11 Best Top Entry Litter Boxes – Reviews & Our Expert Picks – FAQcats.com

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It is mind-boggling to see the sheer volume and range of litter boxes available for cats nowadays if you are anything like the author. Gone are the days where a tray with dirt in it was sufficient. Now there are WiFi-enabled, self-cleaning, robot litter boxes available!

When it comes to finding the right litter box for your cat or cats, knowing where to start can be daunting. There are just too many options. Thinking about what is best for the home and kitty will help you start to narrow it all down. 

Today, we are going to be discussing Top Entry litter boxes. We will explain what a top entry litter box is before examining the benefits of one. We’ll get into the price ranges for each, the pros and cons, and whether they are really worth the price. Naturally, we will also look at the downsides of a top entry litter box. Finally, we will honestly review and list what we believe are the best ones you can buy; each rated by our expert team!

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What Is A Top Entry Litter Box

A top entry litter box is a litter box where the exit and entry is a hole in the lid at the top of the litter box. 

The point of putting the entry at the top instead of the side is to reduce litter being tracked through the homeMost modern top entry litter boxes are designed to knock excess litter off the cat’s paws as they exit. 

As top entry litter boxes are contained and not open, less to no litter is kicked out by kitty when covering their ‘business’ or digging. The litter is trapped within the walls, reducing mess.

If you are a dog owner, as well as owned by a cat, you will know that some dogs like to ‘investigate’ kitty’s poop. Some like to eat it! One feature of top entry litter boxes is that they can prevent Fido from getting in. However, very determined pooches may not be deterred.  

How Does A Top Entry Litter Box Reduce Litter On Paws

Many manufacturers have added a grille or grate to the lid of the top entry litter box. As your cat exits and walks across this feature, excess litter is knocked off the paws, falling into the lid or tray below.

The holes or gaps that are incorporated into the lid scrape the paws of the kitty. With the waste remaining in the lid or slipping through the mesh, you will find that less litter is tracked through your home. 

To have even less litter residue, try combining a litter box with a litter mat. Additionally, consider buying dust-free, high-quality cat litter.

What Are Other Benefits of a Top Entry Litter Box

  • The top entry litter box ensures that their entire body is enclosed for those cats that tend to pee half in/half out of the litter tray. So no more hanging out of the front and missing the tray! 
  • Many top entry litter boxes have high walls. This is great if, like the author, you have a cat who likes to stand and spray while peeing. A high walled top entry litter box tends to catch all the pee, leaving no smelly puddles for you to clean.
  • Some cats like to have privacy when they are ‘taking care of business. Top entry litter boxes are enclosed so that they can give your cat (and you!) some privacy. 
  • As top entry litter boxers are enclosed, they do tend to keep in the litter box odor. Some will be better than others, but the cat waste aroma is contained better than open litter boxes. 
  • Aesthetically, an enclosed or hooded litter box means that you do not have unsightly messes between cleaning.
  • In addition to being dog-proof, top entry litter boxes can be child-proof. Again, they may not keep out the most determined mini-human, but they do help overall.

What Are The Down Sides To A Top Entry Litter Box

  • Some top entry litter boxes require you to have matching liners that are available for purchase separately. A contentious thing if you are on a budget, as buying matching liners proves expensive.  
  • Top entry litter boxes are not always suitable for physically disabled cats, elderly cats, or even little kittens. The author recently fostered a cat with scoliosis. ‘Runner’ finds it difficult to climb and cannot jump, so a top entry litter box is not suitable for her. 
  • Some cats can be sensitive to remaining waste scents in an enclosed litter box, such as top entry, despite cleaning it out frequently. This is dependent on the cat though, we all know that cats are very individual creatures.
  • If you have a nervous cat or one rescued from a dreadful situation, they may not like the single entry/exit feature. They may perceive that they only have one escape route, so they prefer not to go inside.  
  • To some people, a top entry litter box is no different from a lidded storage box with a hole cut out of it. That is certainly a cheaper alternative if you have the tools to cut and sand a hole in the lid.

How Can I Get My Cat To Use A Top Entry Litter Tray

Not all cats welcome change, and a new litter box is no exception. Here are a couple of tips you can use to acclimatize your cat to their new toilet.

Try placing the new litter box alongside the old one, removing the old litter box once your cat is familiar with the new one. It helps cats if the new litter box is in the same place. 

Use some – cleanish – litter from the old litter box in the new one to encourage your cat towards it. You don’t need to fill the new litter box with old litter. But a bit will help them recognize the scent. 

If your cat is refusing to use the new top entry litter box, try removing the cover. Once they are familiar with and using the new litter tray, you can re-introduce the lid. If need be, physically demonstrate the entry/exit hole to them. 

In many instances, you may find that a cat’s underlying curiosity will prevail, and they will at least investigate the new litter box of their own accord. 

Top Entry Litter Box Reviews

Below is an in-depth review of the best top entry litter boxes. All of these reviews go in-depth about each one. We’ll give you an idea of the overall costs, some of the essential functions they have, ease of use, and generally where we rank it among the rest.

To keep things simple, we have rated the pricing structure as Low, Medium, and High. In addition, we have also added a pros and cons section with each litter box so you have an idea of what’s great about it, and what we find concerning about each one.

IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box 

Cost $$ Medium
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) Large 20.75 x 16.13 x 14.63 inches Medium 17.32 x 13.39 x 12.20 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top Entry

 The IRIS Top Entry Litter Box comes in a range of colors with a matching scoop. It offers privacy for shy cats and holds in odors. While the large size is suitable for bigger cats, it isn’t robust enough for heavy cats as the lid can cave in. We also found that the lid of some boxes would not click into place.

It does reduce litter being tracked, and the rounded shape of the litter box makes it easy to clean. With a tall walled base, this litter box catches the urine of high spraying cats while catching litter when it is kicked. However, if your cat poops by the entry/exit, they will have to step in a mess to get out of the litter tray. It weighs 4.6lbs and comes in different sizes.

Pros Cons
Holds odors Lid doesn’t always click in place
Tall walls catch high spraying cats  Heavy cats not always supported
Easy to clean  

Suhaco Foldable Large Cat Litter Box with Lid

Cost $$$ High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 20.08 x 14.96 x 16.14 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top and front entry

 The Suhaco Foldable Large Cat Litter Box is easy to store or travel with as it folds up nicely. Coming in a range of colors, it offers a private space for kitty to do their business. The one-way entry through the front ensures that kitty will not kick out litter as they dig or cover. 

Although easy to pull out for a quick clean, the shallow tray does not seem to hold litter very well, and the seams or joints in the wall allow some urine to leak out. We found that the Suhaco Foldable Large Cat Litter Box is simple to take apart for cleaning, which needs to be done; otherwise, it will start to smell due to all the crevices.

We noted that the exit end needs to be against a wall so that the kitty walks along the holes in the lid to knock litter off paws. It weighs 6.16lbs.

Pros Cons
Collapsible and easy to store Shallow tray
Good for travel Pricey
Pull out tray for quick cleaning Some cats may not understand the entry / exit

 IRIS USA Square Large Top Entry Cat Litter Box 

Cost $ Low
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 20.44 x 14.94 x 14.31 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top Entry

 The IRIS USA Square Large Top Entry Litter Box is a simple but efficient tall walled litter box available in various colors. The scoop that is included can be hung from a couple of hooks around the litter box. The litter tray is in one piece, meaning that there are no leaks through seams or joints, and litter is contained for those cats that dig.

This litter box does seem a little small for a ‘large’ litter box and is certainly not suitable for a Maine Coon or Ragdoll. We have noticed that heavy cats can make the litter box fall to the side, and the lid bows under their weight. The entry hole is 9.25” wide.

The lid lifts at an angle so stray litter can fall back into the box, but the square shape is not as easy to clean as a rounded litter box. It weighs 2.7lbs.

Pros Cons
Good price Not big enough for large cats
Catches high spray Lid is not sturdy
Hooks for the scoop Easy to topple over

Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box

Cost $$$ High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 20 x 15 x 15 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top Entry

 The Clevercat Top Entry litter box is a simple litter box with good tall walls that catch high spray and kicked litter. This is a relatively large, sturdy litter box that is pretty dog-proof. As a tall litter box, arthritic cats or kittens may struggle to use it.

The flat bottom makes for easy cleaning, but it is possible to purchase disposable matching liners from the manufacturer. Although odors seem to be contained, if a liner is not used, the plastic absorbs scents, and eventually, the litter box becomes unpleasant. 

The lid can be a little tight to get off and needs to be unclicked as one; otherwise, it can ‘pop’ off, spreading discarded litter from the tray around the floor. One thing to note is that dusty or crystal litter may not be compatible with this box as the dust does not disperse well, potentially making the environment uncomfortable for your cat. It weighs 4 lbs. 

Pros Cons
Fairly dog proof Lid is tight
Easy to clean Pricey, especially with matching liners
Quite sturdy Absorbs odors

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

Cost $ Low
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 20.29 x 15.07 x 15.2 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top Entry

 The Petmate® Top Entry Litter Pan is an eco-friendly litter box made in the USA from 95% pre-consumer recyclable materials. The church window-shaped wide opening makes easy access for kitty, although plus-size cats may still struggle. 

The Petmate® Top Entry Litter Pan is good at reducing tracked litter and is easy to move. The hinged lid can be troublesome as litter can be thrown off when it is opened. Old designs of this model had a sort of dimple or handle that would trap debris, making it awkward to clean. However, the new designs don’t seem to have that dimple/handle. 

High walls of the base contain pee and stray litter well, with compatible pan liners available for purchase. Like many, it comes with a scoop and has a handy hook for the scoop to hang from. The corner shape does make it a little difficult to clean with the scoop. It weighs 3.87lbs

Pros Cons
Reasonable price The hinged lid could be cumbersome for cleaning
95% Eco Friendly Old versions have a dimple in the floor making it hard to clean
Catches stray litter  

IRIS USA Premium Top Entry Litter Tray 

Cost $$$ High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 17.50″L x 17.50″W x 14.50″H
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top Entry

 The IRIS USA Premium Top Entry litter box is a high-end litter box with a sleek aesthetic and a removable lid. Coming in various parts, this litter box will take regular garbage or garden bags and the liners designed to accompany it. 

The tall walls provide privacy while containing spraying and stray litter but may prove challenging for older cats or those with disabilities. Although an attractive design, there are many parts to this unit that makes cleaning laborious. 

It has been noted that some cats do not like the ridges in the lid. The entry is to the back and towards a corner, so the litter box needs to be placed against a wall so that kitty will walk on the grooved lid to knock off the litter. The solid scoop that is included can latch onto the rim of the box. At 8 lbs, this is a heavy but sturdy and robust litter box that efficiently stops dogs. 

Pros Cons
Aesthetically pleasing   Expensive
Robust and sturdy Cleaning can be laborious
Catches stray litter well Needs to be placed in  good area

 ModKat XL Litter Box 

Cost $$$ Very High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 21 x 16.3 x 17 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top and front entry

 The ModKat XL litter box is large-sized in various colors, which offers front and top entry. The front entrance can be closed off if you prefer your cat to use top entry only. The lid is adaptable into three different positions for greater accessibility.

The liners are re-usable but do only last about three months. That said, the litter box is easy to clean, so a liner is not strictly necessary. The seamless base unit prevents any leaks, and the tall walls are suitable for high sprayers. The scoop that comes with the litter box, described by the manufacturer as ergonomic, can be attached to the side. 

This adaptable, robust, and strong litter box is easy on the eye and is supposed to be suitable for large cats and multiple cat use. The side handles make it easy to move, although it weighs a hefty 9.7lbs.

Pros Cons
Adaptable for ability of cat Expensive
Looks tidy Need different liners depending on entry
Easy access Need to buy new liners intermittently 

PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

Cost $$$ Very High
Self-Cleaning Yes
Size (dimensions) 20.4 x 11.7 x 28 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top entry

 The Petfree® Scoopfree® Automatic Self-Cleaning litter box is designed to save you the effort of cleaning the litter box regularly. It comes with disposable cardboard trays containing crystal litter. Crystal litter is dust-free and does not tend to stick to cat paws, so that reduces tracking. Permanent plastic trays can be purchased.

The hood that provides the Top Entry is removable, making an open litter tray if required. The sensors detect when your cat has exited the litter box and, 20 minutes later, will initiate the rake to push waste into a sealed waste trap. This works well for solid excrement, but loose bowel movements will not solidify when the rake passes through, and the rake soon becomes dirty. 

This ‘tool’ can monitor the frequency of your cat’s visits and, by downloading the app, you can check on that. This is useful if your cat has a health issue and needs to be monitored. The instructions are pretty comprehensive, and advice is there on the website on how to acclimatize your cat to this piece of kit, which, ultimately, is a gadget. 

Pros Cons
Self-cleaning  Expensive unit
Good odor control Need replacement disposable trays – more expense
Monitors cat visits Only uses crystal litter – a further expense

Sfozstra Cat Litter Box with Lid

Cost $$$ High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 20.4 x 11.7 x 28 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use
Entry Type Top entry and front

 The Sfozstra Cat Litter Box with lid is a duel entry litter box with one entry at the front with the top serving as an entry and exit. Described as splash and leakproof by the manufacturer, the litter tray its self has lips to prevent litter sliding out. 

We noted that cats had mixed reactions to this litter box, with some weaker cats struggling to push open the front entry door. It is also more suited to smaller cats and kittens, with larger cats filling the toilet space. The drawer tray beneath is easy to extract for a quick clean or empty with rounded corners in the main unit making it easy to wash out, although tall walls may prove trying for owners with short arms. The long-handled scoop that is included has a hook for storage. 

Small dogs could gain entry if they want to, potentially becoming trapped and then panicking. It is made of environmentally friendly PP materials, but replacement drawer trays are not yet available. It weighs 6.61lbs.

Pros Cons
Tall walls to trap stray litter  Expensive
Good odor control Small dogs could gain entry
Environmentally friendly raw materials Some cats may struggle with the front entry

Rizarri Large Portable Litter Box

Cost $$$ High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 17 x 20 x 15 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use  
Entry Type Top and front entry

Rizarri’s Large Portable Litter Box has a modern, svelte design with a removable catch tray at the bottom. The hooded design has a 7.48-inch one-way front entry with a flap. Although described as ‘large’ and robust, this litter box is not as large as others, so that it would suit a smaller cat. 

The removable drawer makes it swift to clean, and the round sides are simple and easy to wipe down. The lip on the catch tray prevents litter falling into any cracks. The 4mm grille at the top aids litter being knocked off the kitty’s paws and the rubber seals trap odors well. 

The hooded design gives kitty privacy, although you can monitor through the transparent front door if need be. A scoop does come with the litter box, and, as the exit hole is to one side, it would be better to be situated with a wall behind so the kitty can clean their feet. It weighs 8.6ls. 

MelkTemn Foldable Cat Litter Box

Cost $$$ High
Self-Cleaning No
Size (dimensions) 18.9 x 15.75 x 14.96 inches
Ease of Use Easy to use 
Entry Type Top entry and front

Looking tremendously alike to the Suhaco Foldable Cat Litter Box mentioned earlier, the MelkTemn foldable Cat Litter box is green or grey with a white catch tray at the bottom. There is a large clear one-way entrance for kitty to enter, with the exit being upon the top. The one-way door prevents litter spilling out when kitty digs or covers. 

The foldable design is helpful for storage or when taking kitty away, but the parts create crevices that litter can fall into, so it has to be taken apart to clean thoroughly. It is not difficult to take apart and reassemble, though.

The seams and joints of the cover are not water-tight, so urine can leak out, especially if the cat is a high-sprayer. With a too shallow tray to catch everything, this litter box comes with a high price tag for what it offers. 

Pros Cons
Easy to fold Expensive
Good odor control Small dogs could gain entry
Environmentally friendly raw materials Some cats may struggle with the front entry

We hope that this article has given you food for thought. It always pays to look around and read reviews before committing to the purchase. You know your cat/s and home environment best, so you have to consider what will be best for both/all of you. 

Some Key Things To Remember;

  • Double-check the litter box size – will it fit your home, and is it good for kitty?
  • Will your cat use a top entry?
  • Is it practical for you from a cost point of view? Think about litter types and liners 
  • Will it leak if it has seams/joints? 

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