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Should You Switch to Top Entry Litter Box? The Pros & Cons

February 03, 2021

For cat owners worldwide, the subject of what type of litter trays to use for their pets has always been up for discussion, but the top entry litter box has always been one of the top and most common choices. Not everyone has the luxury of space for their cats to go to the toilet in.

An enclosed litter box with an open top has become quite the norm for many people - even for those with space just because of its practicality and the privacy it gives the cats when going to the toilet. Some people even claim that they lessen the kitty litter smell from spreading throughout the house. Read on for a rundown on top entry litter box pros and cons.

top entry litter box the pros and cons

The Pros

Are top entry litter boxes better? The top entry or top entering litter box is famous and commonly used for many reasons, but from a human's point of view, several stand out.

Here are the pros when it comes to using a Top Entry Litter Box:

Privacy for your Cat

Do cats like top entry litter boxes? Some definitely do. They prefer the sense of privacy and the enclosed space. Let's face it - cats are weird creatures. Some of them are perfectly fine with going to the toilet in front of people, and some despise it. This is also one of the few reasons why some cats are harder to train to use a litter box.

Even as kittens, some of these behaviours are inherent, and there's no simple way to change that. The simple solution to this is by providing them with enough privacy that they feel comfortable enough to go to the toilet while still being able to see their surroundings.

Less Space

Like we've talked about earlier, different types of litter boxes take up varying amounts of space in your house. The top entry litter box is minimal, so you won't have to worry about taking up too much space if you live in a small area. Nobody wants their visitors to be greeted by a litter box because they don't have enough room in their apartment.

Since most of the litter is not visible, the top entry box is also less obviously a litter box; mostly, it just looks like a rectangular piece of plastic. This can also help to reduce the sense of clutter if space is at a premium in your house or apartment.

Litter Tracking

Litter tracking is one of the most annoying things to have to deal with when you're living with a feline friend. This often happens when cats aren't entirely inside the litter box or aren't finished yet, but they leave the box. A top entry litter box ensures that the litter does not leak at all since it's enclosed, and cats need to be inside the box to do their deed correctly.

It’s impossible to get your cat to wipe his or her feet after finishing up in the litter box, but a top entry litter box may be the next best thing because of the extra steps required to enter and exit the box.

Prevents Health Risks

If you're living with children - especially those who are still too young to understand that cat poop is bad for their health - top entry litter boxes are great at deterring them from trying to get a hand on the kitty's litter. Also, if you have dogs, these are also great at keeping them away because, for some reason, kitty litters are one of their favourite things to mess around with!


This one is something that all cat owners agree on. No matter how much sand you leave in their litter, there's bound to be some smell left in your litter. This is worse when using litter boxes that are wide open because there's a lot of room for the air to swoop in and permeate the odour.

It's definitely better to use a top entry litter box if you want to avoid your entire house smelling of cat litter, or at least some reminiscent smell that hangs around.

The Cons

Obviously, there will always be some takeaways despite how nice top entry litter boxes seem. It still depends on your cat’s personal preference as all cats are different, but these are the cons that most cat owners face when keeping a top entry litter box.


Yes, the “odour” factor has made its way into both the pros and cons list. This is because, just like humans, cats don't like strong smells either. In fact, they have a much more sensitive sense of smell than their owners do. When you're keeping litter inside the box, it keeps the smell away from the rest of the house, but it gets much more potent and concentrated inside.

Due to this more pungent odour inside, if it gets left uncleaned for a while, the smell might deter your kittens from entering it, and they'll end up going to the toilet in some other place in the house.


Although we've mentioned that cats do indeed value their privacy, for most animals, when they go to the toilet, they have to ensure they're safe because that's when they're most vulnerable in nature.

An enclosed litter box might make your cat feel like they have only one means of escape, and most cats don't like that. If you have cats that aren't that comfortable yet, they might not trust the box enough to litter in it.


Like their humans, cats get less agile with age too. With older and less agile cats, litter boxes that only have openings at the top might make it hard for them to jump down into the litter and out. If your cat finds it hard to go in and out of these litter boxes, they might end up not using them at all.


Cats' litter has to be kept dry to ensure that the odour isn't as strong and that the solids and liquids inside clump with the litter. If it isn't dry enough, the things inside won't be clumping. Since a top entry litter box doesn't have as much air circulation, it will potentially be more humid than other types of litter boxes.

However, this may not be a serious concern except in very wet or humid climates. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask other pet owners who live nearby whether they have any issues with litter box humidity.


Overall, there are many pros and cons when it comes to the top entry litter box, and although we'd argue that the pros definitely outweigh the cons, there are certain situations that call for you to use other types of litter boxes instead.

What’s the best top entry litter box? Check out our range of durable and affordable top entry litter boxes and select the one that best fits your needs. At the end of the day, if your cat doesn't like using top entry litter boxes because of the smell, or because it has a hard time climbing in and out of it, or for some reason it just doesn't want to use it, then you're left with no choice than to get it something it's comfortable with.

At Modern Pets, we’ve got all your cat supply needs covered – from litter boxes and catnip toys to cat grooming accessories, smart feeders, collars and more.