I override a block class Mage_Catalog_Block_Navigation (link to signature) to create a custom menu which displays only subcategories of current category.

Inside method renderCategoriesMenuHtml (link to signature) I'm trying to get child categories of selected parent category. So I replaced default code:

foreach ($this->getStoreCategories() as $child) {

with the following:

 * @param $parent ID of category from which we start
 * @param $recursionLevel How many levels of subcategories retrieve
 * getCategories(...) is a method from model Mage_Catalog_Model_Category
$category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category');
$storeCategories = $category->getCategories($parent, $recursionLevel);
foreach ($storeCategories as $child) {

This code works perfectly fine and returns subcategories of selected parent, but as soon as I enable the "Flat Catalog Category" the $parent variable seems to be completely ignored and that code returns all top-level categories, instead of subcategories of category with ID $parent.

What do I do wrong? Shouldn't getCategories method work the same even when flat categories are enabled?


My real question is

  1. Why method getCategories from model Mage_Catalog_Model_Category ignors parameters $parent and $recursionLevel when flat categories are enabled? (see source of the method below)
  2. Are there more methods which works different with flat catalog? How can I recognize them to avoid problems in the future?

I call it like this inside method renderCategoriesMenuHtml:

$parent = 13;
$recursionLevel = 2;
$category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category');
$storeCategories = $category->getCategories($parent, $recursionLevel);

With non-flat categories this code returns subcategories (2 levels as specified in $recursionLevel) of the category with ID 13. But with flat categories enabled I get all top-level categories with all subcategories (limited with value of admin settings 'catalog/navigation/max_depth', not by $recursionLevel).

Method in model Mage_Catalog_Model_Category:

public function getCategories($parent, $recursionLevel = 0, $sorted=false, $asCollection=false, $toLoad=true)
    $categories = $this->getResource()
        ->getCategories($parent, $recursionLevel, $sorted, $asCollection, $toLoad);
    return $categories;

calls method in resource model Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Category:

public function getCategories($parent, $recursionLevel = 0, $sorted = false, $asCollection = false, $toLoad = true)
    $tree = Mage::getResourceModel('catalog/category_tree');
    /* @var $tree Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Category_Tree */
    $nodes = $tree->loadNode($parent)

    $tree->addCollectionData(null, $sorted, $parent, $toLoad, true);

    if ($asCollection) {
        return $tree->getCollection();
    return $nodes;

2 Answers 2

$_category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(CATEGORY-ID);    
    $_categories = $_category
                    ->addAttributeToSelect(array('name', 'image', 'description'))

    foreach ($_categories as $_category):
       echo $_category->getName();
  • I edited my question.
    – zitix
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 12:41
  • Man, you saved my ass, thank you. That's a neat trick - $_category->getChildren() returns a comma separated string of category ids that you can then use to filter via addIdFilter(). Smart :) Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 18:00
$parentCategoryId = 107;
$cat = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load($parentCategoryId);
$subcats = $cat->getChildren();


// Get 1 Level sub category of Parent category.


foreach(explode(',',$subcats) as $subCatid)
                $_category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load($subCatid);
  if($_category->getIsActive()) {
    echo '<ul><a href="'.$_category->getURL().'" title="View the products for the "'.$_category->getName().'" category">'.$_category->getName().'</a>';
   echo '</ul>';


If you want 2 level , 3 Level, 4 Level or n Level subcategories of parent category than Click Here

  • Might solve the problem, but all the load are bad for performance, so be careful Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 7:02
  • why you are load all the category just use category id and load content only specific category only Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 12:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.