the litter. This is exemplified by the fact that the box has featured in the Animal Planet’s show, “My Cat from Hell” and the New York Times.

The lid features a unique mat that cleanses the cat’s paws when entering or exiting the box. For any litter that sticks on the lid, Modkat has incorporated a swivel mechanism where the lid swivels open and any hanging litter falls back into the litter box.

Measuring 16” L x 16” W x 15” H, the litter box is not the biggest but offers a suitable option for a single cat household. If you choose this box as your preferred type, the pack comes with an easy-open swivel lid, a full height seamless base to prevent leaks, a reusable liner, and a large hanging litter scoop. Essentially, the litter box comes with everything you will require apart from the litter itself.

4.5/5
Our Opinion:

I would recommend this litter box because of its liner. The liner not only prevents potential leaks but also makes the cleaning of the box easy. The heavy-duty liner provided by Modkat fits perfectly into the litter box using side handles and can be re-used after every 3 months.

  • Great appearance
  • It has a swivel lid design
  • It comes in a pack of associated accessories
  • Expensive

Best Affordable Top Entry Litter Boxes

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan Cat Litter Box Brushed Nickel/Pearl White

At A Glance

Weight: 3.4 Pounds
Dimensions: 20.3 x 15.1 x 15.2 inches

For anyone looking for the best budget litter box, the Petmate Pan might just be your right choice. No wonder the box is one of the popular boxes around. Made using 95 percent recyclable materials in the United States, this plastic litter box is most convenient when you want to keep pooch out of the litter box. The selling feature of this box is tied to the fact that it doesn’t allow the passage of dogs into the box. The attached lid features a grating design to catch any litter on the cat’s claws and subsequently reduce the effort required for cleaning.

The company has molded a hook where you can hang the scoop after you have finished using it. The best part is that with dimensions of 20” x15” x15”, the Petmate Pan has a convenient design suitable for both kittens and large cats.

4.5/5
Our Opinion:

The price is by far the most appealing thing for me about this litter box. Aside from the overall look (isn’t amazing by any means), the simple design should last for a very long time. In any case, the “unattractive” look cancels the price.

  • Affordable
  • Easy cleaning
  • Has an attached lid
  • The overall look isn’t attractive

Best Enclosed Top Entry Litter Box

AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box

At A Glance

Weight: 2.7 Pounds
Dimensions: 20.7 x 15.8 x 15 inches

Just like the previous litter boxes mentioned in the list, the hooded litter box is made of lightweight plastic material. However, unlike the other boxes, this particular one is a bit wildcard although it is worth looking into.

To begin with, it features an attached lid that can be flipped open during washing. The top side of the lid is textured to maintain litter tracking at a minimum. The dimensions of the box, 20.1 x15.4 x15 inches, make the box so large that dogs can also gain access into the litter and make a mess. If you intend to buy this litter box, make sure containing litter is your primary goal.

4.5/5
Our Opinion:

Amazon recommends the use of a litter liner for efficiency, but I think it is not a must as long as you have enough litter in the box. That said, I like the convenience that comes with the hooded litter box especially when it comes to cleaning. All you need to do is take off the snap on the lid and use it to scoop the litter from the box. If you are looking to replace the litter, you only need to open the lid and pour out everything for convenience.

  • Textured lid
  • Cheap
  • Cannot stop dogs from gaining access

Best Top Entry Litter Box for Multiple Cats

Arm & Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan

At A Glance

Weight: 3.45 Pounds
Dimensions:20 x 15 x 15 inches

Scooping litter from a litter box may sometimes prove a tedious task. You are forced to bend down awkwardly every time with a flimsy plastic scoop while holding onto the fear that the clump may fall and scatter mess across the entire floor. To avoid all these hassles, you may start considering the Arm and Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan. This particular litter has two pans, one with a sifter bottom and the other with a solid bottom. During cleaning, the box simply lifts the sifter and allows the mess out.

In addition to cleaning, the Arm & Hammer cat litter box is preferred due to its odor-absorbing abilities. This is enhanced by the antimicrobial lining which comes with the box and is responsible for destroying the bacteria that cause bad odor.

4.9/5
Our Opinion:

As for the pan, it is made with durable material barked with a strong design that reinforces the box for easy lifting even when the box is filled with litter. What’s more, the box comes with a third pan.

  • The antibacterial layer kills bacteria
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Scooping is easy
  • Comes with an extra pan
  • Sides are not high enough for messy cats
  • It is not compatible with standard hooks

FAQ Section

Are liners required for cat litter boxes?

The straightforward answer to this question is no. Using a liner is entirely dependent on your preference and whether the box is leaking or not. Some companies provide free reusable liners which you may also choose to use or not.

What maintenance is required for litter boxes?

Maintenance practices for litter boxes require less effort. The cat litter boxes prevent cats from kicking any litter in the sides and also reduces tracking. Aside from the usual procedures of scooping and getting rid of the litter when needed, litter boxes require minimal cleaning and maintenance services.

Are litter boxes fragile?

Most cat litter boxes are durable because they are made from quality plastic. There are a few designs with weak points such as cracked lids. Be careful when dealing with removing the lid to avoid cracks.

What cat litter should I use?

There is no specific type of cat litter that works better than the other. However, it is important to consider the kind of odor the litter produces. With the entry hole being the only means of ventilation for the boxes, it would be advisable to choose an option that eliminates the odor. Some pet owners prefer picking a litter type that clumps together to make cleaning an easy process. Always choose a cat litter that is dust-free as you don’t wish your cat to dig and sit in a box full of dust day in day out.

Can two cats fit in a top entry litter box?

Most top entry litter boxes fail in the ability to contain more than one cat. However, there are some larger litter boxes out there that can accommodate two cats although even these will suffer from the high maintenance and cleaning costs.

Are litter boxes good for large cats?

Absolutely. There are a variety of litter boxes in the market today that can accommodate even the largest of cats. Double-check the dimensions of a litter box to get the right box for your cat.

How do to top entry cat litter boxes work?

Litter boxes work in such a way that they enclose the litter so that it cannot be kicked out of the box.

Do cats like top entry litter boxes?

First, a kitty may be suspicious when using the litter box. However, after the suspicion is over, many cats will prefer top entry litter boxes. Cats are solitary animals and can be fussy with anything that causes them to change their routine. In an outdoor setting, before the cat visits the toilet, it first does some rounds to ensure the coast is clear and they are safe. An enclosed litter guarantees the cat of protection from all sides except you. That being the case, cats will feel relaxed whenever going about their business in the box.

Benefits of Using Top Entry cat Litter Box

At first, the concept of a litter box seems to be an interesting one. However, as you get accustomed to its use, you will appreciate its role for a multitude of reasons. We highlight some incredibly beneficial uses below:

Prevent dogs from gaining access: From time to time you are bound to find your pup making its way into a litter box to take a snack from the litter. To prevent your dog from ingesting cat feces that may cause detrimental health effects, a top entry litter box maintains the cat inside and other animals including dogs outside.

  1. Offers security and privacy: Just like humans, cats earn for privacy whenever they are going around with their excretion business. That said, top entry litter boxes are convenient for cats because they offer ultimate privacy that leaves them relaxed and secured.
  2. Absorbs Odor: Since top entry litter boxes have a lid at the top, odor and bad smell are contained in the box. The best practice to avoid any odor from lingering into your home requires that you scoop the mess inside the box daily. Keep in mind, if your litter box stinks too much, even your cat won’t be able to use it.
  3. Prevents mess from getting outside the box: After using the litter box, some cats start to kick, spray or dig at the litter. A top entry litter box holds all the mess in the box and ensures you don’t have to clean the outside of the box every time and then.
  4. Hides unsightly mess: In truism, no enjoys looking at a litter box with waste in it. Top entry litter boxes are made in such a way that they hide these unsightly contents.
  5. Fancy design: Most top entry litter boxes have attractive designs that are nicer to look at compared to traditions rectangular litter boxes.

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

While many cats will get accustomed to using a top entry litter box, this is not always the case for all cats. If this is the case with your kitty, there are somethings that you can do to encourage your cat to use the box. To begin with, the litter you use for your cat should be consistent. If you were previously using a certain type of litter, make sure you maintain the same litter in the top entry litter box. Cats can easily get fussy when it comes to transition.

Onward, if you are buying the box for the first time, be sure to pick a dust-free type of litter so it feels soft and tender in your cat’s paws. If you notice harshness in your cat’s paws, it’s probably because the litter isn’t right.

Removing the lid after you have purchased the litter box can help in training the cat and accustoming it to the high sides. Also, if a cat is transitioning from an older litter box, it’s best if you leave the box in space. This way, the cat will become familiar and comfortable with the new litter box to the extent it can get in and out whenever they want.

Placing the new litter box next to the old one is always a good idea towards accustoming the cat to the new environment. This can go a long way into encouraging the cat into the new top entry litter box. If everything fails, and the cat fails to adapt, you may try transferring litter from the old litter box to the new litter box. Eventually, even the fussiest cat will warm in the new litter box.

When your cats are transiting to their normal daily routine, they need to first climb over the litter box and onto the grate. This process allows the cats to dust off and remove any litter stuck on their paws. A cat litter that does not produce dust offers an even better alternative. After the cat gets out of the box, you will be happy to know that it is comfortably going round enjoying their strolls while leaving a nice floor for you.

How To Transition To Your New Top Entry Litter Box

Cats are organized creatures that stick to a particular routine. That said, you will notice that your cat turns anxious after they have been introduced to a new type of litter.

Keep in mind that performing a complete transition requires time and most importantly, patience. Make sure that the box is filled with the regular amount of litter to create a familiar scent in the new box. If you are switching from a traditional litter to a top entry design, make sure to leave the lid open for the first few days to aid the transition. Once the kitty becomes accustomed to the new box, you can eventually add the lid.

Conclusion

Coming up with the winner was quite a daunting task at first but after this comprehensive review, choosing the ultimate litter box was straight forward. When you consider aspects such as price, size, and style, my choice is Iris top entry litter box. This particular box meets all my specifications for a good litter as highlighted. If I were to choose a runner up, the Petmate top entry litter pan would make a great choice if styling is not a big concern for you.

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