Cats usually follow their own rules and go where they please, and sometimes, they enter an area of your home that’s meant to be off-limits to pets. Restricting a feline’s movements is not easy, but you can install a cat gate to encourage your kitty to wander elsewhere. A cat gate is not as effective as a closed door, but it does not restrict airflow into a room, and some models feature walk-through entrances that lock shut after you enter. Whether you have a young kitty or an adult cat, we’ve compiled in-depth reviews of the best cat gates and included a handy buyer’s guide to help you determine which product is perfect for your feline.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Regalo Tall Walk-Through Gate||
|Best Value||Carlson Expandable Pet Door||
|Premium Choice||Frisco 4-Panel Wood Pet Gate||
|MyPet Paws Portable Pet Gate||
|MidWest Steel Pet Gate||
The 10 Best Cat Gates
1. Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate – Best Overall
|Type:||Pressure mounted/wall mounted|
|Dimensions:||29” L x 2” W x 41” H|
|Color:||Black, white, platinum|
The Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate boasts a 41-inch height that towers above most of the competition. It won our pick for the best overall cat gate for its simple design, one-touch lock release, and ease of installation. It’s designed to fit openings as large as 36.5 inches wide, and the all-steel construction is durable enough to prevent your furball from knocking the gate over. If the gate is not wide enough for your doorway, you can attach the extension pieces that extend the gate another 4 inches. The pressure-mounted frame stays firmly attached to the wall, but you can permanently mount the gate with extra mounting brackets.
The unit is taller than many other products in the same price range, but like any cat gate, it will not prevent an incredibly agile feline from leaping over the top. Regalo’s model is simple to fold down and store, and it’s available for a great price compared to other steel models. Our only complaint is the wide gap between the bars. Fully-grown cats are unlikely to squeeze through, but a tiny kitten can easily move through the bars.
2. Carlson Pet Products Tuffy Expandable Pet Door – Best Value
|Dimensions:||26” L x 2.5” W x 25” H|
The Carlson Pet Products Tuffy Expandable Gate with Pet Door is our pick for the best cat door for the money. Its assembly-free design lets you install the gate minutes after opening the package. The gate is constructed of stainless steel, and it extends to fit doorways up to 38 inches wide. Unlike many products in its price range, the Tuffy gate includes a small door that you can open to let in smaller pets. It’s ideal when you need to keep a cat and dog separated during mealtime.
Most customers were happy with the Tuffy gate, and pet parents with cats and dogs liked the tiny door that let their cats escape from the dogs. However, the locking mechanism is difficult to operate when adjusting the width, and it took some users a while to open and reposition the gate.
3. Frisco Deluxe Configurable 4-Panel Wood Pet Gate – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||80.3” L x O.7” W x 30” H|
If you’re looking for an ultra-stylish gate that fits in well with your home décor, you can use the Frisco Deluxe Configurable 4-Panel Wood Pet Gate. It won the prize for the best gate in the premium category, and it’s by far the most attractive model we reviewed. Unlike other free-standing models, the Frisco features a spring-loaded door that you can open to walk through. It’s wide enough for an 80.3-inch opening, and it uses rubber padded-support feet to prevent scratches when the unit is moved. The Frisco gate is available in white, but we prefer the mahogany color because it looks more natural and less like a pet gate.
Although the sturdy wood gate is not light, it could be moved by a persistent hefty cat. Free-standing gates are easy to move and adjust, but they’re not as secure as a bolt-on or pressure-mounted design.
4. MyPet Paws Portable Pet Gate – Best for Kittens
|Dimensions:||25.75” L x 2.88” W x 23.5 H|
When you need a gate to restrict a kitten’s movements in your home, you can use the MyPet Paws Portable Pet Gate. Unlike the bar design of most models, the MyPet gate has a plastic lattice grid that prevents your little feline from squeezing through a tight gap. It’s not as tall as some of the competitors, but it’s high enough to contain a young cat. The gate expands from 26 inches to 40 inches, and it’s easy to install right out of the box. It can fit baseboards up to 4 inches high, and the rubber bumpers protect the paint or wood finish from damage.
The most common customer complaint involved the EZ-Track system that adjusts the width. The track mechanism is tricky to adjust, and it’s not equipped with a quick-release door. For kittens, the gate is effective, but large cats and dogs can knock the gate over without too much effort.
5. MidWest Steel Pet Gate
|Dimensions:||29” L x 1.75” W x 39” H|
The MidWest Steel Pet Gate is a tall steel gate that can fit openings as wide as 38 inches. It features a walk-through door that’s simple to open with one hand when you’re holding your pet with your other arm. The pressure-mounted gate includes 3-inch extensions for wider doorways. Unlike other walk-through doors, the Midwest opens in either direction. It’s available in an attractive graphite color and white. Although the tubular steel frame is intended to last several years, the walk-through door mechanism seems to have quality issues. Several cat owners were surprised that the gate was not as durable as the manufacturer’s claim, and some had problems with their gates arriving damaged.
6. Safety 1st Eco-Friendly Nature Next Bamboo Gate
|Dimensions:||24” L x 2” W x 26” H|
|Color:||Bamboo and black|
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option for your cat, you can try the Safety 1st Eco-Friendly Nature Next Bamboo Gate. The gate’s bamboo frame is accented with recycled-plastic panels that are small enough to keep your cat from trying to squeeze through. It’s ready to use out of the box, and the frame extends to fit doorways up to 42 inches wide. The gate’s most significant issue is the poorly designed locking mechanism that’s difficult to move when you need to change the width. Some pet owners chose to step over the gate rather than attempt to retract it with the adjustment latch. Although the pressure mounts attach to flat surfaces, they’re not stable when attached to openings with baseboards.
7. BalanceFrom Easy Walk-Thru Safety Gate
|Dimensions:||29.1” L x 38.5” H|
The BalanceFrom Easy Walk-Thru Safety Gate is a pressure-mounted unit that features a walk-through door that automatically swings shut and can be fixed in an open position. The steel gate is high enough to prevent most cats from jumping over, and it’s easy to install after you insert the pressure mounting bolts.
One of the biggest issues with the gate is the width of the gaps between bars. Small cats can squeeze through, and some customers with small-breed dogs complained the pups got their heads stuck in the gaps. If you have a large adult cat, the BalanceFrom gate is a solid obstacle, but pet parents with multiple animals may want to use a gate with a grid design rather than a bar configuration. Contacting BalanceFrom’s customer service can be difficult when you need a replacement.
8. Momcozy Retractable Baby Gate, 33” Tall
|Dimensions:||55” L x 3.75” W x 33” H|
|Color:||White, black, gray|
Unlike many of the models we reviewed, the Momcozy Retractable Baby Gate is attached with permanent mounts. The gate is made of a lightweight translucent fabric that does not restrict the air flowing into the room. Opening the gate requires hitting a switch, and the material automatically retracts. Compared to other gates, the Momcozy provides a larger opening when the gate is retracted.
Although it’s used to keep babies from wandering, the manufacturer also claims it’s effective for pets. It can prevent your cat from entering a room, but destructive cats may be able to tear up the fabric. The Momcozy attaches to screwed-in brackets, but it can be knocked over if your cat leaps against it from one side.
9. Summer Multi-Use Decorative Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate
|Dimensions:||48” L x 36” H|
|Color:||Black, bronze, beige|
The Summer Multi-Use Decorative Extra Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate features a unique arching door and an auto-shut mechanism. The door slams shut when you exit, but you can prop it open in a fixed position without removing the gate. Although the bronze gate is more aesthetically pleasing than other tall gates, it has a few quality issues less common in other brands with similar pricing. Several customers mentioned that the latch broke after a short time, and you can find several detailed plans from customers that explain how to reinforce the latch with additional materials to make it functional. We were more concerned with the wide gaps in two of the bars in the center section. Cats can squeeze through the wide openings, and dogs can get stuck.
10. Toddleroo by North States wide Deluxe Décor Baby Gate
|Dimensions:||72” L x 30” H|
|Color:||Matte bronze, warm white|
If you need an extra-wide gate to restrict your feline’s access, you can try the Toddleroo by North States 72” Wide Deluxe Décor Baby Gate. The Toddleroo is the widest model we reviewed, and its subtle design is less prison-like than many of its competitors. The gate swings open in both directions, and it can be propped open. Unlike the pressure-mounted systems, the Toddleroo is not simple to install. Several consumers mentioned their frustrations with attaching the mounts and keeping the gate level. When the gate was finally installed, most cat owners were happy with its performance, but some suggested using higher quality screws for the wall mounts. Unfortunately, the manufacturer’s screws are easy to strip and break.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Cat Gate
When shopping for cat gates, there are a few factors to scrutinize when you’re researching the different brands.
We reviewed three types of gates: free-standing, pressure mounted, and hardware mounted. If you’re renting a property and responsible for a security deposit, a hardware-mounted model is not ideal. Most gates with hardware mounts must be screwed into brick or wood, which are not as easy to repair as drywall. Free-standing gates are not as secure as the other types, but they’re unlikely to cause damage to a wall or baseboard. They’re best for apartments that have strict guidelines for modifications.
Pressure-mounted gates are fastened to the wall with spring-loaded legs or screws, and all the brands use a rubber or plastic cover on the mounts to protect the paint or wood. However, the pressure mounts can damage the paint or wood finish if they’re screwed in too tight. If you have a heavy cat that lunges at the gate or frequently attempts to knock it down, you may need a gate with fixed mounts.
Cat gate producers list the dimensions of their gates, but they seldom offer advice about mounting the gate on walls with baseboards or molding. If you have paneling on the bottom of the wall and want to use a pressure-mounted unit, you’ll have to choose a brand with a raised lower mount that clears the height of the baseboard. You can measure the height of the paneling and check the manufacturer’s specs to ensure it will fit.
Several gates include extensions for wider doorways, but they’re not as stable as using a wider gate designed for the space. Extensions on less expensive pressure-mounted models tend to bend and cause the gate to look slightly warped.
Cat gates are typically made with durable materials for the frames, but sometimes, the locking mechanism that secures the gate wears prematurely. This problem often occurs with pressure-mounted models, but the lifespan of the device also depends on how often the gate is opened or repositioned. If you have to move in and out of a room frequently, you may be better off using a free-standing gate or hardware-mounted model that is less likely to have issues with malfunctions.
Some gates are ready to use right out of the box, but others require a lengthy assembly and installation. Free-standing gates and pressure-mounted units are simple to install, but hardware-mounted models can take an hour or more to set up. Whichever style you choose, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions closely to ensure the gate is safe for your cat and family.
Related Read: Best Cat Door (For All Door Types): Reviews & Top Picks
Our reviews detailed some of the best gates for your cat, but we picked the Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate as our best overall selection. The gate towers above the competition with a height of 41 inches, and it includes wall mounts to reinforce the gate when you want to install it permanently. Our winner in the best value category is Carlson Pet Products Tuffy Expandable Gate with Pet Door. It’s simple to install and includes a small pet door that lets your cat enter a room that’s off-limits to a dog.
Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock