Looking for a gadget for that furry family member? There are certainly options out there, even if pet tech is almost certainly for the owner as opposed to a pup or kitten.
When you think of gadgets for the holidays, you’re possibly not thinking of your pets, but truthfully, they’re some of the easiest to buy for. After all, the present is more for you than your pet because of what it can do.
So what’s worth checking out this year for a pet in your life?
Apple AirTag with Belkin Secure AirTag Holder
Price: $45 for the Apple AirTag, $20 for the Belkin Secure AirTag Holder
If you have an animal that doesn’t always stay when you say it, or even one that roams about the place, you may want to keep tabs on exactly where it is. And if that’s the case, you may want to consider a tracker.
Tracking gadgets aren’t anything new, but keeping tabs on tracking gadgets generally requires the power of other people using their own tracking gadgets, and that can be an ask and a half.
Apple’s AirTag is a little interesting in this way, because anyone with an iPhone is helping bounce signals to keep AirTagged items tracked, whether or not they realise it. The whole system sits in the background, and means if you tag something with an AirTag, as long as someone nearby has an iPhone, they’re helping you keep tabs on the AirTag’s location.
Given how many iPhones there are about the place, that means if you keep an AirTag on a pet, you have a pretty solid chance their location will be something you can watch over, and that’s great news for knowing where your animals are.
Cheerble Wicked Yellow Ball
A little like a tennis ball, but an automatic tennis ball that moves about the place, Cheerble’s fitness-focused ball for dogs and cats has made our pet holiday gift lists before, and it stays there for one basic reason: at under $100, it’s an easy option for someone with an energetic animal.
If you have a pup or kitten that just doesn’t stop moving, tiring you out in the process, letting the Cheerble ball do its thing might save you some energy while expending the energy of your furry friend, and it doesn’t come with a high price, either.
Bet you didn’t think a smart speaker would make it into this list, and yet here we are, specifically because Amazon’s Echo gadgets come with a skill: if you enable them to meow or bark, they can essentially talk to your animals.
Okay, sure, asking Alexa to enable a meow or bark skill isn’t the same thing as actually talking to a puppy dog or a kitty cat, but it does mean that if you enable the “Meow” skill or enable a “Woof” skill, you’ll be able to get a virtual cat or dog to keep speaking to your animal as the virtual animal imitates your real-life one.
Amazon’s smart speakers can, of course, be used for plenty of other things, making it more a present for yourself, but it’s also one you can use to keep your pet-friends entertained.
Tech 4 Pets Smart Pet Feeder
Something from Australia’s Laser brand, the Tech 4 Pets Smart Feeder is more or less what the name says it is: a tub with a food dispenser and a camera to allow you to remotely feed your dog from your phone.
The feeder carries as much as 7 litres of kibble, while the camera and mic system on the Smart Pet Feeder means you can see your pet and talk to it from your phone, with a button on the app allowing you to dispense with the pleasantries and literally dispense something pleasant for your pet to eat.
Petcube Play 2
Part pet-watcher, part toy, the PetCube Play 2 is what happens when you take something like a Furbo for watching your pet when you’re not there, and then mix it with a laser pointer, giving your furry pride and joy the ability to play with you even if you’re not standing in front of them.
While your dog or cat is very likely counting down the seconds until you come back home (probably dogs more than cats), you can fire a laser pointer at the ground and play with them, watching what they do and talking with them remotely.
Petkit Pura X Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The priciest item on this pet gadget list for the holidays, the Pura X is basically an exotic little bathroom for feline behinds in that — like some of those crazy toilets from other parts of the world — it is automated.
Most cats are pretty good about going to the litter box, clearly more than dogs which just tend to leave droppings, you know, everywhere. However, there’s still the matter of cleaning up the kitty litter box in general.
For just under $700, Petkit has a litter box that can kind of clean itself, remove odours, and even allow your cat to take a catnap inside, with notifications and information sent to your phone.