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I will not let the Boyz or rescues or guest dogs upstairs. We have a piece of 1/4" thick x 15" high, cheap Luan paneling slightly wider than the stair step width and placed on an angle. We can sue the right side of the step to go up and down. It is in the middle of the stairs and the "kids" don't even venture up there. If I am up they wait on the landing for me. Works great!

I use a window screen that I got from Home Depot. It's the kind that's about 12 inches high and is expandable. I expand the screen and sit it on the second step at an angle....Ava can't go up with that in place. She runs up stairs very easily...it's the coming down part that she can't do so naturally while I'm not home I need to make sure she doesn't go up there.

When I had a cat, I put the food up on the washing machine - cats are pretty good at jumping. And when I had a strictly indoor cat, I put all her stuff in one room and gated that one room with the same window screen. I put velcro on the door frame and on the wooden edges of the screen.
 
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