best top entry litter box

What Makes These The Best Top Entry Litter Boxes?


What Are The Benefits Of A Top Entry Litter Box?


​Top entry boxes mean less litter tracking.  Kitty can go to town digging and flinging. Some litter may still escape on paws.  Most boxes have either a grate on the top of the box, so that litter falls back into the box or else the lid has a textured top so that litter will rub off kitty’s paws (that's the idea) and stay on the top of the box.


​They are especially good if you live in an apartment or have limited space because firstly they don't take up much space and secondly there are some very attractive models, especially if it is on show.


​A top entry litter box is easier ​to carry and move around to another location ​compared to an uncovered litter box.


​​Top entry boxes definitely are a deterrent to dogs. Some large dogs may persist and have success however they will have to really persevere.


​​Cats have privacy with a top entry box.

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In a hurry? Head straight to Recommendations (link in the Contents) for a quick summary of our current recommendations.

The ​Best Top Entry Litter Boxes - Reviews

We have reviewed the top five top entry litter boxes.
​These litter boxes have similar qualities but consider whether you would prefer the box to have a matte plastic or shiny plastic finish, to have a litter scoop included, a reusable litter liner and so on. 

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

This box was designed to keep dogs from digging in the cat litter. If you have a large dog he may be able to put his head in the box, however he would have to fit his head and neck down into the box, fifteen or so inches, to get at the litter. That would be no easy task for most dogs. It’s difficult to say that a litter box will be entirely dog proof as it depends on the size of your dog and how persistent they are.

The measurements of the box are 15.07 inches  x 20.29 inches x 15.2 inches.

Top entry litter boxes make cleaning easier because the litter will not be flung out of the box as kitty navigates to the desired location, location, location.

The lid is textured which makes it easier for kitty to jump onto and land in an organized fashion plus the lid has a grating so that any stray bits of litter will fall back into the box.

It has a large opening suitable for cats of all sizes. You may want to think twice about this box if your cat is elderly and has trouble jumping. My cat is elderly but is still pretty good at jumping so this won’t apply to all elderly cats.

The handles are built in which is convenient (they won't break) and this makes the box easy to pick up.

The lid is hinged however the top can be still be removed for easier cleaning and there is a molded hook on the outside of the box for the scoop.

The scoop does not come with the box.

There was previously a raised section in the floor of the box that potentially could have made scooping difficult. That has (in 2017) been addressed and the surface is flat.

​Kitty Got itchy Feet? Traveling Kitty

Are you thinking of taking your cat traveling in a motor home? Cats can travel. It may not be the norm but someone will be planning on taking kitty on an adventure. This box would be ideal for traveling and easy to maintain because mess is the last thing you need in a confined space.

Here Is A Demonstration of The Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

5 of 5 Stars
IRIS Top Entry Litter Box

IRIS Top Entry Litter Box

The word attractive and litter box don’t usually go hand in hand however this box is attractive. It isn’t immediately obvious that it is actually a cat litter box.

It has an included litter scoop that hangs from the side of the box.

The lid also has grooves to help catch any litter that may be stuck to kitties paws as he leaps from the box.

There are 11 different colors to choose from so if this litter box is on display you will be able to find something to fit with your home decor.

If you are wondering about size, a 20 lb male cat has used this box successfully.

The measurements are 16.14" x 20.47" x 14.56". The opening is approximately 10.5" x 9".

There is not necessarily a need for liners using this box as the interior is easy to clean but any large liner could be used.

The entry into the box is somewhat of an enticement for the cat as we know how they love exploring new places.

4.5 of 5 Stars
Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox

Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox

​​This is a great box. It measures 20”x 15” x 15” with a 9” diameter entry.

It has a textured top to catch stray bits of litter before kitty jumps off. This works well for some cats however there’s always that exception to the rule and some cats explode out of the box and with that comes some of the litter.

The lid snaps on so it can’t be knocked off when the cat jumps up. The plastic is a thick and sturdy, matte plastic.

The plastic is matte as mentioned above. Some people prefer a hard shiny plastic as it can be easier to scoop and clean. Just something to think about. The matte plastic may be more friendly in the rough and tumble of everyday life and less easy to scratch than a shiny plastic.

The bottom of the box is totally flat, an important point when scooping.

When positioning the box, place the end of the box that has the entrance hole, towards a wall to make it difficult for dogs to get to and put their heads through the hole. We can outsmart those doggies.

Not everyone chooses to use liners however Clevercat do make them for this box, so there is always that option.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Modkat Top Entry Litter Box

This is the creme de la creme of functional and modern design incorporated into a cat litter box. It does cost more than the average box however it isn’t just pretty, it does work.

One of the great features is a reusable tarp liner that will ultimately save a lot of money if you currently use litter box liners.

The tarp liner is very sturdy and can be just lifted out of the box, litter and all when it is time to change the litter. The tarp has a tension band that snaps into place and keeps it firmly in place. The liner can be washed with warm soapy water and they are replaceable.

The length of time the liners last does vary from user to user. One suggestion is to make sure that there is a generous amount of litter in the box which stops kitty directly scratching the liner (as much as this is possible.)

Top entry boxes in general seem to help a little with odor control but really regular scooping is the answer here as with other litter boxes, however  litter tracking is greatly improved with top entry boxes.

The lid on the Modkat is swiveled so any litter on the top will fall back into the box when the lid is opened.The lid then locks back into place.

This may sound a little confusing but essentially you can open the top, the swivel action will mean the litter falls back into the box.  You can then scoop the box, add more litter and the lid will snap back into place when you are finished.

The dimensions are 16in x 16in x 15in and the entrance is approximately 9” diameter.

There are several different colors available, they all look fabulous with a sleek high gloss finish. It comes with a scoop which hangs from the side.

The attractive, modern yet functional design and the sturdy reusable liner plus the scoop make this box a winner.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Arm and Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan

The dimensions of this box are 15 inches x 20 inches x 15 inches. It is a rectangular shape rather than square.

The top entrance opening is approximately 9’ diameter. This is a fairly standard size opening however the IRIS  has a slightly larger opening.

The floor of the box is smooth and flat for easy scooping.  A totally flat floor makes scooping easier.

There is a little hook on the side for holding a scoop but the scoop is not included.

The finish is matte plastic. There are liners available separately for this box.

Not everyone uses the liners however it is good to have a choice if you do decide to use a liner.

The lid has a grate that can be seen in the photo which will enable any litter on the lid to fall back into the box when opened. The lid is sturdy and snaps into place to prevent the lid coming off when cats are exiting the box.

This is a very good top entry litter box at a good price and is good value for money.

​4 of 5 Stars

How To Train A Cat To Use A Top Entry Litter Box

Now you have the new top entry box. Drum roll! What will kitty think?
It can be a big deal for kitty, changing litter boxes, so be prepared and don’t try to make too many changes at once.
Your cat may simply make the change with no fuss, that would be great. ​As we can’t guarantee that, it is better to take some precautions to make the transition easier.


Put both boxes side by side for a few days until kitty has made the transition and no longer views the new box with disdain or totally ignores it.


Put some litter from kitty’s old box into the new box. You see kitty, we are clever too.  Cats have a keen sense of smell and kitty will know that this is his litter so it will be an okay, safe place to visit.


​Make sure the new box is nice and clean and leave the old box to get a bit dirty. A dirty trick, I know but we know kitties like clean

​NO GO says Kitty!

If your cat still refuses to use the box after trying the above steps then try this.

Pick up your kitty and gently place him on top of the box. Let him have a look around and let him jump off by himself.

Still no go? Try taking the lid off the box.

​Making Your Own Top Entry Litter Box

​​Making your own box by just cutting a hole in the top of a store bought tote box, usually raises two points. The store bought tote box would need to be very sturdy and the the entrance would need to be cut and sanded to get rid of rough edges - certainly doable, just not practical for everyone.

Our Recommendation is...

Pat Your Pet Enhanced Five Finger Grooming Gloves


There are three essential considerations​: Functionality, Design and Cost.

The Petmate hands down fulfills all three requirements and is therefore our recommendation.

​If appearance is of supreme importance then the Modkat must be the ​best choice. It really is like a piece of stylish furniture and would fit comfortably into the decor of any home without screaming - cat litter box.

Overall rating :  5 / 5

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Best top entry Litter Box

About the Author Rebecca Parker

Hello! I am Rebecca Parker, the content editor of this site. My kitty cat contracted diabetes at age 14. This means twice daily injections and to his dismay, no snacking in between meals. This gorgeous and very loved kitty is sadly now deceased, old age caught up with him.