Skip to Content

How High Does A Cat Gate Need To Be – With Suggestions

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cats are curious animals and good climbers. This creates a problem for their owners as they often end up in unwanted places. A cat gate effectively controls a cat’s movement, but a question needs to be asked: How high does a cat gate need to be?

A cat gate needs to be at least 30 inches tall or 72cm in height for it to stop a cat from going where you don’t want it to go.

In this article, we will discuss how high cats can jump and, given this, how tall your cat gate should be. Lastly, we discuss how to stop your cat from jumping over a fence.

Interested in checking out the best litter boxes for cats? You can find them by clicking here#ad

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Cat Gate

As earlier said, cats are fantastic climbers making it easy for them to jump over barriers in their way.

A cat gate is designed to prevent a cat from jumping over it, but if it is not tall enough, your cat might use a wall close to it to climb over the gate.

Now, let’s discuss five factors you should consider when choosing a pet gate.

Cat Size

Before getting a cat gate, you should consider the size of your cat. An adult cat will need a taller gate to restrain it.

Before going to the store to buy a cat gate, measure the size of your cat; you can even go with your feline to make sure you would get the right one.

In my experience, an expandable cat gate works best. Although it might be a bit expensive, you’d get value for money. The gate can be expanded to fit all cat sizes.

Champion Chewer Cat

A champion chewer cat might eat his way out of a plastic or wooden gate. A cat might chew on wood or plastic to alleviate soreness in its gums.

If your cat is a champion chewer, it’s best to make use of a metal cat gate. Using a wooden or plastic gate can be detrimental to your cat’s health.

Aesthetic Appeal

Does the look matter to you, then you might be able to find a cat gate that is functional and artfully designed.

An adequately designed cat gate would add to the beauty of your home, even if it means paying a bit extra for the cat gate.

When choosing a cat gate, make sure you choose a cat gate that allows you to see your cat from the other side despite being locked.

Ease of opening and locking

Look for something uncomplicated if you latch and unlatch the gate often and your kids always need to pass through.

A cat gate in your home should be more like a bridge than a wall. Getting a simple gate that is easy is essential, mainly if it is located in an area frequently accessed in your home.


Portability is quite essential if you are the type that keeps moving from one place to the other.

The freestanding gate will be your best option if you want to take a cat gate with you when traveling. It allows you to erect it wherever you are.

How High Can Cats Jump

Cats have paws and claws adapted for climbing. A cat in good health can easily jump over a 6-foot high fence.

In other words, an average adult cat can jump 5 or 6 times its height, which is about 4-5 feet.

This shows you will need to make an extra effort in keeping your cat indoors or within your yard.

Small kittens might not have the same jumping ability as adult cats. Some breeds of cats with shorter statures also may have difficulty jumping as high as other breeds with larger statures.

There is actually a Guinness Book Of World Records stat line for cats and their jumping distance. A cat named Waffle holds the longest horizontal jump by a cat. Checking in at 7 feet, thats quite the distance!

Why Do Cats Love Jumping Over The Fence

Cats have a natural urge to explore their surroundings, and being good climbers; they have what it takes to do so despite obstacles on their way.

Cats are also natural hunters and driven by this instinct; they forage for food outside despite getting enough at home.

Mating is another reason why cats jump over fences. Male cats will seek out female cats in heat, and female cats will follow male cats.

How High Of A Fence Can A Cat Jump

Cats are excellent climbers and jumpers. A cat in good health can easily jump a fence 6 to 8 feet high. 

This means you will need to take extra measures to keep them from jumping or climbing over your fence.

An effective way to do this is to build a cat gate to keep your cat safely enclosed.

You should start with a high fence with roller bars. If this is not effective, you can move up to a fence that is equipped with special anti-cat spikes.

This should be more than sufficient to prevent your cat from escaping from your compound.

Why Do I Need A Cat Gate

Cat gates will help define clear boundaries within the house, but they will not wholly restrict your cat from exploring.

Have you ever been to a friend’s house where you were dining, and you felt something on your foot and looking down, you saw a cat and almost jumped out of your chair, not so cool, right? Yeah right.

When your cat encounters these gates, it will pause and wonder why the doors or stairways are blocked.

Cats are intelligent and will probably turn back if nothing is amusing on the other side of the gate.

How Tall Should A Cat Gate Be

It’s best to choose a cat gate that is at least 30 inches tall. Cats are notorious for jumping over the top of barriers. Therefore height is an essential factor.

Your cat’s breed should also influence how tall your cat gate would be since some cat breeds are taller than others.

The tallest pet gates are around 48 inches and can be modified. To increase the height you could use an extension; usually these clip right on and are easy to install. The mesh height for a retractable cat gate from the floor to the bottom is 34 inches.

Do Pet Gates Work For Cats

It depends. Since pet gates offer no ledge for cats to jump on to, most cats will not jump over the pet gates.

If your cat loves to jump and can jump over the gate, then simply put, a taller gate is necessary.

Traditional pet gates tend to be on the shorter side of things. Taller gates are helpful here, and really do discourage most cats from attempting to scan them.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Jumping Over The Gate

An effective way to stop a cat from jumping over the gate is to make the gate higher than the regular-sized one.

Other ways include:

Install rollers on the gate

Since there will be no ledge to land upon when rollers are placed on the gate, your cat’s paws will spin when they leap onto the gate, and they will fall back into the area safely.

Place a sheet of sandpaper on the ground in front of the gate.

Cats don’t like rough textures on their paws, it might not hurt them, but they will start avoiding the area if they land on it.

Install anti-cat spikes

Another thing you can do is to put specially made anti-cat spikes on your gate. 

They are blunt and not sharp, so they should not cause any injuries. Your cat would not like the feel of it on its paws and would avoid hanging to it on your gate to make a jump.

Install motion-sensitive repellents

Spray a cat deterrent around your gate. You might not be able to smell it, but your cat would find it offensive and avoid the area.

Create a safe pile of books on the opposite side of the books.

If you block your cat’s view of the other side and can’t see anything of interest there, your cat’s interest in jumping over will be much reduced.

Things To Consider

Before deciding on a proper gate for your cat, consider the following:

Types of Pet Gates

Pet gates, in general, come in 3 types:

Freestanding: This type of cat gate can be moved around and set up wherever you want them to be. You don’t need screws or anchors to attach them to the wall. Some come with walk-through gates; some don’t.

Pressure-Mounted: As the name implies, pressure-mounted gates extend between doorways and stay in place with tension.

Hardware Mounted: These permanent cat gates stay fixed where you place them. You can find those with walk-through gates available for purchase. Choose a suitable location on your property before you start drilling.

Benefits of a cat gate

Here are some benefits a cat gate will bring:

Better than a crate

A cat gate is more ideal than a crate because it allows your cat to roam free, get exercise and play in a large area without restricting them to a small space as a crate does.

Better than a closed-door

An indoor pet gate allows you to cordon off a room and keep the door open. It allows you to monitor your pet’s activity in the room and also allows for ventilation in the area.

Easy to Set-Up

While setting up a Cat gate may seem easy to you, to your cat, it is a sturdy and impregnable wall, and your feline friend would not be able to knock it down.

Temporary Use when needed

If you are the type of person who likes to go with your pet whenever you travel, an indoor pet gate might be what you need. 

Since there is nothing complex about using a pet gate, any room you are in can become a comfortable pen for your feline friend.