Tag Archives: DIY Pet Gate
If you have read my previous posting on FAIL v1.0, v1.1 and v1.2 DIY Cat Gate projects, you will understand why I need to build a Cat Gate v3.0.
Design Feature: 6 foot tall pet safe screen gate with door, removable windows, frame is attached to the railing by using cable ties, there is not even a single nail or screw to the floor or on the railing.
Materials: All materials are from Home Depot. (1) Pet safe screen, very expensive around $35 CAD for only 6 feet but they are really tough with fabric reinforced. I tested it and have been using it in previous projects, they are really claw safe. (2) Frame – Light weight Pine 1″x2″ in 6′ and 8′. (3) Cedar 3/4″x”3/4 for windows frame. (4) Other hardware including angle brackets, hinges, handles, magnetic lock, etc.
DIY Details (See photos below): Building the frame is relatively easy, the whole structure is connected by angle brackets with #6 x 3/4 screws. For door hinges reinforcement, I glued 2 pines together as it takes a lot of weight and torque. The windows screen is secured by same brackets with different size of screws #6 x 5/8, then stapled the pet screen onto it. To make it look better, I ironed the black veneer edging on top of the edge of the screen. This is just to hide the ugly staples. As mentioned in the design feature, I cable tied the whole structure to the existing railing (3 cable ties were used).
Next, I start building the door frame, and my wife asked me a question “Why is there a diagonal bracing on the door? It’s ugly”. Very good question, but this has to be done regardless of the look, it is for preventing the door from sagging. Even the “professional” guy I hired to built my fence, he didn’t do this. After 2 years, the fence door sagged so badly I had to buy a sag gate kit (metal cable) to fix it. Sigh…
For easy access and to comply fire code, I just use magnetic lock and fortunately Cats do not have enough power to open the door. Now, the project was almost done, but I was facing one last challenge, the removable windows were not secured. How can I make them secured? Okay, one more trip to Home Depot and found the “Mirror Clips”, well I had to cut the end to make it flat and it was working perfectly.
Total Time Taken + Cost: One weekend and $200 CAD – there was no planning at all, not even sketch or mockup. All brainstorming was done while walking in Home Depot (Yes, that’s my style).
As you can see, Mythos and Rini are now behind the gate v3.0, and they are much safer staying upstairs.
DIY Cat Gate was a successful project for Rini originally, it was fine for 1.5 years. See the improvement from v1.0 to v1.2:
- DIY Custom Cat Gate Project
- Cat Gate Project v1.1 Upgrade (with magnetic lock)
- Cat Gate v1.2 – acrylic upgrade
After we have the 2nd cat, Mythos who is a crazy kitten, this little daredevil is not afraid of height or get his legs broken. He is so energetic and never stops running, playing and jumping. The Cat Gate project is defeated by Mythos captured on video. See below:
Update: The ultimate solution was to build a version 3.0. See this post:
Since this 6 feet gate was built, Mythos and Rini were properly confined upstairs without risking their lives downstairs.
If you have read my Cat Gate version 1.0 and 1.1, you got some basic idea. Now with our 2nd cat Mythos getting so bigger and becoming so energetic, even the pet safe window screen is not good enough. So, I decided to upgrade to acrylic. (Only did one for now, when I have time I will do the other one)
Using the original frame, I replaced the fibric screening with acrylic. Again, Goop is the best glue ever, it even bonds to acrylic!
Sometimes, we want to confine Rini’s activity area on 2nd floor because it is not safe on the main floor. We tried many pets gates and child safety gates, but we returned all of them because NONE of them worked well. The requirement: It has to be high enough, strong enough and it needs to fit. It’s not easy to find one so I decided to make one.
Using Windows Screening
I chose to use window screening and aluminum rails because it is light weight. These specific rails is designed to use with plywood and it can found in automotive section in Canadian Tire. However, Home Depot doesn’t carry these, they only carry the L-shape one. To prevent pets from damaging the screening, I bought the “Pets Safe” windows screening.
Glue the aluminum track and secure the gate
After cutting the screening frame to the right size, I glued the aluminum rail to the white frame. Then, clamped it for 24 hours for it to dry. Well, I use GOOP for anything that requires extremely strong bonding, it even withstands 50 psi for my old swimming pool high pressure pump. It is one of the best glues in North America.
In order to secure the gate, I ONLY fasten it to drywall because it is easy to repair and paint in the future. I would try to avoid putting screws into wood. For one end, I used EZ-anchor on drywall and I used nylon cable ties for the other end.
Cat Gate in Action
With the aluminum rail, it is extremely easy to slide open/close the gate. Since we have carpet, I didn’t need the bottom rail. There is room for improvement, for example I can add ball bearing wheel on the bottom and top of the moving gate. Another crazy idea is to add motor and remote control like garage door opener. But it’s good for now, Rini is confined on 2nd floor and project is successful.
Will Rini climbs/jumps over or destroy the screen?
Many people may wonder if our cat will climb or jump over the gate, and even using the sharp nails to cut a hole on the screen. Indeed, she is capable of doing so but Rini is a very good cat (Thanks to British Short Hair breed) and she has never scratched on the screen. Also, Rini has good sense of height, if she climbs or jumps she knows she will end up hurting herself by falling to the main floor (that will be horrible) or stairs. Rini would rather spend time to take a nap and watch the birds rather taking such risk.
DIY Cat Gate Project – Part II
In December 2008, Rini grew stronger and she was able to open the gate by herself. So I upgraded Cat Gate Project v1.1 Upgrade (with magnetic lock) Please take a look at this improved version.