Does Your Cat Need a Top Entry or Front Entry Litter Box?






Finding the right litter box is a dance between you and your cat. You might desire a smaller litter box. Kitty might want a larger box offering privacy. Plus, the age and agility of your cat may define the kind of litter box you need. Learn about the pros and cons of top entry vs front entry litter boxes and which one might be best for you and your kitty.


What Is a Top Entry Litter Box?

A top entry litter box is an enclosed litter with an entrance for kitty on top, generally with airflow. Top entry litter boxes may be purrrr-fect for your home if your cat has more agility as a leaper or climber and doesn’t mind spending time by themselves in an enclosed area.


What Is the Point of a Top Entry Litter Box?

Top entry litter boxes are particularly effective at limiting litter tracking . As rambunctious as kitty might be, they won’t be able to fling litter from a top entry box because of the high side walls. Enclosed litter boxes also trap odors better than front entry litter boxes.


Top entry litter boxes have utility in other areas as well. Some cats “pee high,” meaning they do not squat and may pee against the side of litter box. If this is the case for your cat, then you may need a top entry with a higher side.


In some cases, peeing high—or peeing outside the litter box in general—might be a sign that your cat is in distress .


What Is a Front Entry Litter Box?

A front entry litter box is a covered box that has an entrance on the front or side for your feline to simply walk right into. It’s not an open litter box, but rather a hooded litter box that can have flaps for entry.


That said, open litter boxes can become front entry litter boxes when hidden in cat furniture. Some of these litter box hiders look like storage shelves or end tables. Others might look like crates with double doors.


The height of the entry may vary. Older or “senior” cats might need a low-entry litter box because they are more accessible, which helps when Bubbles’ joints have stiffened and the muscles are weaker. Moreover, kittens might need an open litter box or a low front entry box as they develop , probably until they are at least 4-to-6 months old.



is a front entry or top entry litter box better

Do Cats Prefer Front or Top Entry Litter Boxes?

There is no evidence that cats in general prefer one type of litter box over another , but your kitty may have opinions. Some cats, depending on age and agility as well as preference for solitude, may prefer top entry litter boxes. Older and overweight cats are likely to prefer front entry litter because of the lesser physical demands.


Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both litter boxes.




Pros and Cons of Top Entry vs Front Entry Litter Boxes

As you think about the litter box best suited to kitty and your home, consider the upsides and downsides of top entry and front entry litter boxes:


 Top Entry Front Entry 


  • Offers privacy
  • Contains litter well
  • Does not leak and contains spraying
  • Enclosed design traps odors
  • Takes up less space
  • Hide waste well
  • Easy to move if necessary
  • Keeps dogs or other pets out


  • Some cats might dislike the isolated feel of top entry
  • Kitty may not appreciate using a litter box that has trapped odors
  • Not ideal for older/overweight cats and kittens
  • Can be harder to find the right top entry box and some may be more expensive



  • Accessible for cats of all ages and sizes
  • Easy to clean
  • Kitty can move around more freely when using the bathroom
  • Prevent dampness and clumping buildup if cleaned properly




  • Do not contain spraying and are generally messier
  • Odors not trapped as effectively
  • Easier for kitty to drop litter clumps outside the box
  • Might not keep dogs or other pets out



Do Cats Know How to Use Top Entry Litter Boxes?

Kitty will ultimately grow accustomed to their litter box if they accept the environment and scent, and many cats might prefer top entry litter boxes. The more important factor is how you introduce kitty to the top entry so they can get comfortable! Think outside the box (get it), if you have to!


If your kitten-turned-grown feline has aged out of the small size, low entry box you got them as a kitten, try the following to get them to use a top-entry box. Be sure to have an extra litter box option for kitty while they’re learning, though!


  • Put the top entry litter where the front entry used to be located.
  • Fill the top entry with a few scoops of fresh litter and add some old litter to the new box.
  • Kitty should pick up on the scent and act accordingly.


It’s entirely possible your cat struggles to adjust to the top entry litter box. That’s perfectly ok! You may choose to gently place them on top of the litter box  so they can gain familiarity. You might also look to place the lid from the new top entry next to your old litter box so kitty begins to understand the scent, then place the lid back on top before disposing of your old litter box altogether.


Where Is the Best Place to Put a Cat Litter Box in Your House?

Different cats have different preferences, but you’ll want to keep kitty’s litter somewhere where they feel safe and private. Ideally, you can find a quiet, corner-type location for your furball’s litter , away from food and where they usually sleep but an area that is still easily accessible.


You’d also be wise to avoid any areas close to household appliances and take care not to place the litter directly below or next to air vents and drafts. You can also scout out places to “hide” the litter box in plain sight . Or, activate kitty’s stealth mode with a DIY litter box hider !



cats coming in and out of litter box for multicat

What Litter Should You Use for a Top Entry vs Front Entry Litter Box?

Most litters can be used for both top and front entry litter boxes, but lightweight litter may be better for top entry  since you have to lift and pour litter when cleaning. Ultimately, however, litter choice comes down to comfort, both for you and kitty.


Try ARM & HAMMER™ cat litters  with baking soda to neutralize odors and the soft texture kitties love.



ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litter for Top Entry and Front Entry Boxes

Whether you’re a newer cat Mom or Dad looking for a litter for your kitten’s front entry box or a seasoned veteran who has monogrammed your litter boxes with kitty’s name, ARM & HAMMER™ has the litter you need. Whether scented or unscented, find an ARM & HAMMER™ litter that will make kitty comfortable and help keep odors out of your living spaces.


Try These ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litters



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