24 answers

Best Baby Gates for a Home with a Cat

I was wondering if any of you who are cat owners have found a good way to use baby gates that will allow access to the full run of the house for the cat, but keep the baby contained? I have an almost one year old son and need to put gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, and in front of the food/litter box area. My cat is old and not very agile, so I don't think he could jump over a standard baby gate...and I would feel awful keeping him contained in a small area of the house. However, my son's safety is paramount. I looked into the gates that have "small pet" doors, but the doors are large enough that I think my son could fit through them.
Anyone have any product recommendations or solutions that worked for you? Any advice is appreciated!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Let us know what you choose. We have a normal sized cat and a 22 lb Maine Coon who need to be able to get downstairs to their litterbox. I worry that a gate high enough for the big cat to get under is also high enough for a crawling baby. I've jotted down the suggestions offered here, especially since we need gates for the stairs.

Good luck!

My kitty (almost 20 lbs. and 8 human years old!) can jump over the gates. I don't have any steps by my gates, but its just a thought!

Try hanging the baby gate so that the cat can squeeze UNDER instead of going over. Usually a cat can fit thru a pretty small space, smaller than the baby could or would try to.

Good luck!

More Answers

Try hanging the baby gate so that the cat can squeeze UNDER instead of going over. Usually a cat can fit thru a pretty small space, smaller than the baby could or would try to.

Good luck!

Raise the baby gate just high enough for the cat to slide under but not your son. I had to do that for my cat.

Let us know what you choose. We have a normal sized cat and a 22 lb Maine Coon who need to be able to get downstairs to their litterbox. I worry that a gate high enough for the big cat to get under is also high enough for a crawling baby. I've jotted down the suggestions offered here, especially since we need gates for the stairs.

Good luck!

Sorry I do not have an advice,my inlaws have a gate with a pet door...well last week my hubby and FIL were upstairs with the kids and my MIL and I were downstairs. I looked up and there was our 18 months old standing at the top of the stairs(very long and hard wood).....I do not think I ran that fast in my life:)Our son is a size of a 2 year old and still fit easily through the pet door.Hope somebody will have a good idea.

Cats can usually squeeze through pretty small spaces so I would get whatever gate you like the most and raise it just high enough that your cat can squeeze under it.

Think about gating halls and doorways rather then right at the top and bottome of the stairs. You may be able to gate your son away from the stairs but only limit the cat's access to some rooms giving him access to food and litter and common areas. For example, gate your bedroom and your son's bedroom.

We have a gate similar to this one http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2333090 and I feel like the bars may just be wide enough for a cat to go through(but we don't have cats, so I can't say for sure...measure it!).
At any rate, definitely do not get one with a pet door in it, because my son figured out he could crawl through our small dog door when he was 8 mos old.

I have used the tension gates (cheap wooden ones from wal-mart) and simply placed them about 4 inches off the floor. Almost any cat under 14 pounds can fix through a 4 inch spot, but very very few 1 year olds can shimmy under. If you find the munchkin still getting under, take a piece of lumber such as a 2" by 6", cut it to the length of the doorway, and have your hubby notch out a small (4" by 5") hole in the center, then use brackets to attach it to the bottom of the gate.Set the gate high enough that the board sits flat on the floor, and the hole will allow the cat to scootch through but afford the kid no room for such feats.

Good luck!

We have the Evenflo SimpleStep pressure mounted baby gate; my husband bent one of the vertical bars just slightly so our cats can fit through one slot, and it works great (unless your cat is very large). At first, we weren't sure if the cats would figure it out, but in one day, they had it down. We got it at Target (around $36, I think). This can't be used at the top of the stairs; for that, we have the KidCo Safeway Gate G20, which we just mounted with hardware high enough so that the cats can go underneath, but our twins cannot.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2755237
Maxi Metal Walk-through Gate w/Small Door

This is a link from Petsmart. I don't know how their prices compare to on line sites but it is what you are looking for. It comes in different sizes and I have also seen it in black too. (depending on your color scheme). I am replacing all our "baby gates" wth "animal gates" like this to keep the dog out of areas and let my fat cats have access.

Hi!! I have a 19 year old cat that I would never jump the gates, but my God he does. You will be surprised how they get the energy to do things when they see an 9 month crawling towards them!!! Wahoo! Use the gates. The cat will adjust just fine.

Any gate will do - just make sure there are a few inches of space under the gate for the cat to scoot under. Anyplace he can fit his head, his body will follow. We had a kitten that we thought wouldn't be able to jump our baby gates (we have them up for the dog, but the have to be on the floor because the dog is a corgi who tried to fit under the gates to follow the cat). That kitten jumped them the first night home! Your cat will be fine.

Any gate should work fine but don't get one with the pet door. Not only will you baby be able to go through the door, it is a waste of money to pay the extra. Cats climb and jump...it is in their nature! We have one...just a plastic ones that have little round holes throughout the body and it works great and the cat has NO problem getting over it.

Hi, A..
I just wanted to respond to the part of your post in which you mention your suspicion that your son could fit through a small pet door. You are probably correct. My in-laws have small dogs, and "small dog" doors in their house, and my two-year-old daughter can fit through them with startling ease.

My best suggestion with regard to keeping the food/litter box off-limits to your son but not to your cat is to make a big point of it with your son. We keep our cats' litter box in the downstairs walk-in shower, which is never really used, and their food/water is close by. Any time our daughter has shown interest in these items over the past year or so, I have given her a stern "no touch", similar to what I have issued when she has ventured near the stove. I think if you save your most serious rebukes for just a few really important no-no's, most babies will absorb the message after a few repeats (and lots of vigilance in the meanwhile). I say that even as the mother of a VERY determined, headstrong child.

Good luck keeping both your baby and your kitty companion safe and happy.

Previously I have used tension gates, but put them 6 or so inches off of the floor so that the cat can go under the gate. It works until your child realizes that he too can squeeze under the gate. That is the only thing that I have done though. I'm going to have to babyproof again, and I don't know what we'll do then.

I have the regular old pressure gates and I just raise it up enough for my cat to get underneath it. It is pretty simple but very effective in our house. Our cat is not huge though so that may not work for everyone. I hope this helps you.

A.,

We had a situation where our dog was trying to get into the room where the kitty litter was kept. We took a baby gate and raised it about 5 inches off the floor then set it into the door, that way the cats wouldn't have to jump over it they could just crawl under it. We tool had an older fragile cat and it worked out great for her.

My kitty (almost 20 lbs. and 8 human years old!) can jump over the gates. I don't have any steps by my gates, but its just a thought!

I have the perfect solution! Elevate the gate a few inches off the ground then secure it to the wall. Your cat can then just go under. Just make sure it isnt a big enough gap for your sons head so that he cannot crawl under.
I had to elevate mine to keep the kids from climbing over, lol.

We just took an ordinary baby gate from Walmart and cut out, with a utility knive, a cat door for ours (just big enough for the cat to go through). It has worked great and was inexpensive.

I wish I had some excellent answers for you, but I don't. However I have some information to share. --- We have a cat sized dog (8 lbs) and we tried the gates with the little doors and REST ASSURED your son CAN get through them!! Not only can he get through them. He will barrell through a hole you thought might be too small so fast you won't even think there's a gate there. ---- And so did a two and a half year old that was visiting. It's insane! I wish I had an answer, but maybe I can save you some money... don't try it!

We have two cats and a 17 month old son who is quite the Houdini. I've basically used tall, secure gates at the bottom and top of the stairs. It keeps the cats from going upstairs, which actually works for us. They can jump over them if they really wanted to, but seem to not find that the effort is worthwhile! I used cheap tension gates everywhere else. I also use a sturdy metal fireplace gate around the fireplace and entertainment area. These are held in place by furniture, so the baby can't get through but the cats can go under or hop over the furniture -- not attractive, but it works. As long as the barriers are elevated a little, or short enough, the cats manage fine. My cats are 12 years old.

We also have a cat at home. Of course we only live in a small apt so we only have a need for one baby gate. What we did was take the baby gate a made it higher off the ground so she(our cat) can crawl under, but our son can't. It works for us. Our son doesn't even consider trying to crawl under and our cat can.

Kiddy guard retractable gates are great and they have enough give that your cat could probably get under them. Check out www.onestepahead.com . Good luck

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.