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5 Best Top Entry Litter Boxes in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

top entry litter box

The top-entry litter box will help cat parents eliminate the mess that cats who kick and dig every time they use an open litter pan make.

A top entrance box is just as it sounds: it has an opening on the top of the box as an entrance with high sides enclosed.

An entrance at the top will store and prevent litter spillover and provide your cat with great privacy.

Keep reading for our top favorite options of top-entry cat litter boxes this year.

Best Top Entry Litter Boxes Comparison Chart in 2021

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Modkat Top Entrance Litter Box Modkat Top Entrance Litter Box
  • Use reusable liner for easier cleaning
  • The convenient built-in storage of scoop
  • Easy to clean
  • Best Design
    Second place
    IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop
  • A large top opening for easy entrance and exits
  • A grooved lid to minimize litter tracking
  • Included litter scoop
  • Environmentally Friendly
    Third place
    Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan
  • A grated top collects litter from cat’s paws
  • Made from durable
  • pre-consumer recycled plastic
  • High sides to stop litter scatter
  • Most Durable
    Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box
  • Great prevent odor
  • Top with cleaning mat to avoid tracking
  • Ideal for traveling in most types of vehicles
  • Most Affordable
    AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box
  • Easy to clean with snap-on covered
  • Spacious interior for medium-sized cats
  • Textured roof to prevent tracking
  • Reviews of Top 5 Entry Litter Boxes

    1. Modkat Top Entrance Litter Box – Best Overall

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    The Modkat Top Entrance Litter Box is our top pick of the year with its square-ish design. It can eliminate the fear of a mess and offers many advantages in addition to its stylish design as litter box furniture.

    Unique Design

    We love the modern design of this box right from the first time we saw it. It is a full-featured litter box that comes in the form of home decor that can fit any room in your house.

    The dimensions of 20 inches x 15 inches x 16.8 inches provide your cat with a spacious area to do its business. It features a seamless base to prevent urine leakage with high walls to avoid litter spillover.

    Moreover, with a patented cover that cleans your cat’s paws, this Modkat can keep your floor free from cat litter.

    Easy To Clean 

    We appreciated the swivel cover, which addresses the problem of removing the entire lid to clean the litter. You can simply swivel the lid and get your job done effortlessly.

    The box also comes with a liner that is carefully designed to fit tightly inside the box. A reusable liner can reduce the use of plastic bags, making it eco-friendly. It is also rip-resistant and can last for up to three months of use.

    A scoop is included when you purchase the Modkat, meaning you get all the things you need in one purchase. You can also find a built-in hook on the side of the box where you can hang the scoop for more convenience.

    Drawbacks

    Many people might be concerned about the price of this full-function litter box, but we believe you get your bang for your buck with the high-quality litter box, liner, scoop, and several included features.

    We are wary about the risk of odor absorption in the plastic. However, if you scoop the waste daily and place the box in a well-ventilated space, it should not be a problem.

    It might be quite uncomfortable for certain cats to use the litter box in a specific position with their head out of the box. But if your cat is highly adaptable, he/she can get used to it quickly.

    Pros
    • A sleek and modern design
    • Reusable liner for easier cleaning
    • Convenient built-in storage of scoop
    • Easy to clean
    Cons
    • Cat might experience discomfort with positioning
    • Plastic may absorb odors
    • A little bit expensive

    2. IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop – Best Design

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    If you want to have a tidy and attractive solution for your cat litter box, you will fall in love with the stylish design of this IRIS top entry cat litter box. We appreciate this product as it is a safe place for cat litter and a decorative item in the house.

    Spacious Box

    With the outer dimensions of 20.47 inches (L) x 16.14 inches (W) x 14.56 inches (H), this product is ideal for big cats up to 13 pounds. It also features a large top opening for easy entrance and exit of cats of all sizes.

    While big cats mean more litter needed, the inside dimensions of 20 inches (L) x 16 inches (W) x 14 inches (H) has a great capacity of up to 30 pounds of litter. It is also more convenient for you, as you can change the litter less frequently.

    Stylish & Cat-Friendly Design

    We like the simple but elegant design with two different colors of the high side and lid. There are four color options to choose from, orange/brown, white/beige, black/grey, or dark gray/gray to match your interior style.

    The large box inside allows your cat to move around without making a mess. A deeper litter box is ideal for digger cats to find a suitable spot, while a round enclosure keeps the floor free from litter mess.

    This IRIS is constructed of non-BPA plastic that is not harmful to your cat’s health. A built-in grooved lid acts as a mat to stop litter from sticking to your cat’s paws and scattering around the floor when he exits.

    Drawback 

    If you own kittens or old cats, you should not go for IRIS. High sides might make it hard for them to enter the box. Moreover, they are more likely to experience stress when being trapped in a closed space.

    Especially for small cats who are learning to use the litter box, it might be confusing for them to smell and find the right place to urinate.

    The box is rounded, but the included scoop is square, so this may cause a bit of a hassle with cleaning the corners.

    Pros
    • Large top opening for easy entrance and exits
    • Included litter scoop
    • Grooved lid to minimize litter tracking
    Cons
    • Not suitable for kittens and old cats
    • Round corners make it hard to scoop out wastes

    3. Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan – Environmentally Friendly

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    From the renowned manufacturer with over 50 years in the cat equipment field, this Petmate top entry litter pan will tick all your boxes on the top entry box for big cats list (and it’s environmentally friendly!).

    Spacious Design

    With dimensions of 20.3 inches x 15.1 inches x 15.2 inches, Petmate can keep the litter out of view. It features high sides for cat privacy and preventing cat litter spillover.

    The wide entry allows big cats to enter and exit the box with ease. This feature also makes a significant contribution in deterring dogs from sniffing around in the box.

    The grated top acts as a built-in mat to collect litter from cat paws when they exit the box. It also has holes for litter to fall back in the pan below.

    Easy To Clean 

    This litter box is made from pre-consumer recycled plastic. It is such an excellent move to encourage people to protect our environment. The recycled material lowers this product’s price and makes it one of the most affordable options on our list.

    A non-stick coating prevents litter tracking and makes the box wipe-clean easily. The wide pan is capable of holding more litter compared to other litter boxes. If you pour more litter in, it is less likely for clumps to stick at the bottom of the pan, and you can save your time by changing the litterless frequently.

    It also features rounded grip edges that allow you to lift the box and pour out the litter with ease. The integrated hinge makes this box compatible with Petmate Entry Litter Box Liners for easier cleaning.

    Drawback 

    Round edges might make scooping waste more difficult. The square scoop cannot reach into the round corners to remove all clumps. Thus, you might need to spend more effort cleaning the box.

    The hinge might be a little annoying as you need to place it exactly in one position so you can’t rotate the box to make all use of the litter inside. You can solve this by mixing up the litter every time you scoop waste, though.

    Pros
    • Grated top collects litter from cat’s paws
    • High sides to stop litter scatter
    • Made from durable, pre-consumer recycled plastic
    Cons
    • Hinge might be annoying since you cannot rotate the box
    • Round corners make cleaning inconvenient

    4. Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box – Most Durable

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    Next on our list is a highly durable dog-proof cat litter box, the Clevercat. Made from robust thick plastic material with careful craftsmanship, this litter box can withstand several years of use.

    Shape & Size

    With the dimensions of 20 inches x 15 inches x 15 inches, the Clevercat litter box can accommodate kittens up to medium-sized cats. The entrance diameter of 9 inches also aids in preventing dogs from accessing the unit while providing enough room for cats to jump in.

    Thanks to the sturdiness of high-quality plastic, this box can withstand strong impacts and lasts for at least a year. It can hold a massive amount of litter for maximum convenience and absorption. Thus, you don’t need to give it a thorough cleaning for at least a week at a time.

    Tall walls offer excellent privacy for cats, especially those who love digging and kicking litter. Moreover, the seamless sides also prevent urine leakage and keep your floor free from spilled litter.

    The Clevercat features a built-in mat attached to the lid to avoid cats returning to your floor with litter sticking to their paws. It also has holes for litter to get back in the pan.

    The clever lid design with several holes can prevent odors from accumulating inside the boxes day after day. It accelerates ventilation for a clean and smell-free littering space.

    The volume of litter allows your cat to dig and bury his wastes deep inside the box. Thus, when combining with prevent odor litter, you will have a fresh and clean litter area.

    The smooth plastic surface with non-stick properties also prevents residual clumps from accumulating and causing stinky smells.

    Drawbacks 

    If you own a big cat, this CleverCat might not be the right option for you. Your cat might find this box a little small and uncomfortable to move around and do its business.

    This box only can go well with a CleverCat liner. If you have purchased another type of liner, it will not fit well inside the box. Instead, you can try a trash bag then cut off a little at the top.

    Pros
    • Prevents odor
    • Ideal for traveling in most types of vehicles
    • Top with cleaning mat to avoid tracking
    Cons
    • Not suitable for big cats
    • Off-brand liners don’t fit well inside the box

    5. AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box – Affordable Price

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    Large Enough for Medium Cats 

    This AmazonBasics litter box measures 20.1 inches x 15.4 inches x 15 inches and is larger than many boxes available on the market. Hence, it provides your cat with enough space to sit and squat inside the box. It also features a large opening that fits cats of all sizes.

    The high sides help stop litter scatters and urine leakage during use. They also keep curious dogs away from cat litter and provide cats with privacy to do their business away from prying eyes.

    It also features a textured roof to capture stray litter when the cat exits the box. Thus, it will minimize tracking and keep your floor as litter-free as possible. You will also save time sweeping the litter scatter from around the box.

    A Sanitary Solution

    Unlike other enclosed cat litter boxes with top entry, the AmazingBasics makes it easy for you to scoop out the waste as well as clean it thoroughly.

    While a convenient snap-on top allows you to clean the inside box with ease, the non-stick material saves you a lot of time and effort in scrubbing the stain on the surface.

    The cover also allows air to ventilate and avoid bacteria and odor build-up inside the box. Thus, it will lower the risk of health issues for your cats.

    Drawbacks 

    The only problem with this product is the round corners and the indent bumping out at the back of the pan. It causes hassle when removing the waste with a square scoop. We recommend you find a small, rounded scoop instead.

    One more drawback is that it is not roomy enough for big cats to sit in. So, you should look for other options on this list if you own a big cat.

    Pros
    • Easy to clean with snap-on cover
    • Textured roof to prevent tracking
    • Spacious interior for medium-sized cats
    Cons
    • Shape makes scooping out waste difficult
    • Not suitable for big cats

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Top-Entry Litter Boxes

    We have listed some common questions with detailed answers for each of them. We hope that they can help you gain some knowledge about top-entry litter boxes.

    1. Why do I need a top-entry litter box?

    The first and foremost advantage of top-entry litter boxes is that they can keep the cat’s waste away from your sight. Some stylish models can also act as home decor.

    cat in bathroom litterbox
    Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

    2. What are the benefits of top-entry litter boxes?

    According to the research on cat litter habits, many cats prefer a private place to do their business. Moreover, curious dogs might want to access the cat’s litter boxes, leading some cats to experience discomfort and disengagement with the box, leading to complete refusal to use the box.

    Hence, a top-entry cat litter box offers cat privacy and deters other pets or young children.

    Top-entry litter boxes will have a greater capacity to hold more litter. And they are also superior in odor control to other types of litter boxes.

    3. How do I choose the best top-entry litter box?

    The first factor in considering a top-entry litter box is the size. You should find a big-enough box for your cat to sit and squat inside of.

    The standard size of a litter box is 1.5 times longer than the length of your cat (tail excluded). And remember to go for the biggest possible if you have a kitten as your cat will continue to grow.

    Secondly, you should pay attention to the material and ease of cleaning litter. A durable litter box might be constructed of thick and robust plastic. And high-quality plastic is less likely to absorb odors and is easier to clean.

    Finally, you might consider the design and the price of the box. If you want a decorative litter box, you will have to pay more for an attractive option. Or you can save a considerable amount by purchasing a simple-design box.

    How do I train my cat to use the top-entry litter box?

    cat beside litter box
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    For cats used to using an open box, you will need to spend more effort training them to use the top-entry box, which is why we’ve provided some useful tips to help you.

    1. Use the new litter box but with the old litter from the previous box.

    As your cat is familiar with the smell of the old litter, it will assign that smell to the place where it should relieve itself. If you replace both the box and litter simultaneously, your cat may find it difficult to adapt to the new one (especially those who have never used a closed box before).

    Some people also use the old litter with the remaining waste for the new one to encourage their cats to use the top-entry.

    2. Mix the old litter with a small amount of new one for the box

    If the old litter needs to be changed, you can keep a bit of it and mix it with fresh litter to keep a similar smell for your cats. They will know where to do business based on the familiar smell.

    Another option is to sprinkle a small amount of old litter on the top of the new litter inside the new top-entry box. However, make sure the amount is enough for your cat to smell.

    3. Place the new box at the same spot as the old one

    Even though this rule sounds very easy, many people still forget about its importance. Your cat knows its toileting spot. So, put the new top-entry litter box at the old one’s exact place to encourage your cat to use the new one.

    If you want to rearrange your home and move the litter box to another spot, just wait for a few days of normal litter usage before making a move.

    4. Keep cats away from the old litter box

    Cats are such a clever species that they may find all the ways to their old litter box and, of course, refuse to use the new one. So, all you have to do is hide the old box somewhere that your cat cannot reach.

    Cats are good at climbing, and they are clever enough to find out where the old box is. So, it is better if you find a secret place for the old litter box (or get rid of it completely).

    Can kittens use a top-entry litter box?

    The answer to this question strongly depends on the ability of your kitten. It is great if he/she can easily hop in and exit the top-entry litter box.

    But if they are too small for that, you can save the top-entry litter box until they grow up. Instead, you can buy them an open or an enclosed litter box with a front opening, but kittens should use an opening litter box.

    Does one cat need two litter boxes?

    Sometimes, especially if your cat is newly adopted.

    Also, if you’ve picked up a stray cat, they might not be used to using the litter box. So, having more than one box can prevent them from using the home interior as a place to relieve themselves. When your cat learns how to use the litter box, you can remove one box and train him/her to use the other one.

    Our Verdict

    Among the list of top-entry litter boxes, we strongly recommend the Modkat for all sizes of cats. This litter box is an outstanding product with several features:

    • Roomy space with a large entry for all cat sizes
    • 2 lid options (front and top) that are suitable for kittens and old cats
    • Includes reusable liner and a scoop
    • Easy to clean and maintain

    This is our top recommendation for the top-entry litter box. If you have any other ideas or any experience with this litter box, leave comments below and tell us your story. Thank you for reading!


    Featured Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

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