red cat with a laptop

Smart Pet Products: Technology for Cats

Technology seems to have a place in every part of life these days. Your cat can watch a video especially shot for him or play with an interactive toy that turns on when he plays with it.

There are microchip controlled feeders with timers that open for a specific cat at specific times and fountains with LED light purification and controls that shut it off when not in use. You can watch your cat on a remote petcam or dispense treats from afar. There’s even a wi-fi enabled litter box.

What smart pet products have you used to expand your cat’s life?

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Smart Pet Products for Play

Your cat can have plenty of fun with recycled household items. But there are a lot of electronic and interactive cat toys coming to the market.  Some cats love these interactive toys. Active and busy kittens seem to like the excitement.  I have tried several of these interactive toys with limited success. My cats try to take them apart and get bored with them easily.  However, if I rotate them in and out of their environment they enjoy playing with them again.

There are a few classes of interactive cat toys: laser pointer toys, “wack-a-mole” style toys where an animal appears in various places for Kitty to chase, and toys where Kitty can exercise her hunting skills chasing a butterfly or bug.

These smart pet products tend to be expensive and can be hit or miss with cats. You can usually preset these toys to start up at random times whether you are there or not. These random start toys are a great way to add enrichment to your cat’s life.

My kittens enjoyed “The Cheese” and a Froli-cat laser both PetSafe products. 

The Catty-Whack was the first interactive cat toy we tried and most of the cats enjoyed it, though my shy cats were afraid of the noise it makes.

Hexbugs didn’t get their start as cat toys. They were tiny robotic projects and toys for kids.  But since cats loved them they brought out a line of cat toys. My cats love them.

Swimming robot fish are other motorized toys in this group that my cats really enjoyed. These are great in the summer. Drop them in a mixing bowl of water and Kitty will get some extra hydration as they dip their paws in to catch the fish.

Flashing lights, noises, treat dispensers and random motion toys can be another source of fun for Kitty.  My cats generally appreciate this type of interactive toys more than the higher-priced toys.  An LED replacement ball for their track toy was an inexpensive upgrade to a favorite toy.  Squeaky mouse toys and chirping birds from OurPets are very popular.  The toys themselves aren’t a lot different from the typical catnip mouse or wand toy but the sounds perk up the experience and make it more fun for your cat.

Related Post: Benefits of play

Music and Video

If managing your kids’ screen time wasn’t enough, now you can wonder about your kitty’s media indulgence.  No, not just their Instagrams or fascination with your TV shows (my Plush has a weird attraction to Northwoods Law), but media specifically designed for your cats. Several companies have designed apps that bring the online world to cats.


There are several companies that produce music specifically for cats. ICalmPet’s Through A Cat’s Ear produces the a player and 3 music programs to designed to calm or enrich, and a program designed specifically to help with noise phobias.  Relax My Cat has a YouTube channel full of music designed for cats in a variety of situations.

Videos for cats:

  • Relax My Cat also has a TV for Cats playlist that combines their music with birds and small animal videos to keep”bored and lonely” kitties relaxed.
  • GoldenGarden is another YouTube user that has created nature videos specifically for cats. But really any nature video will do.
  • CatGames is another channel that has produced videos designed for cats to watch fish or chase a lizard.  I found I had to be more selective on this channel, some of them are more like cartoons and didn’t hold my cats interest at all.

Video Games for Cats

Have a tablet or larger smartphone? Apps are another smart pet product that will add interest and excitement in your cat’s life. If you haven’t tried it, you need to download apps for your kitty! It’s like giving your toddler your phone to play with right?  YouTube comes in handy here too.

Some of the best apps for cats include Cat Playground, Game for Cats, Friskies Jitterbug or CatFishing, and Pocket Pond 2.

I admit my tablet is full of apps for cats.  Most of my cats preferred the fish or bugs and really don’t care about the red-dot type stuff.  They did like this one (but I had to turn the sound off, it’s really annoying.)

Technology enriches your cat’s life and makes our lives easier. There are products on the market for every area of a cat’s life. But we can’t substitute technology for interacting with our babies.


Speaking of apps, you can even use your smart phone to feed your cat.  Petsafe’s SmartFeed automatic feeder is wifi enabled and allows you to schedule your pet’s meals via your iphone or android phone and  this one takes it a step further with a webcam.

For canned or raw feeders,  there are feeders with icepack options to keep food safe and fresh for kitty.

Have a cat on a prescription diet?  I had to switch all mine to the same food when I brought Treeno home on a special diet.  Expensive project. Plus they all got fat.  I wish I’d had something like this microchipped feeder that would have opened only for him.  These are great for multi-cat homes where resource guarding or food bowl bullying is a problem too.

I  think the invention of timed and microchipped feeders is one of the best uses of new technology for cats.  Obesity is a real problem for the cat population and timed feeders can really help.

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The technology that is probably the favorite of many cat owners is the self-cleaning litter box. Self-cleaning boxes make the nastiest part of owning a cat a lot less work.  However, they are not maintenance-free. You will still have to clean the system periodically.

Auto-boxes are designed to rake or spin after your kitty uses the box and collects the waste.  You simply empty the collection container and reset if for next time.  No more daily scooping.  You can go even more high-end and install the Cat Genie which will flush away the waste.

Benefits of Self-Cleaning Litterboxes:

  • The obvious benefit is not having to deal with pet waste.  You just change the containers.
  • Continuous cleaning means better odor control.
  • A self-cleaning box will keep Kitty’s box clean and odor free even if you work long hours or travel overnight.
  • Could be a benefit if you have many cats
  • A self-cleaning box can help with inappropriate elimination if your kitty requires a perfectly clean box at all times.

Now for the Downside:

  • Most self-cleaning litterboxes are larger than normal litterboxes because of the electronics involved but the actual bathroom area for the cat is small.  If you have a Forest Cat or a Ragdoll, think this through.  The Litter Robot or Littermaid Multi-Cat may work for you, most of the others will be a challenge for your cat.
  • Self-cleaning litterboxes are expensive.  They range from around $100 to upwards of $500.  Some systems require the use of proprietary litters and litter containers.  That is an on-going expense that is typically more than your average litterbox.
  • Your kitty might be afraid of the noise or motion of the self-cleaning box and refuse to use it. In this case a self-cleaning box could cause inappropriate elimination.



A pet tracker is a device that attaches to your kitty’s collar that monitors your cat’s activity and movements. You can get trackers that work on radio frequency or GPS.  Other tools use bluetooth or wifi.

Consider using a tracker if your feline friend goes outside. You can use a pet tracker to see where Kitty goes and what she does while outside.  Trackers can help reunite you and your kitty if your indoor cat gets out or your adventure cat slips her harness.

If you travel with your pet consider a tracker.  I’ve recently heard two stories of show cats who were lost while traveling to shows.  Microchips are wonderful tools and will certainly help reconnect you and your furbaby but it requires that someone take your cat to a vet to scan the chip.  If you’re traveling with a purebred show cat there’s a risk of theft. Trackers give you that one more way to track your cat and get her home.

Tabcat seems to be the most popular tracker for cats as it is not too large or heavy.


“Nanny Cams” or home security cameras allow pet parents to monitor their kitties during their work day or while traveling. You can oversee their eating and make sure they aren’t getting into trouble.  If you have a multi-cat home a security camera can let you know which cat is peeing on the floor, puking up furballs, or climbing the curtains. Comcast has added a “pet filter” to their home camera system that pulls just your pet footage for you to review.

A camera system can also help you make sure your petsitter is doing what you hired them to do.

The top of the class is the PetChatz Digital Daycare system.  It not only records video of your pet, it lets your pets see you too with a two-way video system. You can give treats to your kitty remotely.  PetChatz has a calming aromatherapy scent for cats with separation anxiety, a video screen that can play videos with an additional subscription service, and best of all, you can upgrade with a pawprint button that lets your cat call you!

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High-Tech Cats

Adding technology can enrich your cat’s life and make it more interesting and fun.  It can make our lives as cat guardians easier.  There are products on the market for every area of a cat’s life.  But we need to be aware that we aren’t substituting technology for interacting with our babies.  We don’t want to miss a health concern or behavior issue because we relied on technology instead of our own feline-human bond. How has smart pet technology impacted your cats?

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Holly Anne Dustin

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12 thoughts on “Smart Pet Products: Technology for Cats”

  1. Isn’t it amazing the technological advances in items for pets. I’ve used some of the interactive toys on the iPad with the girls. I also have a video camera that I can watch through my iPhone as well as a feeder that can be controlled through the phone. I love the idea of the music for cats – I need to check these out.

  2. It’s amazing isn’t it just how much technology touches our lives and our pets’ lives?! I have played music for my dogs, as well as TV (some like the Weather Channel as it has a mix of music, talk, and images while my others enjoy cartoons! LOL). Also for my dog that had epilepsy, there was an app to track symptoms, vet visits, medications/reminders, etc. The auto treat dispensers with cameras always piqued my interest, I even have one, but never installed as my Huskies would figure out treats were inside and probably destroy it to get at them! Great post – just like with kids today, whatever did we do before technology?! 😉

  3. There are some pretty awesome tech developments that mean we can always spoil our cats (and then a bit more!) I really wish I could afford a Litterbot, I have seseenne them in action and they are so useful.

    I have two Petcubes that i reviewed and I would definitely NOT be without them. They allow me to keep an eye on the cats, and they are fun too!

  4. It is amazing what technology can do! I have used a few gadgets with my cats that we have liked. They have a pet cam with a laser dot that they absolutely love! They also have had a self-scooping litter box that was really nice. I hope to get another one of those soon. 🙂

  5. Wow, so much to choose from! My niece has a self-cleaning litter box and loves it. I don’t have cats, but I imagine I will have to look into some technology when I get my next puppy. Buffy, my old cocker, is blind and content to sleep most of the day. What I would like is a ball that bounces long enough for her to find it. I’ve tried various blind dog toys that she didn’t like much.

  6. So many interesting products- great review. I have a tracker for Kilo and a Furbo camera with treat dispensing which I LOVE!! I am just testing a new tech product that is meant to repels fleas and ticks. The cat games are fantastic, Kilo just has a few basic puzzles. My cat was never interested in TV and Kilo does not appear to see what is on screen so no iPad for him LOL. He can recognize voices or barks.

  7. It just amazes me daily on how much technology there is for cats, I remember when my cat played with a ball i made out of aluminium foil for hours. As I am not so into technology I do not think I would get any kind of dog technology toy for Layla.

  8. Lola The Rescued Cat

    I never really thought about how much technology exists for cats. I have to admit, we’re not that technologically advanced here. But I”m sure Lola and Lexy are extremely jealous that they don’t have an iPad or a Yurt! LOL I do put bird TV on every now and then. This post makes me want to look into more products.

  9. I guess I’m not a high-tech cat. We’ve tried all these things except for the Great American Sh@t Toss aka electronic litter boxes to no avail. Rarely will be go for the red rot or a wand toys. I don’t like anything that makes noise and got bored with cat-tv and ipawd games quickly. I do like things like wind-up toys.

    1. If you like the windup style toys the hexbugs might be fun for you. My cats aren’t really big into technology either – the Mayhem girls will try almost anything. They and Matisse are most into apps. Plush will play on my tablet if he doesn’t have competition and if he’s in the mood. They all like the bird tv kind of stuff the best.

  10. So cool! Some of these items, like the GPS trackers and cameras are things I’ve been thinking about getting for my dogs too. Oh, and there’s a Relax My Dog Youtube channel that’s supposed to be relaxing music for dogs. I used to play it a lot when my youngest dog was a puppy. There’s so many interesting technology products for pets these days, I’ve kind of been out of the loop. I’ll have to research if there’s anything new/interesting for dogs.

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