Are Top Entry Litter Boxes Bad for Cats? The Do’s and Don’ts

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 03/12/23 •  6 min read
Cat looking out a top entry litter box

Are top entry litter boxes bad for cats?

This is a common question and topic of conversation amongst cat owners, especially those looking for the best way to pick the best cat litter box for their kitties.

Well, if you’ve been asking yourself that, it could mean you’ve been misinformed.

The truth is that there are many benefits to using a top-entry litter box for your cat, but there are also some drawbacks.

Many people like to use traditional clay litter boxes.

But do you ever think about how cats use their litter boxes and what type of litter box is best for cats?

Before I dive into the pros and cons of this type of kitty box, let’s first discuss what exactly makes it so great.

What is a top-entry litter box?

It is a litter box that enables your cat to use the top of an enclosed box to access and exit.

 The sides are often high, and your cat can usually enter and depart by a small hole in an open top.

It is ideal for preventing litter scattering and containing spraying.

Top entry litter box pros and cons

Pros of top-entry litter boxes:

  1. It’s easy to clean. Simply remove the lid and wash it with soap and water.
  2. It’s lightweight and compact, so you can move it around easily.
  3. Fits in a variety of spaces, including under furniture and corners
  4. Convenient: The top entry litter box is easy to use.
  5. Easy to access: You can remove the entire tray if you need to.
  6. It provides privacy for your cat.
  7. Prevents litter from being tracked around the house

Cons of top-entry litter boxes:

  1. The top entry litter box isn’t designed for multiple cats.
  2. It is not suitable for kittens younger than two months of age.

Should I get a top-entry litter box?

You should get a top-entry litter box for several reasons:

Are top-entry litter boxes suitable for large cats, senior cats, or kittens?

Top-entry boxes are also not suitable for senior cats, large cats, or kittens.

These cats may not be able to jump up to the top of the box and may not be able to clear their paws enough to move around there comfortably.

A smaller kitten who is still learning how to use the litter box, may not be able to reach down to the bottom of the box. This is where a side-entry litter box would serve as a better kitten litter box.

Large cats can easily knock the lid of the top-entry litter box, causing it to slide forward and out of position.

As with any type of litter box, top-entry litter boxes aren’t suitable for all cats.

If your cat has a fear of the litter box, or if you’re concerned about your cat’s health or safety in its presence, you can use a regular covered litter box instead.

How Do I Get a Cat to Use a Top Entry Litter Box?

You may be wondering how to get your cat to use a top entry litter box.

The truth is, it’s not difficult, but it does take time and patience.

To make sure your cat uses the litter box properly, you should place it in an area that is free of dangers. By placing the litter boxes in these creative locations with no threats nearby, you will be able to get your cat to use them easily.

Frequently Asked Questions:   

Do cats like a top-entry litter box?

Cats like a top-entry litter box, but they also have their preferences.
The best way to determine if your cat will use the top-entry litter box is to put it in her usual litter spot, place different types of cat boxes next to each other, and see what happens.
If she uses it, then you should be able to make it work for her.
The only downside to using a top-entry litter box is that it can be a little bit awkward for smaller cats who have trouble getting into the right position or who need help climbing over obstacles such as toys or other kitty items.

Is a top-entry litter box bad?

No, top-entry litter boxes are not bad.
They are just one of many types of cat litter boxes available.
Some people prefer them because their cats can more easily access the box and because it’s easier to clean.
Others have friends or family with cats who don’t like to use traditional boxes, so they use a top-entry one.
The decision whether or not to use a top-entry litter box is up to you and your cat.

Can kittens use a top-entry litter box?

No, kittens cannot use a top-entry litter box with ease.
This is especially if they are less than 8 weeks old.
Kittens are small creatures and will find it difficult to climb up and over the sides of the box.
Since they are very curious creatures who love to explore their surroundings, they may end up falling inside the top entry box and getting stuck inside.

Do cats like deep or shallow litter boxes?

Cats prefer the shallow type of litter box because it allows them to keep an eye on what is going on around them.
They also like the ability to get in and out of the litter box without having to bend down too far or stretch out too much.


As a cat lover and owner, I was shocked to uncover the truth about this seemingly harmless topic.

 I have shared what I learned with you to help you understand top-entry litter boxes better.

If you’re considering switching your cat to a top entry litter box, please be aware of the disadvantages, as well as the pros.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide what will work best for your situation.

Having gone through the pros and cons, what will be your decision?

Davis Wilkins

Davis Wilkins is a dedicated cat lover, with three cats under his care. He grew up in a cat-loving family, nurturing these feline friends. As a result, he purposed to share his cat knowledge with the universe. Wilkins has been writing professionally for over four years, specializing in feline care with a keen interest in litter box care and handling. He hopes to help other feline lovers achieve their pet care goals.