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Friday, March 16, 2012

Baby Gates – Not Just for Babies

I’ve had my fat cat for almost four years now.  Not too long after I adopted Sami from a coworker I decided to put up a baby gate on my back patio so that she could enjoy the great outdoors – well, she could enjoy the fresh air/smells/sights  but she was confined to my patio. I never really talked about what I did so I thought I’d touch on that now.

You’ve seen my back patio (or maybe you haven’t if you’re a new reader) but there are three walls of lattice with one large opening for the doorway.

samigate_without_athomewithh I simply screwed some wood scraps to each side of the opening to make the opening a tad smaller. Why? Because I had an extended height baby gate that I wanted to use as a “door” to keep Sami on the patio. The gate was only 48.5” wide and the opening was around 52” so adding the two pieces of wood 1.5” thick (each) made the new opening the perfect size for my gate.

Before I could hang the gate, I painted all of the wood white with exterior white paint that matches the rest of the patio and I nailed the two sliding pieces of the gate together on the top and the bottom so that it was solid and so I wouldn’t have to deal with that stupid baby gate slider thingy that you use to open/close the gate normally – in fact, I removed that all together.

samigate_nails_athomewithh I then attached two hinges on the gate and simply attached the gate to one side of the doorway using screws. I made it so that the gate swings in towards the stairs that lead to the house since that made the most sense to me in terms of the layout of the patio.

samigate_hinges_athomewithhI attached two eye hooks on the other side of the opening so that I could close the gate with the simple hooks.  Yes, I need to repaint the patio – it is on the list for this summer.

samigate_hooks_athomewithh That’s it! Surprisingly this keeps Sami on the patio since she only likes to jump if she can land on something – she has never tried to jump over the gate to escape since that’s just too much effort for my 15 lb. cat. A happy accident is that I’m just the right height to step over the gate (if I’m on my tippy toes and I step from the red stones to the lip of the patio and not down on the ground) so I don’t have to keep opening/closing it when I’m outside in the summer doing yard work.

samigate_after_athomewithh Why am I showing you this four years later? Because I was asked about it recently and because it has been unseasonably warm in SE Michigan so I just hung the gate yesterday so that Sami could once again venture outside. Go here for instructions on installing the cat door (or in her case, dog door since she was too big for the cat door) – it makes my life so much easier since she can go in/out as much as she wants without me having to lift a finger.

I have the day off so now I think I’ll go enjoy the nice weather. Happy weekend!

1 comment:

  1. My cat was trolling around the top of a 6 foot fence yesterday. How do you get her to stay inside the baby gate? My cat would be up and over the top.

    And yea for spring weather in Michigan!

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