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The ultimate guide to flip-top litter boxes.

October 10, 2020 9 min read

Is it going to be a covered litter box for your skittish kitty? Or will you choose an open-air forum for your fearless feline to pee in? More thought needs to go into choosing the best litter box for your kitty than you might expect.  

The perfect litter box will keep your cat healthy, your floors clean, your air fresh, and your household vibe feeling sleek and modern. Plus, kittens, senior cats, and cats with mobility impairments may all need something more than a standard litter box. That's a lot to ask of a simple box, we know.

Even if your cat has no obvious reason to prefer one style box over another, she may show a distinct preference for a covered can or an open-top loo. And who's to know what kitty is going to want when you make your purchase? 

For cats with changeable preferences, there's the flip-top litter box. What is that? How does it work? And is it the right box for me and my cat?

Below is our all-inclusive guide to the flip-top litter box along with everything you need to know about choosing the right litter box for your feline housemate.

 

Features of the best indoor cat litter boxes.

With so many boxes on the market, what attributes define a truly high-quality litter box? Is it size? Does a large litter box outrank a small litter box? What about odor control? Accessibility? Style?

All those littebox qualities figure into the mix, for sure, but the most important feature to look for is this: human and cat approval. The best litter boxes keep both cats and their people healthy and happy. Sound easy? It's not. Our two species are fundamentally divided on the question of what makes a great litter box. 

What cats want in a litter box.

The best litter box is the one your cat will use. Cats don't judge their boxes on how much you paid for it or how cute it looks in your apartment. They're asking for something a bit more practical. For instance, cats want things like:

Accessibility — Cats love boxes that make getting in and out easy. A young, injured, or senior cat may appreciate a front-entry box while an energetic adult mouser probably prefers diving in from above. Whether you choose a front-opening or a top-entry box, you'll want to make sure the opening is large enough for your cat to slide through comfortably.

Space — How much real estate does a cat need to do his business on? A good rule of thumb is to purchase a spacious litter box that's at least one-and-a-half times your animal's length and wide enough on the sides to turn around easily. For big boys and girls, you might need a box that exceeds 20 inches in length. Smaller cats can adjust to a standard litter box.

Security — Your pet doesn't want a stinky box, a small box, or a loud box, and he definitely doesn't want a visit from a cold-nosed canine while he's squatting on the potty. Remember that in the wild, cats are predators, but they are also prey for other animals. A cat's natural instinct, therefore, is to limit its vulnerability. And we're rarely more vulnerable than when we're in the john. So a litter box needs to offer a feeling of safety from loud sounds, heavy foot traffic, and nosy hounds.

Basically, cats want a safe, clean, and quiet spot to go in. And really...that's not too much to ask, but it's not always easy to find either.

 

What humans want in a cat's litter box.

Humans, on the other hand, tend to favor more esoteric values. They ask questions such as: Will that litter box look out of place in my living room? Would a disposable litter box harm the environment? And what about a covered box that contains odors?

These are all great questions. After all, you have to live with this litter box, too. If it makes your apartment look messy, it's on you. 

Cat urine odor? Also on you. 

Pebbly floors? You. 

As a cat owner, it's reasonable to want a box that makes your home feel cleaning and inviting to guests, family, and friends. What does that look like in practice?

  • A great litter box blends in with your furniture. Modern, streamlined design keeps your house looking like a home. 
  • A human-approved litter box is sturdy, preventing leaks, cracks, or sags.
  • You find it easy to clean. Taking care of a litter box involves daily scooping and refilling along with weekly scrubbing with hot water and cleaner. You don't want to make this job any tougher than you have to. Get an easy-to-clean box

Often beautiful and simple, the best boxes make cleaning a snap and keep litter off the floors. They also come with a litter scoop for easy clean up and high sides to keep energetic pee-ers from shooting a subtle stream over the litter box wall. 

 

Do the best litter boxes open on the top or the sides?

The best litter boxes open wherever your cat wants to enter the box. Got a front-entry feline? Go with a front-entry box. Top-entry tigers in your house? Provide them with what they like.

That's the genius of a flip-top litter box, which features an adjustable lid for three different opening positions. If your cat changes preferences, you can swap out your opening without having to buy a whole new box.
 
When we prototyped our first Modkat — long before we thought about the Flip — our goal was simple: to create a box cats loved in a sleek design that complemented modern furnishings. Acclaim such as the prestigious Red Dot Design Award tells us we did our job. Better, though, are the snippets of applause we get from our customers who tell us:

  • The Flip is well designed and easy to clean.
  • Easy to clean. No seams. I leave the first flap flipped open for my cats. Aesthetically pleasing.
  • The box turns into an interactive cat toy which the cats love!

Is a flip-top litter box the right option for your pet? Here's how to know.

 

How to choose the best litter box.

Your cat's size, preferences, and elimination style merge with your home's size and your budget to provide you with a map to the perfect litter box.

 

Choosing the right-size litter box.

Just as you probably enjoy having personal space around you when you take a seat on the throne, your cat also relishes the space to do business without interference. Cats need room to turn around, scratch, squat, and skedaddle. In general, you need a box that is 1.5 times your cat's length and as wide as your cat is long from nose tip to tail nub.

 

What kind of litter box does your cat prefer?

Some cats like top-entry litter boxes, which lets cats crouch down, leap up, and dart into a hole and hide. All fun activities if you're a cat! Other felines feel like a door they can walk through more sedately suits them. The debate between covered and uncovered boxes has raged throughout the cat community for decades.A comparative study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery found that cats in general actually have no preference.

 

Do you have a high pee-er, a side pee-er, or a back pee-er?

Cats pee differently. Some spray a high stream. Others shoot in a different direction. A few cats like to deposit a high volume of urine while others leave only a dab in the box.The urine of unneutered male cats emits a particularly pungent odor, and these animals tend to spray more often than neutered males and females do. Your box needs to account for your cat's distinctive elimination habits.

 

Your home, your litter box.

Your cat's box sits in your house. Therefore, while your cat has to love her bathroom, it's only fair that you love it, too. Would you prefer a corner litter box or does a sleek, stand-alone option better suit your home's look? Are you hoping to hide the box in a piece of furniture or will you need something more flexible? Remember that your cat's box should sit in a low-traffic area that's well lit and easy to access. Hiding the kitty litter box in the basement or the laundry room won't work.

 

Affordability: how to buy a cat box on a budget.

No one wants to break the bank on a box for a pet cat to do bathroom business in. As with other things, however, the cheapest option is not always the most affordable one. Flimsy plastic boxes can split, crack, and break. They can also absorb smells that quickly make them unusable. 

That said, you probably don't want to shell out a lot of money for a piece of furniture if you aren't sure your cat will use it. That's why the flexible and affordable Flip litter box can make a great option for a first-time cat parent. 

 

Tips for selecting the right top-entry cat litter box.

Is a top-entry litter box right for you and your cat? If so, here's how to select the best option on the market:

  1. It needs to look chic. A sleek, modern, and streamlined style is one major benefit of a top-entry cat litter box. Don't skimp on appearance when you're picking out your cat's bathroom. Instead, give yourself the gift of a classy vibe.
  2. It should have a litter elimination system in place. Top-entry boxes usually don't come with litter mats. Instead, they have systems to trap the litter on cats' paws and keep your pets from tracking little litter pebbles all around the house.
  3. The entry hole should offer plenty of space for a large cat. Your cat should not feel like he's squeezing through a cave called Fat Cat's Folly every time he needs to take a whiz. Getting in and out of the bathroom should seem easy and natural. The opening at the top of the litter box needs to have enough space for any kitty to enter and exit comfortably.
  4. The price tag needs to fit your budget. No litter box is worth months of credit card debt. Remember, though, a cheap box can come with a lot of hidden costs. You know what you can afford and what would be a pinch on your finances, so just be smart with your money when you're investing in a cat box.
  5. The box should come with a swivel lid. A lid that swivels makes scooping out the box easy and clean. Any stray litter left on the lid falls back inside, and the lid lifts straight off, providing full access for thorough cleaning.

 

Tips for selecting the right front-entry cat litter box.

Do you care for a kitten, an older cat, or a cat with mobility impairments? A front-entry or flip-type litter box probably makes your best option. Here's how to pick one:

  1. Make sure you get a high-sided litter box. A cat who has trouble jumping doesn't necessarily have trouble peeing. Even senior cats can shoot a powerful stream over the side of an open-top box. Try a box that's around 17 inches high to keep urine where it belongs.
  2. Don't be tempted by an automatic litter box. What could be better than  having a robot scoop out the cat litter box for you? automatic litter boxes seem appealing, but they come at a high cost. Often, the device scares cats who then refuse to use the box. Besides, you'll have to clean the used litter box eventually. In this case, an unconventional choice rarely proves satisfying.
  3. Look for a durable scoop and liner. A hard plastic or metal scoop and a rip-resistant tarpaulin liner Outperform thin and flimsy plastic every time. You'll save money in the long run by investing and high-quality pet products upfront. 
  4. Find a box with an effective litter mat. Modern cat boxes feature a walk-off litter mat designed to trap tiny pieces of litter that cling to cats' feet. In 2020, there's no reason for a pet parent I have to endure a pebbly floor.
  5. Stick with a modern design. Pet sights and odors can make or break your home's look and feel. There's no point in feng shui if your place smells like a cat's bathroom. treat yourself, your guests, and your cat to a sleek, modern, and cat-friendly litter box.

 

Benefits of a flip-top litter box.

Why choose a flip-top litter box over other options on the market? Here are five reasons:

  1. Easy to clean. Flip the lid once for daily scooping, twice for thorough cleaning. You can remove the hood completely when you really want to dig in. Plus, this box provides odor control and high sides that contain pebbles and urine.
  2. Spacious enough for even large cats to feel comfortable. Cats of any size can enjoy a flip-top litter box. At 20 inches long, our Flip litter box noses in right behind our Modkat XL, the 20.3-inch extra-large property we created for our plus-size friends. Cats of nearly any size have all the space they need to turn around, scratch, and squat.
  3. Lets your cat do business in private. Some kitties feel more comfortable peeing in private. A hooded box makes them feel less vulnerable to predators.
  4. Provides easy access for kittens, cats with disabilities, and senior cats. Unlike a top entry box, a flip-top litter box makes it easy for cats that can't jump to make it to the bathroom. Young kittens, cats with mobility impairments, and older felines appreciate the chance to walk through the stall door without having to perform a gymnastics routine before peeing.
  5. Looks elegant in your home. The flip looks like furniture, not like a cat's latrine. It looks great in your house, keeping you healthy and happy right along with your cat.

 

Finding the perfect litter box can feel like searching for the Holy Grail. But it doesn't have to. To learn more about cats, their bathroom habits, and your flip-top litter box options, check out Modkat's side-by-side comparison of our award-winning products.



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