Two items I vowed never to have in our bipetual home; 1) doggie potty pads, and 2) a pet gate. Potty pads were never necessary since Baylie was so easy to potty train, but I succumbed to the use of a pet gate. Why now, you ask, even though Baylie is past her rambunctious puppy stage? The foremost reason we decided to consider using a pet gate was not so much to corral Baylie, but rather to provide Smoki some degree of privacy without shutting her off from the other rooms of the house.
When you live in a bipetual home, a pet gate really does make sense. Smoki is a senior cat and needs to be able to escape Baylie’s nosiness. She is an indoor/outdoor cat and prefers being outdoors during the day in the Summer months but in the dead of Winter, she prefers spending more time indoors. Because Smoki and Baylie are sometimes in the house together and are always indoors by bedtime, we felt the separation would provide Smoki more personal space in her golden years. Even though Baylie has never shown any aggression toward Smoki, her movements are always closely monitored by Smoki. She naps with one eye open when Baylie is roaming around.
Basic needs of a cat are: personal space, water and food, a bed, scratching and climbing posts, litter box and enrichment toys. You might be wondering, personal space? Cats like to have private spaces to chill and hang out in peace and quiet. They also like to potty in privacy without having a dog lying in wait to for a little litter box diving.
As we began looking at pet gates, we realized that there are a lot of options on the market. Our main concerns were the sturdiness of construction, height and price. We needed a gate that was strong enough that Baylie couldn’t barrel through and one high enough that she couldn’t clear it in a single bound. We also wanted one that had a small pass-thru opening for Smoki to come and go without having to leap. Having a gate that opened and closed was a must for us so we wouldn’t have to attempt the equivalent of the Olympic high hurdles every time we wanted to enter or exit the room.
We found a product that met all of our needs. The Carlson Extra-Tall All-Steel Gate is 41″ in height, and expands from 29-34 inches wide. It’s also lead free, non-toxic and chew proof.
We installed the gate at the entrance to the master bedroom where Smoki likes to hang out and nap. Smoki adjusted to the gate better than Baylie. Baylie seemed to have an aversion to it right away and approached it with major trepidation; not wanting to cross the threshold bar. We had to bring in the big guns, CHICKEN, to coax her through the gate. She still enters better than exits; go figure, and sometimes barks for us to come and escort her through. Eventually, she will take it all in stride. To our amazement, Smoki caught on right away and walked through the small pet door with no coaxing. I would have been willing to bet good money that it would have been Smoki who would require coaxing rather than Baylie.
We are pleased with the initial outcome. Now, if when can remember to step up to clear the bottom support when we pass through the gate. We had to program our brains to thoughts of being on a cruise ship where you step up as you pass through doorways. It can be tricky, especially if you are not fully awake.