Best Top Entry Litter Box Pros and Cons

top entry litter box pros and cons

This top entry litter box pros and cons guide will help you make an informed choice on selecting the right box for your pet.

Top entry litter boxes have gotten a bad rap – many pet parents find its design too confining for their pets.

In reality, they can make great options for cat parents that want their cats to have privacy while doing their business, minimize tracking and scattering of litter, and deter cats that spray on the walls or floors.

In this guide, we will enlist the best top entry litter box pros and cons along with the 5 best top entry cat litter boxes for you to choose from.

Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 5 reviewed products for the best top entry litter box:

  1. IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box
  2. PetMate Top Entry Litter Pan
  3. PetSafe Automatic Self-Cleaning Hooded Litter Box
  4. Modkat Award-Winning Litter Box with Top Entry
  5. ATDAWN Top/Front Entry Cat Litter Box

Top Entry Litter Box Pros and Cons

There are many benefits of top entry litter box for cats:


1) Prevents mess and tracking

Top entry litter boxes come with a lid enclosure having grooved slots that remove the litter from your cat’s paws.

This completely eliminates tracking of litter.

Enclosed boxes are also ideal for containing urine mess in case you have cats that spray or aim high. This is always a problem in open-boxes.

In short: if you want less mess and litter scattering, a top entry litter box is a great option for you.

2) Eases cleanup

Many top entry litter boxes ease cleanup for pet parents.

Their lid-enclosure reduces tracking, which means you won’t be mopping up floors or have to deal with litter-laden paw prints.

Some boxes also come with holes, grooves, or swiveling design that lets you immediately put back the tracked litter from the lid neatly back into the box.

Many top entry litter boxes come with reusable liners that can last long and can be lifted easily for a hassle-free cleanup.

3) Gives your cats the privacy they need

Top entry litter boxes allow your pet the privacy it needs if your cat does not like defecating in the open.

4) Prevents dogs from entering

If you have dog/s that like sniffing and digging into your cat’s litter box, a top entry litter box could help prevent that.

5) Looks elegant

No more untidy or messy-looking boxes!

You can easily add high-quality top entry litter boxes to any décor.

Compact top entry boxes also easily fit in anywhere you want, and they are great for small apartment spaces as well.

Also Read: Best Sifting Litter Box for Pine Pellets


 1) Difficult entry/exit for some cats

Top entry litter boxes can pose problems for older cats, young kittens, or those with physical disabilities to enter and exit the box with ease.

Many cats have difficult jumping or climbing taller litter boxes because of age-related health issues, arthritis, injuries, obesity, etc. (For them, we recommend low-entry litter boxes.)

Obese and large cats might not fit through the opening hole of some litter boxes.

2) Could make cats feel trapped

Some cats are known to find top entry boxes with lid enclosures difficult to use.

Many cats feel trapped in such enclosed boxes.

Some are even known to develop litter box behavioral issues because of the enclosed design.

Best Top Entry Litter Boxes – 2022 Top 5 Picks

Top entry litter box pros and cons

Many features make IRIS Top Entry Litter box the perfect choice for your pet.

Inner dimensions of IRIS top entry box: 20 x 16 x 14 inches with bottom narrowest-point dimensions: 17.5 x 13.5 inches. These are ideal for cats weighing up to 20 lbs.

Its enclosed design is attractive and stylish so you can place it any room without impacting the décor.

The box has a lid with grooves which shakes off litter from your pet’s paws. This reduces tracking as well as messy floor cleanups.

IRIS litter box has rounded or curved edges which prevent sticky messes to further ease cleaning hassles.

You can also use the boxes with any reusable liners to further ease cleanup.

The box includes a scooper as well.

What we like about it

  • Easy cleanup, reduced tracking
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Large and roomy interiors
  • Unique, stylish, compact design

What we don’t like

  • Sometimes, the lid collapses when very large cats try to enter.
IRIS USA Cat Litter Box, Top Entry Litter Box with Scoop, White & Beige, Large
  • Top Entry kitty litter box is the perfect way to prevent litter scatter and contain spraying
  • Large top entryway on the Deep cat litter pan for easy entry and exit
  • Grooved lid on the the large cat litter box helps to remove litter particles from the cat’s paws
  • Rounded shape and included litter scoop makes cleaning the covered cat litter pan easy
  • Entire Dimensions: 20.47"L x 16.14"W x 14.56"H
Top entry litter box pros and cons

The higher walls of the Petmate litter box prevent mess, tracking of litter, and also give your cat plenty of privacy. It also prevents dogs from entering.

This is a large box with dimensions: 20.59 x 15.07 x 15.2 inches which even cats weighing up to 20 lbs. have used with ease.

Its lid features a grate which quickly allows any tracked litter to fall back into the box.

You get a hook for hanging the scoop inside the box itself for hassle-free cleaning.

We love the Petmate litter box for the use of consumer pre-used recycled plastic – making it great for the environment.

Petmate top entry litter box is easy to carry and empty because of its rounded lipped-edge design.

You can use any reusable liners with it to further ease cleanup.

What we like about it

  • Wide entry for large cats combined with tall walls for privacy
  • Grated and textured lid that removed tracked litter from paws
  • Hook for hanging scoop inside
  • Environmental-friendly and made with recycled plastic

What we don’t like

  • Large/obese cats tend to topple the box scaring them. This happened with a few kitties only. The box is mostly reported to be quite stable.
Petmate Top Entry Litter Cat Litter Box With Filter Lid To Clean Paws
  • TOP ENTRY LITTER BOX: This enclosed kitty litter box features high walls for cats' privacy. The wide, top entry design easily accommodates larger cats & has a grated surface to collect litter from cats' paws each time they exit. Non-slip textured lid with openings
  • LITTER-FREE FLOOR: The tall litter box allows cats to dig & cover waste without spilling litter onto the floor. The grated top collects litter from paws as cats exit the pan, allowing litter to fall into the pan below. Includes a hook to hang your cat litter scoop, SCOOP NOT INCLUDED.
  • PET CLEAN UP: Swiftly clean up after your dog or cat while at home or on walks with a variety of waste management products. From waste bags, rakes, pans, trainings pads to poop scoopers, litter boxes & litter, we've got you & your pet covered.
  • PETMATE: For over 50 years, we at Petmate are passionate about our dogs, cats & furry friends in general. Starting with the very first dog kennel, we've produced plenty of eco-friendly products that pets will love.
  • JUST FOR PETS: Petmate makes a variety of pet products for dogs, cats, chickens & other small furry friends! Check out our brands such as Aspen Pet, Arm & Hammer, Booda, Chuckit!, Jackson Galaxy & more!
Top entry litter box pros and cons

Four salient features make PetSafe auto-cleaning top entry box one of our favorites in this list:

One: it promises 5 times greater odor control than regular boxes.

Two: it leaves your home free from litter dust thanks to reduced litter-tracking.

Three: it helps save money on buying litter because of pre-portioned litter. This means that you only need to change the litter once per month!

Four: It self-cleans and automatically removes waste making it a boon for busy cat parents.

The box’s dimensions are: 27.25 x 19 x 6.38 inches making it one of the roomiest top-entry boxes on the market. This size is ideal for larger cats weighing over 20 lbs.

What we like about it

  • Automatic cleaning top-entry box – ideal for busy parents
  • Superior odor control
  • Uses crystal litter which is low in dust (99% dust-free) and does not track as much as regular litter
  • It also comes with sensors that monitor your cat’s health – ideal for cats with frequent UTIs
  • Not noisy

What we don’t like

  • You cannot use regular litter with this box because it renders the automatic/self-cleanup useless by clogging the rakes of the system.
  • Crystal litter can get expensive over time.
PetSafe ScoopFree Top-Entry Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box – Automatic with Disposable Tray
  • AUTOMATICALLY REMOVES WASTE: No scooping, cleaning or refilling your cat's litter box for weeks
  • UNBEATABLE ODOR CONTROL: Crystal litter removes smell by absorbing urine and dehydrating solid waste
  • DUST FREE: Low-tracking crystals are 99% dust free and don’t stick to your cat’s paws; a hooded cover helps keep kitty litter inside the box
  • LESS MESS: The top-entry hood has a large, grated surface to help eliminate most litter tracking; the plastic tray lining protects against leaking
  • EASY CLEANUP: Simply remove the tray and throw it away; each tray includes a lid for quick disposal
Top entry litter box pros and cons

Modkat is an award-winning top entry litter box that comes with an attractive and stylish design.

Its lid has a locking feature with holes or grates that allow the litter bits stuck to your cat’s paws to fall through into the box below.

This reduces tracking and keeps your floors litter-free – while saving on litter.

You also get a scoop and reusable liners with this box, both of which considerably reduce your litter-box-cleanup chores.

Modkat litter box also has seamless curved walls that prevent sticky messes and further ease the cleaning process.

It is no wonder that this litter box has been featured in many magazines and on TV shows.

Its dimensions are: 16 x 16 x 15 inches with an entry diameter of about 9-inches making it comfortable to access for cats up to 5 lbs.

What we like about it

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Easy to clean

What we don’t like

  • We wish this box came in different sizes: jumbo, taller, deeper, wider, etc. to suit different cat breeds.
Modkat Litter Box, Top-Entry, Includes Scoop and Reusable Liner - Gray
  • PREVENTS LITTER TRACKING: The patented design of the Modkat top-entry litter box nearly eliminates litter tracking. The locking lid acts as a walk-off mat that keeps litter in the box and off of your floors.
  • SWIVEL LID = EASY CLEANING: Simply swivel and scoop. Any litter left on the lid will drop neatly inside when the lid is opened.
  • REUSABLE LINER: The Modkat Reusable Liners are tailored to fit neatly inside the Modkat Litter Box. They are rip-resistant and easy to clean. Liners can last up to 3 months.
  • LOOKS GREAT IN YOUR HOME: The award-winning, modern design looks great and complements any room.
  • ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION: Comes with everything you need; a full height seamless base to prevent leaks, an easy open swivel lid, large hanging litter scoop, and a reusable tarp liner for effortless litter removal.
Top entry litter box pros and cons

ATDAWN is a versatile litter box that allows top and/or side entry making it perfect for cats of all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities.

This litter box comes with a convenient top opening of about 9-inches while its overall dimensions are 16.1 x 20.5 x 15.35 inches (L x W x H). Its size is ideal for cats weighing between 15 and 20 lbs.

ATDAWN litter box also comes with lid-holes that allow the litter from your kitty’s paws to drop down into the box below. This saves litter while preventing tracking.

The lid is removable for easy emptying and cleaning

As the box is enclosed, it deters spraying and urine messes on your walls and floors. Its high walls also give your cat the privacy it needs.

What we like about it

  • Top and side entries
  • Easy to clean
  • Nice, spacious interiors
  • Compact design fits in any room
  • Prevents tracking, deters spraying
  • Includes scoop for cleaning

What we don’t like

  • The box’s front entry is one-way- to make it two-way, you have to remove the door which beats the design’s purpose. Larger cats over 20 lbs. found it difficult to exit through the top opening. (Check out our guide on the Best Litter Box for Large Cats).
ATDAWN Cat Litter Box, Top Entry or Front Entry Cat Litter Pan with Cat Litter Scoop
  • Large Top entryway for easy entry and exit, ample room inside for cats to use the cat litter box comfortably.
  • Rounded shape edges and included litter scoop for convenient cleaning, Top opening: 9" x 8.86", Entire Dimensions: 16.1"L x 20.5"W x 15.35"H, Door opening: 8.27" x 7.48"
  • This kitty litter box is the perfect way to prevent litter scatter and contain spraying.
  • Cat litter pan allowing privacy for your cats while keeping litter hidden from view.
  • Small holes on the lid to help remove litter particles from the cat's paws, keeping floors litter free.

How to Train Your Cat to Use a Top Entry Litter Box?

Many pet parents hesitate to invest in a top entry litter box for the fear that their cat/s might not use it.

Yes, cats can be quite finicky and might be a bit wary of the change, at least in the beginning.

 However, there are things you can do to help them transition into using their new top entry litter box:

A)  Give your pet some time

Allow your kitty a day or two to transition to the new box.

Most cats love top entry boxes. (Many users have even reported that their curious kitties start playing with the top entry box the moment it is out of its packaging!)

It is quite rare for a cat not to like top entry boxes.

Make sure that you supervise your cat’s entry/exit.

Ensure that the box’s lid is secure and does not fall through which could scare your cat from using it.

Allow your cat to sniff the box. You can even place your fur baby on its (secured and locked) lid.

Let your pet get familiar with the box.

B)  Let any litter changes wait

Avoid adding any new litter type or brand into the new box.

You don’t want your kitty to deal with too much at a time.

Use the same cat litter your pet has been using so far.

Any litter changes that you want to make can wait for a few days after your cat starts using the top entry litter box.

C)  Mix in some of its old litter

Mix in some of your cat’s existing litter box litter with the fresh litter in the top entry box.

This way, your cat can get its scent and know that this is what it has to use from now on.

Also Read: Best Cat Litter for Smell

D) Place the new box in the same spot as the old box/pan

Avoid making any placement/location changes to the litter area.

Keep the top entry litter box in the exact same spot as the older one.

E) Discard/hide the old litter pan

Your cat can smell its way to its old litter pan or box.

So, you must discard or keep it out of its reach. If not, your cat might continue using that box/pan for its business.

F) Don’t worry/stress/ over-supervise

Finally, let your cat just be.

Cats are intelligent creatures. They mostly take to new stuff within a day or two.

 So do not worry about stuff like ‘will my cat be able to enter the box on its own?’ and so on.

Cats love challenges and they are extremely flexible animals.

As long as they don’t have any physical limitations, they can easily bend and squeeze their way into small spaces.

So, just leave your kitty alone with the new box. Give it some privacy to use it.

And your cat will surely use it! If not on day one, it will certainly do so from day two or day three.


We hope that this brief guide on the best top entry litter box pros and cons along with reviews of the best top entry litter box can help you make an informed decision about its selection.

We recommend the IRIS Top Entry Pet Litter Box for its roomy and spacious interiors, compact and elegant design, and ease of cleaning.

Do check out our other recommendations as well.

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