Overfilled litter trays, and a cat that loves to dig are the main culprits of litter tracked throughout the house. In some cases, the litter type that you are using could also be sticking to your kitties paws.
Is using a litter mat and changing the litter still not helping? There’s got to be another solution right?
That’s where a good top entry litter box really comes in handy. They are designed to trap litter inside the box where it belongs. Some boxes even have a unique grate like feature which helps wipe off any litter stuck to their paws when they exit.
- IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop
- Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan
- AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box
- Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box
- Modkat Litter Box Top Entry
Top entry litter boxes are typically suited for someone looking to reduce litter tracked through their home. They do this by offering your cat a single entry and exit point (the top).
The fully enclosed litter box will ensure your cat is unable to kick and dig litter on to the floor causing a great big mess. Most manufacturers have incorporated a grate like feature on their lids, this will help scrape off any litter stuck to your cats paws.
If you and your cat live in an apartment litter boxes are almost a necessity. Not only for their superior ability to stop tracking, but some models look really nice and don’t take up much space. Top entry litter boxes should also stop pooch from getting into the litter and making a big mess.
Combining your top entry litter box with a good quality dust free cat litter will help to reduce litter mess even further.
This may come as a surprise but yes, most cats will tend to enjoy using a top entry litter box.
There is the exception if your cat is extremely fussy and set in their ways. Typically after the initial curiosity has worn off they’ll jump right in and get their business done.
If you’ve ever observed your cat do its business outside, you’ll notice the time they take to find a secluded place. It’s thought this dates back to when cats were wild, they would seek protection from predators when going to the toilet.
The concealment of the litter box could satisfy that need for your cat and encourage them to do their business in their new box.
With the increasing popularity of top entry litter boxes, largely due to more indoor only cats, it’s worth taking a look at the differences between a traditional litter tray and top entry litter box.
It’s no secret that cats have a tendency to track litter throughout the home, unintentionally of course. The traditional litter tray doesn’t do a very good job at keeping tracking to a minimum that’s for sure, of course, you can always try and use a litter mat to reduce the tracking, but even then you’re inevitably going to experience litter tracking.
One of the major advantages of a top entry litter box is, you guessed, the ability to “almost” eliminate tracking altogether. Because the box is fully enclosed, even the most furious of diggers shouldn’t make a mess. Some even have a grate like design on top so that when your cat leaves the box it can catch any loose litter on their paws. Combine this with a litter mat and you tracking should be at a very minimum.
We’ve all walked in the door after work and been hit with the nasty smell of your cat’s business. Yuck!
Because the box is fully enclosed, you have the ability to fill it with more litter vs a traditional litter tray. More litter means your kitty can cover up his mess easier. Although there is a hole in the top for kitty to get in and out of, the boxes do a really good job at eliminating the typically smells a tray couldn’t.
Combine a top entry litter box with an odor eliminating cat litter to really reduce those unwanted litter smells.
Pro Tip: Keep a good amount of litter in the box at all times and check if your cat is managing to cover up his mess regularly. This will ensure smells are kept to a minimum.
Maintaining the litter tray is no one’s favorite chor by any means. There is often spilled litter to clean up, followed by scooping out any mess and then cleaning and refilling the tray.
While top entry litter boxes still need to be maintained to a standard, the time between litter changes is greater than that of a litter tray. This is again because you can fill a box with more litter giving your cat the opportunity to better cover the mess and find a clean place to do his business.
Do away with the ugly litter tray. That’s not to say the litter boxes are going to be the mantlepiece in your living room but they certainly look much more appealing.
While I’m aware most people will put their litter trays in places out of prying eyes, that’s not always an option. Many have their litter tray in the laundry and having to look at the open tray while getting your clean laundry is unpleasant.
Litter boxes can actually be pleasant to look at, for example, the Modkat litter box in white is very sleek. Let’s take a closer look at the top entry litter boxes available below.
Manufactured by IRIS USA, this top entry litter box is made from BPA free plastic and features round edges for easy cleaning.
The large top opening (10.5” x 9”) makes entry and exits easy and suitable for larger cats. The grooved lid will help reduce litter tracking by catching lingering litter sticking to your cat’s paws. Conveniently IRIS has included a free plastic litter scoop which hangs on the side of the box.
Inside the box offers plenty of space (Widest point) 20.0″L x 16.0″W x 14.0″H (Bottom narrowest point) 17.5″L x 13.5″W) as stated by IRIS, giving plenty of space for kitty to maneuver into a comfortable position to do his business.
I’m a big fan of the design on this litter box, not only does it look good but the grooves on top add that extra protection from tracking. It has a range of colors to choose from suitable for all color schemes.
- Looks Great
- Large Entry
- Grooves can collect feces
- Not suitable for multiple cats
Pro Tip: If you want to save money check out this IRIS Top entry box in Black.
Manufactured by Petmate in the USA, using 95% pre consumer recyclable materials, this plastic top entry litter pan is great for keeping pooch out of the litter box.
That’s right, Petmate’s selling feature of this litter box is that it’s designed to keep your dog from digging in the litter. The attached (non-slip) lid, which features a grating design that should catch any litter on your cat’s paws, will make cleaning this litter box easy.
Its rounded edges will also make scooping out any solids easier, Petmate have molded in a hook for you to put the scoop on afterward, very convenient. The dimensions as stated are 20” x 15” x 15” so it’s suitable for larger cats.
The most appealing thing for me about this litter box is by far its price. It’s very affordable and because of its simple design, it should last a long time. The overall look of the box isn’t amazing by any means, but the price reflects that.
- Great Price
- Easy To Clean
- Attached Lid
- Overall Look
Check out the video below to get a complete review of the Petmate Litter Pan.
The AmazonBasics hooded litter box is a bit of a wildcard, but it’s definitely worth looking into.
Like the previous boxes, it’s made from lightweight plastic. It features an attached lid that flips open for cleaning. The top side of the lid features a textured lid that should help keep tracking litter to a minimum.
Amazon recommends using a litter liner, personally, I think these aren’t necessary if you use enough litter in the box. When it comes to cleaning the litter box, simply take off the snap on lid and scoop out the solids, if the entire litter needs replacing you can simply open the lid and pour out for convenience.
The opening on the top is very large, so large that it won’t stop the dog from getting into the litter and making a mess. I would recommend buying this litter box if your only goal is to keep litter contained. The dimensions of the box are 20.1” x 15.4” x 15” inches.
- Textured Lid
- Won’t stop the dog from getting into the box
Manufactured in the USA by Clevercat, this top entry litter box keeps a simple yet effective design.
The litter box features a 20″L x 15″W x 15″H, 9″ diameter opening, allowing very easy access for your cat. Clevercat claims the box is big enough for two cats to use, while this could be possible the maintenance would be a nightmare.
Cleaning this litter box is much like the rest, a simple scoop out of solids and top up of litter if needed. It’s seamless sides eliminate all unwanted leaks. You can of course always use litter liners if you are concerned, but they’re not a necessity.
Like the rest, it has grooves in the lid to help reduce tracking of litter. Its light grey color will ensure it doesn’t draw too much attention to guests and of course it does a good job of keeping the odors to a minimum.
While it does a decent job at eliminating tracking and odors, it does command quite a premium price tag. Keep this in mind when making your selection.
- Large Litter Box
- Reduces tracking
- Large entry hole
- It’s expensive
Manufactured by Modkat and made from BPA free ABS plastic, this top entry litter box has a stunning mirror finish.
This award winning litter box has even been featured in the new york times and Animal Planet’s show “My Cat from Hell”. You really get the impression a lot of thought has gone into the litter box.
The top entry lid features a unique mat like design that will clean your cat’s paws when exiting the litter box. If any litter is trapped on top of the box, Modkat has incorporated a swivel feature where the lid can swivel open, any litter on top will simply fall back into the box.
This is the only litter box that I would suggest getting a liner for. Not because it has the potential to leak but because Modkat has designed a specific heavy duty liner suited perfectly for the box. It’s also reusable (lasts up to 3 months) and comes with side handles making cleaning the box very easy.
Dimensions of the box are 16in x 16in x 15in tall. While it’s not the biggest it is more than suitable for a single cat household. Finally, the litter box comes with everything you need (except cat litter). The pack comes with a full height seamless base to prevent leaks, an easy open swivel lid, large hanging litter scoop, and the reusable liner.
- Looks great
- Swivel lid design
- Comes in a pack
Check out the video below on the Modkat litter box.
Top entry litter boxes don’t require any specific kind of cat litter however I would recommend one that does a good job at controlling odor. The entry hole in the top is the only form of ventilation for these boxes so picking a litter that eliminates odor is usually preferred.
Most users will find picking a litter that clumps to be useful as it makes cleaning up much easier. Make sure you pick a litter that is truly dust free, you don’t want your cat sitting in a box full of litter dust day in day out.
While most cats will have no issue with a top entry litter box, there is always going to be an exception. If this is the case for you, there are a few things you can do to encourage your kitty to use the litter box.
The cat litter you choose for your top entry box could be a big reason. Make sure to stick to the litter you’ve been using previously, cats are known to be very fussy when it comes to change. If it the very first time your cat will be introduced to the box and litter, be sure to pick a dust free litter that is soft under your cat’s paws.
Most litters will actually feel harsh under your cat’s paws, you could try CatSpot coconut litter which is extremely soft if you think this could be the cause.
Removing the top when training your cat to use the litter box for the first time can help them get used to the high sides. If you have older cats and are switching to a litter box, leave it empty in a safe place for a few days so they can get used to the new box and start to feel comfortable getting in and out.
It is also a good idea to place the old litter tray next to the new box, again this is just to encourage them to get used to the change, eventually even the fussiest cat should warm up to their new litter box. You can even put some old litter inside the box if all else is failing.
Absolutely, just about all litter boxes will accommodate for the largest of cats. Double check their entry hole dimensions and box dimensions just to be sure. That being said, if your cat is larger than most you’ll want to focus on litter boxes designed for large cats only (check out the dimensions of each litter box in my review section).
This is a tricky one, where most top entry litter boxes fail is the ability to handle the use of two cats. While there are some out there on the market, I still find even the largest of litter boxes will suffer from the use of two cats produce. They’ll require far more maintenance and even worse the chance of tracking and feces escaping the litter box is increased.
The Favorite 25″ Large Top Entry Enclosed Hooded Cat Litter Box, is the largest litter box featured in this article. It can also double as a regular tray while your cat gets used to the idea of having a lid.
The lid is see through, allowing cats to view their surroundings while doing their business. It’s going to be a suitable option if your cat is a litter nervous about the box. Its removable lid makes cleaning the litter box simple and easy. The lid is also grated on top helping to reduce any possible tracking.
If you are looking for a fully enclosable litter box that is suitable for two cats, the Hooded Litter Box should be your number one choice. The dimensions of the litter box are 25 x 19.5 x 16.5 inches, and it weighs in at 3.2 pounds.
- Suitable for multiple cats (It’s huge)
- Fully removable lid
- Easy to clean
- Doubles as an enclosed litter box or open pan
- Pricey (But worth it)
- Heavy to move around
Typically most people will pay for convenience. So yes they are absolutely worth the money.
No one likes cleaning the litter tray, let alone all the litter that spills out of the traditional open top trays. The fact these top entry litter boxes eliminate tracking almost completely, and can last a good amount of time before needing a clean makes them worth the purchase.
The ability to keep unsightly litter trays away from prying eyes is a big bonus, they keep the smell to a minimum and cats seem to love them for the most part. What’s not to love about them.
Picking a winner was a really tough one for me. When I took size, price and styling into consideration there could only be one winner.
The best litter box In my opinion is the IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop. Its large entry hole makes it suitable for larger cats, it’s affordable and as I said, I’m a big fan of the styling.
If I had to pick a runner up that would be the Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan. It was a very close second place if styling isn’t a concern to you I would recommend this over the IRIS litter box. It will still get the job done just as good without the pretty design.
The short answer is no. It’s entirely up to you if you want to use a liner or not, just make sure the box has a high build quality with seamless edges so it doesn’t leak. Some manufacturers include free reusable litter liners which you might as well use if provided.
Often maintaining a top entry litter box is less work, they reduce tracking and your cat can’t kick any litter out the sides. Aside from the usual scooping out of the solids and replacement of litter when required, litter boxes require less cleaning or maintenance.
Most litter boxes are made from high quality plastic and will last a very long time. Some do have weak points, such as lids cracking with excessive or forceful removal, be careful when removing the lid.