Which smart device is best for cats?
Advances in technology have made life for humans a lot easier over the last few decades. Few things in your house can’t be automated with faster phones, powerful computers and smarter devices.
That advancement can also extend to your cats (and pets in general) as there are plenty of smart gadgets to feed, track, hydrate and play with your furry friends. A good option for food-obsessed cats is the Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder, which allows you to monitor their intake and regulate their portion sizes.
What to know before you buy a smart device for cats
It will take time for your cat to be comfortable
Few cats take to intelligent gadgets quickly around the house. It might take some time to get comfortable with the new device. Don’t feel discouraged if they don’t immediately use it, but try to show them what it’s for.
Consider the needs of your cat
While it might be cute to humans when cats use smart devices, consider your feline friend’s needs. For example, if they don’t cover their waste (or have difficulty doing so), then a self-cleaning litter box is more important than a remotely controlled mouse. And while a smart water fountain keeps them hydrated, overweight cats will benefit more from a smart pet feeder.
Most require an internet connection
A smart device in your home is a great idea, but you should be aware of the limitations. Most require a constant connection to a Wi-Fi network for pets or humans. This is so you can monitor the device through your mobile phone and change settings. Without an internet connection, the gadget may continue working with limited functionality.
What to look for in a quality smart device for cats
When it comes to gadgets your pets need to use without your supervision, the device mustn’t get damaged. In most cases, reputable brands use robust materials for the construction and can take a few knocks. Unfortunately, unknown brands might not have the same level of quality checks as others, and you might put your cat at risk.
Easy to set up and operate
It can get incredibly frustrating when you want to set up a new gadget, but it doesn’t work. Making it overly complicated isn’t a good thing, so a good-quality cat device will have detailed instructions for setup and operation. Many reputable brands will also have a webpage that you can turn to for help.
A smart device that they can’t outsmart
Cats are brilliant, and even the most cuddly or docile felines can be highly inquisitive. So while they will undoubtedly try to outsmart the device, a good-quality gadget will quickly stop any attempts. For example, a smart feeder has a lid that closes tightly with a latch at the top, so no cat without opposable thumbs can click it open.
How much you can expect to spend on a smart device for cats
The average cost of a smart device for your cat will largely depend on what the device is designed to do and how the manufacturer is. An entry-level smart device such as a tracker can retail for $10-$20, while a more complex gadget such as an automatic feeder can retail for $100-$200.
Smart device for cats FAQ
What happens when there is a power failure?
A. Most smart devices require a wall socket connection to operate. However, some models can use shop-bought batteries to remain operational with the electricity fails. So while it won’t be connected to the internet, it can still perform as needed, possibly with limited functions.
How do you train a cat to use a smart device?
A. Depending on what the device is for, you might want to slowly introduce your cat to the gadget. For example, a smart litter box shouldn’t be a problem, but a feeder can be intimidating. Try to show your cat what is happening so that they don’t assume it will hurt them.
What’s the best smart device for cats to buy?
Top smart device for cats
What you need to know: This automatic feeder is the perfect device to monitor your cat’s daily food intake and regulate their portion sizes. This feeder can hold up to 17 cups of dry cat food and has a built-in LCD screen.
What you’ll like: This feeder takes the hassle out of your cat waking you up for breakfast. It features customizable feeding times that can dispense four meals a day. The food tray is angled so kibble doesn’t accumulate in front of the outlet. In addition, you can record a 10-second voice clip to play before each feed.
What you should consider: The feeder uses a 5-volt adapter to connect to a wall socket but can also be operated on three D-cell batteries.
Top smart device for cats for the money
What you need to know: Cats will always wander around as they expand their territory. This can be stressful to owners, but an intelligent pet tag lets you keep track of where they are.
What you’ll love: The “smarter” cat tag easily clips onto their collar, and when you set up a safe zone around your property through the app, the tag alerts you if they move beyond that. Other Pawscout users can get notifications when your cat moves into their safe zone, allowing you to track their movements.
What you should consider: The tag doesn’t give you the precise GPS location of your cat, but rather an alert if it is within 300 feet of you.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Unremoved cat waste has a powerful odor and can quickly permeate a room. A self-cleaning litter box takes the hassle out of the process by rapidly removing undesired particles.
What you’ll love: This litter box initiates the cleaning process 20 minutes after use by automatically removing the waste and raking the crystal granules. It comes with a prefilled disposable tray, which only needs to be changed out once a month. By connecting the litter box to your mobile phone, you can keep track of your cat’s health from anywhere and see daily statistics of litter box usage.
What you should consider: It is not recommended to use any other brand of cat litter crystals as the ScoopFree crystals are specifically designed not to overstress the cleaning motors.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.