One of the best ways to keep felines out of harm’s way is with a cat gate. Gates are no longer just for babies and dogs. Curious cats can also benefit from these useful barriers. No matter your reason for needing one of our best cat gates, there’s an array of options from which to choose. But with so many features to consider, we’ve done the homework for you.  

We spoke with a few cat behaviorists to dive into the benefits of gates and the features to look for. Here’s our list of seven of the best cat gates to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Our Top Cat Gate Picks

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After browsing the myriad pet gates on the market, we narrowed them down to the following:

7 Best Cat Gate Picks of 2024

Are you ready to buy a pet gate for cats but aren’t sure where to begin? Here’s a list of seven gates that might be perfect for your home and family. 

Best Retractable Cat Gate

Our Pick: Retract-A-Gate by Smart Retract

One of the best cat gates for felines

There are several retractable gates for babies and pets, but the Retract-A-Gate has attractive features that make it stand out. It’s easy to install, so you can use it to block off stairs and doorways. You can open and close it with one hand, and the childproof lock prevents it from opening. Plus, it rolls up automatically so you don’t have to do it manually. 

The durable mesh fabric is non-toxic, scratch-resistant, see-through, and washable. Because it’s 34 inches high, it may also prevent your feisty feline from being able to jump over. However, if your cat is able to jump over this gate, you can buy a Mounting Clip Set from this brand to set up a second gate above the first. 


  • Measures 34 inches tall. Available in two widths: 52 inches and 72 inches.  
  • Available in multiple colors. 
  • Opens and closes quietly.  
  • Can be installed at an angle. 
  • Mesh is durable enough to withstand a kitty’s claws. 

Things to Consider

  • Proper installation and keeping the gate locked can help ensure your cat won’t be able to sneak under this gate. 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions closely if installing this gate at the top of the stairs.
  • A bit pricey.  

Best Extra Tall Cat Gate 

Our Pick: Richell Cat Safety Gate

Choice of white cat gate

If your cat is agile and you haven’t been able to find a pet gate that she can’t jump over, it might be time to consider the Richell Cat Safety Gate, which is a whopping 70 inches tall. Plus, the vertical bars will prevent your kitty from climbing the gate, and they’re spaced in a way that will stop kitties from squeezing between them. 

You can set this up in a doorway to block off a room or in a hallway to prevent access to a part of your home. It can be locked easily, and the lock is designed to prevent clever kitties from getting it open.     


  • Tension-mounted gate is 70 inches tall.
  • This pet gate can be used in openings ranging from 28 inches to 37.5 inches, but the Cat Safety Gate Extension can be purchased separately if you have to cover a wider space. 
  • Made of durable steel, with rubber feet to prevent damaging floors. 

Things to Consider

  • The door only opens one way. This is done to stop cats from pushing it open, but might be inconvenient if you prefer doors that open both ways. 
  • This gate is recommended for kitties weighing up to 11 pounds. 
  • Much more expensive than other pet gates.

Best Cat Gate for Stairs

Our Pick: Regalo Extra Tall Top of Stairs Gate

One of the best cat gates for indoor safety

This gate can be used at the top or bottom of stairs, and even though it is a baby gate, it could work well for cats. It creates a barrier taller than other gates at 38 inches high, and the vertical bars may also prevent climbing. Installation is quick, and you can use it in openings that are 24 to 40.5 inches wide.  

This is a walk-through gate that opens both ways. It’s also sturdy and you can wipe it clean. Plus, it meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials.


  • Easy to install at the bottom or top of stairs. 
  • Measures 38 inches tall, so might prevent cats from easily jumping over it. 
  • Can be wiped clean. 
  • Made of metal. 

Things to Consider

  • Follow installation directions closely to ensure this gate is set up correctly, especially if it’s going to be at the top of your stairs.

Best Pet Gate with Cat Door

Our Pick: MyPet Extra Tall & Wide Walk Through Easypass Gate

Best cat gate for dog with cat door

This gate has a small door so your kitty can walk through when it’s open. It’s a good option if you have a baby that you want to protect with a gate or your household includes dogs and cats but you don’t want to restrict your feline. Measuring 41 inches tall, it can also help stop pets from jumping over it. 

Because this walk-through gate is pressure-mounted, installation isn’t challenging. Once set up, opening and closing the door is a snap. A swing control lever lets pet parents decide whether the door swings in one or both directions and the hold-open feature allows the door to remain open when desired.


  • Made of steel for durability.
  • Gate width is between 29.75 inches and 52 inches. 
  • Small cat door lets your feline walk through, while keeping your children and dogs secure behind the gate. 

Things to Consider

  • Your cat might need to be trained to use the small door. 
  • Although this gate measures 41 inches high, your kitty might try jumping over it when the cat door is closed.  

Best Walk-Through Pet Gate for Cats

Our Pick: MidWest Homes for Pets Steel Pet Gate 

One option for a cat gate

If you’re looking for a basic pet gate that’s affordable, this option may suit your needs. It’s available in two colors and features a steel frame. Because it’s a walk-through gate, you won’t need to step over it; instead, you can use one hand to open and close it in both directions.  

Measuring 39 inches high, this might be a good choice if your cat has been able to jump over shorter gates. It’s also an adjustable pet gate that works in spaces measuring 29.5 to 38 inches wide, and you can buy extensions separately if you need it to be wider.  


  • Measures 39 inches tall and the width can be adjusted up to 38 inches. 
  • Convenient walk-through design with spring-loaded latch. 
  • The door measures 19 inches wide. 
  • Easy to install. 

Things to Consider

  • As with other gates with vertical bars, make sure your cat can’t get stuck in between them if she attempts to squeeze through. 

Best Wide Pet Gate for Cats

Our Pick: UniPaws 6 Panel Freestanding Wooden Wire Pet Gate

Six panel cat gate

This pet gate has several noteworthy features. It’s a freestanding gate, so you don’t need to install it – this can give you greater flexibility to set it up wherever you choose. It also has six panels that you can move into various positions to create the most effective barrier, with a width up to 144 inches and the option to purchase an extension kit separately. 

In addition to using this as a regular cat gate for stairs and doorways, you can set it up to be a playpen that’s round or rectangular. It includes a lockable door so you can walk through. And when you want to take it down, it folds up for storage. Plus, the vertical bars are close together, so this may also work as a kitten gate. 


  • Freestanding design makes it easy to configure the gate in various ways to create a cat barrier or playpen.
  • Features six panels that fold to save space when not in use. 
  • Panels measure 32 inches high, with a maximum width of 144 inches. 

Things to Consider

  • This wide cat gate is shorter than others, so some cats might be able to jump over it. 
  • Higher price than other pet gates. 

Best Freestanding Pet Gate for Cats

Our Pick: Petmaker 4-Panel Folding Freestanding Pet Fence for Cats and Dogs

Dog sitting by a gate

This freestanding pet gate features four panels that are each 32 inches tall and 18 inches wide. It’s lightweight and foldable so it won’t take up a lot of space when stored between uses. Plus, because you don’t need to install it, you can set it up and move it as needed. 

This gate can be expanded to 72 inches wide to cover a large area, and the accordion design allows you to customize it to fit your space, whether you need a doorway barrier or a cat gate for stairs. 


  • Four panels can expand to 72 inches wide, and fold to a compact size for storage. 
  • Freestanding design means no installation is needed. 
  • Made of wood and features a stylish look. 

Things to Consider

  • This gate measures 32 inches tall, so it’s shorter than other options. 
  • This isn’t a walk-through gate.

Reasons You Might Need A Cat Gate

There are a host of situations in which a cat gate could come in handy. Here are some examples:

Keeping pets in certain rooms or parts of the home 

Katenna Jones, a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), says gates can be used for “keeping cats out of a room, such as a nursery, a space that is being renovated, or a room full of plants.” 

T Hamboyan Harrison, a cat behavior consultant with associate certification through IAABC, adds, “They can also be used to grant cats access to rooms while preventing other pets, such as dogs, or young children from having access.” For example: if you need to keep small children or other pets away from your kitty’s food or litter box.    

Keeping cats separated while they’re being introduced to new pets or babies

When you bring home a new kitten or adult cat to your resident furkids, it’s important to introduce them slowly. You can do the same with a new dog or baby. A good gate could provide a barrier that lets them see and smell each other in a less stressful way. 

Keeping your cat safe while traveling

Portable cat gates can be useful when traveling with your feline companion. Once you’ve settled in at your destination, you can set up the gate to keep your cat in a safe area of your hotel room or Airbnb so she won’t dart out the door.   

Cat sits behind gate

Types of Cat Gates

There are several types of cat gates, including:

  • Pressure-mounted: If you don’t want to permanently install a gate, there are many pressure-mounted options available. These are a great choice if you want to be able to easily take down the gate and move it to a new spot. 
  • Hardware-mounted: If you’d prefer a permanent gate that’s more secure, consider hardware-mounted gates. Installation will be more complicated, as you’ll use screws to set the gate in place. 
  • Walk-through: These types of gates are convenient because you can swing them open to walk through rather than step over them. If you need a taller gate that your kitty won’t be able to jump over, a walk-through gate is a good option. Molly DeVoss, a Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist, adds, “I’ve noticed some new gates that are the full height of the doorway. These are particularly useful when trying to keep a cat contained.”   
  • Gates with cat doors: If you need to restrict your kids or other pets, but not your kitty, you can find a sturdy pet gate with a built-in door so your cat can come and go as she pleases. DeVoss says this can be useful for keeping a dog away from a cat’s food and litter.   
  • Retractable: A retractable gate can be space-saving because it rolls up when you close it. These gates may feature a mesh screen that’s see-through so your cat can still check out what’s happening on the other side of the barrier.  
  • Freestanding: The least permanent solution, and the one that doesn’t require any installation, is the freestanding cat gate. You can set this up and take it down as needed. 

Which type should you choose? Narrow your options based on your needs and preferences, but also consider what would work best for your unique cat.

Note: Although many gates are designed with frisky felines in mind, dog gates and baby gates are options, too. The key is to check a gate’s features to ensure it will be effective. “Any type of gate will work for keeping cats confined, as long as you make sure it is tall enough for them not to jump over, secure so it doesn’t tip over, and the spaces small enough they can’t get through,” says DeVoss.  

How We Ranked Our Cat Gates

We wanted our list to showcase the main types of cat gates available, so we looked at freestanding gates, pressure-mounted gates, pet gates with cat doors, walk-through gates, and retractable gates. We considered customer ratings, price, and recommendations from the cat behaviorists we spoke with. 

Kitties can squeeze under and climb up gates, so we selected those with vertical bars and considered the distance between the floor and the gate. Also, because cats could jump over gates, we honed in on those that are tall. Finally, for pet safety, we considered design, (e.g., the amount of space between the bars) and materials. 

Dog and cat look at each other through best cat gates

Cat Gate Buying Guide

Molly Kelsey, a feline behavior consultant and member of IAABC, recommends looking for gates that are sturdy, easy to clean, and made from animal-safe materials.  

To select the right gate for your needs, also keep the following in mind:

Height and Width

“Cats can jump as much as six feet in height, which makes confining them with a gate very challenging,” says DeVoss. “It’s very important you obtain a gate that is higher than your cat can jump. You can also add height to a gate by attaching cardboard or plexiglass to the top of it.”

Measure the space you need to cover to keep your pet out of the area, keeping in mind that there shouldn’t be large gaps between the gate and the walls and floor – you don’t want your kitty to slip through or get stuck.  

Design and Safety

No matter what type of gate you prefer, making sure your cat won’t be able to get past it is key. Think about whether your pet will be able to climb it, jump to the top of it, or jump right over and land on the other side. Take your cat’s age and agility into consideration (e.g., a kitty that doesn’t jump won’t need a tall gate). 

Stability is extremely important. “If a gate is just leaning or freestanding and not secured, a cat may knock it over, which can startle or injure and also create a negative association,” says Jones. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up a gate correctly. 

If you’re planning on buying a gate with vertical bars, check the spacing to ensure your cat won’t be able to try squeezing between them. Remember, if a cat attempts getting through, she could end up hurt or stuck.  

Durability and Ease of Use 

A high-quality pet gate could last a long time and won’t be easy for your cat to break. DeVoss recommends sturdy materials like metal, while Hamboyan Harrison warns that screen gates might be damaged by cats. It’s best to choose products made of safe materials that are tough enough to withstand a persistent kitty and her claws. 

Also, everyone in your family should be able to comfortably make their way past a pet gate, whether you purchase a walk-through gate that can be opened with one hand or you prefer a freestanding gate that you can step over.  

Pet Gate for Cats FAQs

Do I need a cat gate (a gate designed specifically for cats)?

You don’t have to restrict yourself to cat gates in particular if you can’t find one that meets your needs, preferences, and budget. You might come across a gate that’s designed for dogs or babies but has the features you want.

How do I keep my cat from jumping over a gate?

It can be hard to stop a cat from getting over a gate, even with training, so choose a gate that’s tall enough to dissuade your pet from trying to jump over it. When that isn’t possible, stacking more than one gate, or adding another barrier above the gate, might be necessary.  

How do I introduce my cat to a new gate?

It might take some time for your cat to get used to a gate, especially if she’s afraid of it at first. “The emotional response a cat has to a gate can be influenced by their previous experiences with them, their temperament, other immediate environmental factors, and the importance (to the cat) of the area that they have been restricted access to,” says Kelsey.

“A gate should never function to keep the cat away via fear,” advises Jones. So, if you need to get your kitty accustomed to a gate, be patient. You might try placing it flat on the floor and giving her treats and praise when she goes near it. After some time, you might place it securely against a wall so she can get used to it standing upright, while giving her rewards for showing confidence around it. Finally, when you feel that your pet isn’t afraid of the gate at all, install it to create the necessary barrier.