Their idea was a new gate just like the old one with expanded metal put on them so the cat couldn't get out. I explained to them that cats can climb expanded metal and suggested welding in extra pickets instead. They agreed.
Here's a picture of the existing gate after I welded in the new pickets. ( I used pre-primed three quarter tubing from King since I wasn't going to have to powdercoat because their painter was going to paint the gates).