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Best Easy to Clean Top Entry Litter Boxes to Reduce Litter Tracking and Smells

By Debbie Short     Last Updated October 26, 2019

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If you have a cat that uses the litter box, you know that they can easily kick up a mess when they use it, and they can also track litter all over the floor. Not only can this be difficult to clean up, but it can be unsanitary too because they're tracking their waste products around.

A top entry litter box can help with this problem, we rounded up and reviewed the top five products from reputable brands. We're also going to put together a buyer's guide that will outline why you'd get one, how they work, benefits, compare two different styles, and more below.

Our Top Picks for the Best Entry Litter Boxes

How Do Top Entry Cat Litter Boxes Work?

top entry litter box being used in living room

These types of litter boxes work best for helping to reduce the amount of litter your cat tracks through your home after they use the litter box. It's a completely enclosed litter box that has an entry point on the top in the lid where your cat enters and exits the litter box.

The theory with these litter boxes is that the cat will exit the litter box, walk along the grated top, and the top will catch the spare pieces of litter on your cat's feet and keep it from tracking on your carpet. The high walls also prevent the cat from kicking litter out of the box when they use it, and it can keep your dog from getting in and eating the cat feces.

Should You Get a Top Entry Litter Box for Your Cat?

This is entirely up to you, but most cats seem to enjoy the additional privacy they get with this type of litter box. Unless your cat is older and very picky, you can only benefit from using this type of litter box because it helps to keep your home more sanitary and your cat's feces contained.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money on your first top entry box until you know whether or not your cat likes it, you can start out small and most up to a more expensive option. Just make sure that the top opening is large enough for your cat to fit through comfortably.

How to Get Your Cat to Use a Top Entry Litter Box

There are a few quick steps you can take to help transition your cat from their current litter box to the new style. This may take a few days from start to finish, but you should see your cat accept the new box relatively quickly.

Step One - Mix the Litter In

You don't want to switch litter along with switching the box, especially if your cat has only used a specific type of litter from day one. Instead, you can mix their regular litter in with the new litter, or you can simply add the regular litter straight to the new litter box.

Step Two - Place the New Litter Box in the Old One's Location

Once you get the litter mixed together, move the old litter box and put the new one in the exact same place. You may not want to get rid of the old litter box entirely in case your cat doesn't take to the new one, but you want to move it where your cat won't be tempted to see it and use it.

Step Three - Introduce the New Litter Box

Make it a point to introduce your cat to their new litter box by bringing them up to in and letting them smell it. If they'll let you, set them on the top of the litter box and let them explore it, and give them a day or two to get used to it. Make sure you double-check that they're going in the box and not anywhere else.

Benefits of Top Entry Cat Litter Boxes

There are a few benefits that come with using this type of litter box over other types of litter boxes. The biggest benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Tracking - Preventing tracking litter throughout the home is one huge reason people get these types of litter boxes. It makes it more sanitary for everyone involved, and it's relatively easy to keep up on because there will be less litter overall.
  • Smell Reduction - The enclosed litter box can help to keep your normal litter box smells contained and away from the general room. You'll be able to add more litter into the box as a whole, and this ensures that your cat buries their waste products.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing - Typical litter boxes aren't very nice to look at no matter where you place them in your home. Top entry boxes tend to look more aesthetically-pleasing because you can't see the cat waste or litter.

Top Entry Litter Box vs. Front/Side Entry Litter Box

A side-entry litter box usually has a door built into the side of one of the walls. There is a small lip that your cat has to step over to make it into the litter box, and this differs from the completely enclosed sides of the top entry box.

You also need more space in general for the side entry box because your cat has to have room to maneuver in and out without running into everything. You have to pair a side entry box with a litter mat to catch any stray litter that comes out, and this can be a bigger mess to clean up.

How to Clean Top Entry Litter Boxes

Cleaning your top entry box is relatively straightforward.

You simply remove the top, scoop the litter or empty it completely like you normally would, and clean out the mess before putting it back on.

You will eventually want to bleach out your litter box to get rid of any lingering germs that your cat leaves, but it's up to you how often you do this.

The smell can put your cat off, especially if you don't rinse it out and dry it to get rid of the bleach smell.

Our Top Five Picks for the Best Top Entry Litter Box

1. IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop

IRIS top entry litter box with scoop

This top entry cat litter box comes with a plethora of options that allow you to quickly and easily customize your order to your preferences including eight color combinations, three lid styles, two sizes, and multiple pack options. The rounded design makes cleanup quick and easy, both inside and out.

The bottom of the litter box contains non-skid rubber feet to help hold it in place as your cat jumps in and out of it. The top of the litter box comes with a slight lip that your cat can jump on before they jump into their litter box every time they want to use it.

You can choose from a filtered or solid lid choice, and the filtered lid allows your cat's litter to fall down in the holes back into the litter box. The litter scoop attaches straight to the side of the litter box, and this makes it easy to keep track of it between uses.

People who bought this litter box for their cats liked that it came with so many different options that allowed them to tailor their purchase to their individual cat's needs. They did say that the hole in the top of the litter box may not be big enough for larger cats to get in and out comfortably.

Things We Liked
  • Has different lid types
  • Litter scoop attaches directly to the litter box itself
  • Comes with rubber feet to prevent slipping
Things We Didn't Like
  • Hole may not be large enough for bigger cats
  • Might not remove all of the litter from your cat's paws
  • Lid clips on with plastic attachments

2. Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan Cat Litter Box

Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan

This deep litter box promotes privacy each time your cat uses it because it has enclosed sides with high walls that allow your cat to go to the bathroom without interruption. The opening for this litter box is also much larger, and this lets bigger cats slip through without being uncomfortable each time they do it.

You'll get rounded edges and handles built right into the side of this litter box that makes cleaning it and picking it up to clean in an easy and streamlined process every time. This litter box also comes compatible with a litter liner that prevents the litter from getting all over your floor form sticking to your cat's feet.

The lid itself is textured with small holes that help to remove the litter from your cat's feet when they get out of their litter box, so it doesn't spread everywhere. You'll find a hook for hanging your litter scoop right on the side of the litter box to keep everything together.

Cat parents who bought this item for their cats liked that it came with a larger opening that was easy for bigger cats to get in and out of without brushing the sides. Cat parents did say that there are only two plastic clips holding the top on, and the clips can come undone relatively easily.

Things We Liked
  • Has deeper sides and a wider build
  • Comes with a wider entrance hole for bigger cats
  • Has a litter scoop hook on the side
Things We Didn't Like
  • Can be difficult to clean the grated top
  • Top holy held on by two clips
  • Can buckle under heavier cats

3. Clevercat Top Entry Cat Litter Box

Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox

This simple and streamlined litter box comes in a larger design that is great for cats of all sizes, and it also has a larger entrance hole for your cat to go in and come out of without a problem. The top of the litter box contains an open concept design with ridges that help to scrape the litter off of your cat's feet when they exit the box.

The sturdy design has thicker walls and lids that suit bigger cats, and it also adds to the longevity of this litter box because it won't crack or break easily with repeated use. The sleek gray color works well with almost any decor or color scheme you have in your home.

You get rounded corners and a larger top that makes cleaning your cat's litter box easy because you can reach all of the tighter spaces to get all of the litter out. The taller design with the thicker top also makes this litter box almost dog-proof, and this is important for both your cat and your dog.

People who bought this litter box for their cats liked that it came with a slightly more open top to help catch the excess litter instead of the traditional holes. They did mention that the top can be more challenging to pull off the litter box itself due to sticking.

Things We Liked
  • Has a sturdy design with thick walls
  • Offers larger openings for excess litter
  • Comes with a secure lid
Things We Didn't Like
  • Can be difficult to remove the lid
  • May not be big enough for some cats
  • Has a narrower design along the bottom

4. Modkat Litter Box

Modkat Litter Box with Top Entry and Scoop

This sleek and modern litter box comes in three different colors including black, gray, and white that can fit into almost any decor without a problem. You'll get a large hole on the top of the litter box that allows your cat to get in, out, and look out as they're going to the bathroom.

The lid on this litter box swivels out when you want to clean it, and this hinged design makes it very easy to clean while still being able to keep your animals out. It comes with a reusable liner that provides a barrier between the litter and the box to make cleanup a breeze.

This litter box comes with a seamless base that ensures that your litter box won't leak when you clean it or move it around, and there is a hanging spot for the litter scoop to attach to the side of the box. The lid and liner snap into place, and this adds to the durability factor of the entire litter box. You'll get a sleek look with the higher shine materials that make up the outside of the litter box.

People who bought this item for their cat liked that it had a very modern design with a sleek look swivel lid that made for a secure litter box. People did say that the liner wasn't waterproof, and this could result in a mess if you don't clean your cat box regularly.

Things We Liked
  • Has a large swivel lid
  • Comes with a convenient liner
  • Has a very modern and sleek look
Things We Didn't Like
  • Can be difficult to clean the grate
  • Urine can soak through the tarp
  • Price - more expensive

5. Arm & Hammer Top Entry Litter Pan

Arm & Hammer Litter Pan

Arm and Hammer's litter box comes with high walls that give your cat a lot of privacy each time they use it, and it features a wide entry point on the top of the litter box that is great for larger cats to fit through. They top also comes with a larger grated design that helps to trap litter from your cat's feet.

The top of the litter box snaps on for added durability, and this also works to ensure that the cover doesn't slide around when you cat uses the litter box. You'll get a slim design that fits snugly against the wall to add stability to the box, and it's also easy to set out of the way.

There are rounded corners with this litter box that make it very easy to reach in and clean all of the different areas. It also comes with a sturdy base that makes it difficult to slid this litter box around or tip it over once you get the litter in the bottom.

Cat parents who bought this tall litter box for their cats liked that it came with a larger opening for bigger cats to slip through without a problem. Cat parents didn't like that this tall litter box doesn't have liners with it that can make cleanup easier.

Things We Liked
  • Has a very sturdy design
  • Lid attaches securely to the base
  • Rounded corners make cleaning easier
Things We Didn't Like
  • Difficult to get labels off
  • Doesn't have any liners with it
  • Holes in the lid may not be large enough to catch the litter

What's the Best Entry Litter Box?

Our pick for the best litter box with a top entry is the IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop because it comes with several options that allow you to quickly and easily customize your litter box to your preferences. The no-skid rubber feet help to adhere the litter box to the floor, and this works to keep the litter box stable.

We also liked that this litter box came with a small attachment space for the litter scoop because it is more convenient to keep everything together. Finally, this litter box's rounded design makes it easy to clean and maintain.