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Old 11-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
Kit
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Default Do baby gates work for cats?

I'm thinking ahead to Christmas. I have two kittens at home who will be 5-6 months during the time I will have the tree up. My boyfriend and I work full-time and aren't home during the day.

I thought we could keep the kittens in the basement while we're gone, to prevent any catastrophic incidents regarding the Christmas tree. But we don't have a door leading to the basement. If we purchased a baby gate, this should be able to keep the cats down? I don't think they'd have enough room to jump over it, but I'm not sure if they'd be able to climb it? Do baby gates work for cats?

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The cats will just climb or jump over the gate. You would probably have to buy a couple and stack one on the other and then somehow cover up the top of the opening!
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I bought one that is tall enough that my adult cat wouldn't be able to jump over it. But then I realized I don't need it, because he has no desire to go outside.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know if they'd be able to jump over it because they'd have little room to do it. They'd have the width of the stair. I would make sure the gate was fastened right at the top of the last step.

And as for climbing. Would they be able to climb one with only vertical bars? I tried to post a link but I can't. But some I've found have only vertical bars, no horizontal bars.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a garden fence that is six foot high + and cats can climb it!
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your cats won't need to climb the gate or jump over it in order to get out of the basement. What they will more likely do is to jump from the stair to the top of the gate, and then jump from the top of the gate to the other side. Voila...they have now escaped! And cats are incredible balancing artists.

I initially used baby gates to separate my two cats when I introduced them. I was certain (hah!) that Abby wouldn't be able to jump the gate, because the gate was 32 inches high and Abby was TINY. She was only 10 weeks old and weighed a little over 1 lb. When she was sitting, she was no bigger than a coke can. But the little monkey jumped onto the top of the gate (which was at least 6 or 7 times taller than her), and then she jumped down on the other side. Blew me away!
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Where there is a will there is a way. The only thing that ever kept a cat out for me was a solid closed door. .
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Dilute peppermint spray in some water and spray your tree. It worked for my sister's cat a few years ago (who would full out climb into it). I hear peppermint should be avoided but they avoid peppermint so ...
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Our xmas tree is always placed in a corner, and we always use string to tie it to the wall in at least one place. This way it shouldn't fall over, even if they do climb it. We are also very diligent the first few days we have it about spraying any of our cats who come near it with the squirt bottle. We make it very clear that being near the tree is not okay and (for the most part) they respect that.

A baby gate will not stop kittens. Of my 70+ fosters, every single one of them has learned to get over my baby gate, most before they were 8 weeks old.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I probably will just end up keeping them in a room while we're gone, if it looks like they'll be too curious.

I'm hoping that they'll think being underneath the tree is fun enough...and I'll be careful about putting ornaments too close to the bottom.
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