Tigger Busts Out

Last week I mentioned that we’re trying to keep our new kittens, Tigger and Leo, in one gated room until after Christmas, to make things easier for our pet feeder when we’re away, and also to keep them separated from our older cat, Katie, until they’re a little bigger. We have a very tall wood-frame gate with plastic netting that’s always been an effective cat barrier in the past, but Tigger, the explorer, has definitely been wanting out, and I had a feeling the gate wouldn’t be enough. So I wasn’t too surprised when, on Monday morning, while Ellen was finishing up her breakfast and I was in my studio, I heard her exclaim, “OH, NO!” I went into the kitchen, and she pointed down the hall to the gate. Tigger was perched proudly on top of it, and a moment later he jumped for freedom. So much for that gate. We had to resort to closing the room door for most of the week, which works, but isn’t as good a solution, as it then gets colder in the cats’ room, and the air doesn’t circulate. Monday evening we let Tigger at the gate again, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and here’s what we saw:





And nabbed before he could jump. No doubt about it, Tigger had this gate figured.

Friday I went to Petsmart to see what other gates they had. I bought one I thought might work, all metal with only vertical bars. Only problem was I couldn’t tell how far apart the bars were from the picture on the box, but it was worth a try. I set it up in the hallway, opened the cat room door, and sat outside. Both kittens walked between the bars with no trouble. I thought about the problem over lunch, then went to the hardware store and got some 3/4 inch PVC pipe and some hose clamps. I thought I could narrow the openings enough to make an effective barrier. But I didn’t count on Tigger, who we should have named Houdini. It took three rounds before the new gate kept him in, and even now I’m not sure if that’s permanent! Here’s the gate, with notes:


The metal gate is the bluer color, the PVC pipe is slightly reddish. So, the pipes marked (1) were added first, after both kittens waltzed right through opening (A). Tigger: 1, Todd: 0. After that Tigger had little trouble getting through opening (B), so I added the pipes marked (2). Tiger: 2, Todd 0. It took him a few minutes, but Tigger then squeezed through opening (C). Tigger 3, Todd 0. I added pipes marked (3), but I was now running out of pipe and all out of hose clamps, so these are less securely held with plastic wire ties. Tigger has already tried climbing over them to get to the wider openings above (3), but hasn’t succeeded yet, and seems to have given up…for now. Leo (4) may be casing the joint.


“Let me out, warden, I’m innocent!”


Back in their room, we get in to play with them as often as possible, several times a day. They like this scratching post/perch.


Leo sits up there a lot, and also on the low table we put in front of the window, where he can watch the birds at the feeders.


Tigger sits there too, sometimes. Looks like he’s plotting his next escape to me…

3 thoughts on “Tigger Busts Out

  1. Michael Rawdon

    I remember going through all this with our younger cats, who are 9 years younger than our older cats. We had a gate to the kittens’ room so the cats could all get used to each other, but the kittens figured out how to get over the gate in about a month. We soon gave up since everyone seemed to be getting along well.

    I’ve heard that for some cats, putting tin foil at the top of the gate will dissuade them, since they don’t like the feel of tin foil on their paws. It didn’t help at all with our cats, though!

  2. kelly

    Todd you should be a writer!! I really enjoy reading your coments.Did you know what you were getting into when you agreed to take the kittens?

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