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!

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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!

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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!

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