Man of the match Dan Lydiate accepted Wales were the beneficiaries of Scotland's indiscipline as they recorded a 27-13 RBS 6 Nations win at the Millennium Stadium.
Leigh Halfpenny scored 22 points and Alex Cuthbert scored his first international try as Wales made it two wins from two to start the tournament.
Halfpenny's first try arrived with Scotland's Nick De Luca in the sin-bin for hauling down Jonathan Davies without the ball, and his second - along with a penalty - after Rory Lamont had also been yellow-carded.
And flanker Lydiate, a key figure in a fine display by the Welsh pack, said: "Yellow cards are always crucial, you've got to be squeaky-clean in this day and age and everybody's got to work on their discipline."
Greig Laidlaw's try cut the deficit - after Scotland debutant Stuart Hogg was denied a score when he was adjudged to have knocked on - and Wales had to hang on a man short in the closing moments after prop Gethin Jenkins was also sin-binned.
But they remain 100% ahead of their clash with England at Twickenham in two weeks and Lydiate said: "Scotland came back into it and it was touch and go, at the end we were under the cosh.
"But we're delighted with the win and we've got to be confident going into that game against England."
But Gatland did not feel the period when Scotland had been down to 14 and 13 men had been the difference between the sides.
"I felt we were playing well anyway regardless of whether it was 14 men, or 13 at one point. We upped the tempo, scored three tries," he said.
"I think Leigh Halfpenny is probably not happy with a couple of centres as there were a couple of occasions where if they had passed him the ball they would have put him in space and he would have scored."
Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler, whose brother Steven is at the centre of an eligibility row after being named in Scotland's Six Nations squad, was handed the task of filling the boots of the talismanic Warburton, and produced a solid display to mark his first cap.
And Gatland praised the back-rower's contribution.
"He had a good game, he made a couple of good carries," he said. "There was a moment in the second half after we had scored where he probably should have passed, but he took ball into contact and got turned over and conceded a penalty.
"But he has to be pretty happy with his debut in front of 74,000 at the Millennium Stadium, winning his first cap and getting a win.
"I hope he enjoys himself tonight and has a couple of quiet beers - he deserves it."
Wales also picked up injury problems during the game as wing George North and hooker Huw Bennett were forced off with ankle and calf problems respectively.
But Gatland is hopeful of having the giant North available when his side go for a clean sweep of the home unions at Twickenham, and expects to have a handful of other players back.
He said: "George is hobbling around at the moment but it is just a rolled ankle. Ryan (Jones) has ice on his knee, he looks a bit sore at the moment but other than that, not too bad.
"We hope Sam will be right for England, Justin Tipuric should be fit as well and one or two of the second rows might be available as well.
"Huw Bennett might have a calf strain but Matthew Rees is hopeful of being fit for England as well."
While Wales end the weekend sitting top of the Six Nations table, Scotland are again languishing near the foot of the table.
While Greig Laidlaw's consolation score did see Scotland register their first try in five Tests, this was a fourth-straight defeat for Andy Robinson's side and leaves the former England coach with just two wins from 12 Six Nations games in charge.
But Robinson refused to criticise his side, despite seeing errors rob them of a chance of victory for the second week running after their reverse against England at Murrayfield.
Robinson said: "The guys did not deliberately get sin-binned, but that's what happens in the game. Wales exploited the space really well and kept hold of the ball.
"When you are down to 13 men you are going to be put under pressure if a side is able to keep hold of the ball and keep a good shape and I thought they did that really well.
"You look at the small margins of the game and I have to say I am really proud of the way my team played. The endeavour that was shown, the attitude that was shown.
"But just after half-time there was an error and we have been punished for it."