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Best Cat Cameras on the Market: Pros, Cons, and Tech Specs
Melanie Deisz

Melanie Deisz

Last updated: December 02, 2019
Best Cat Cameras on the Market: Pros, Cons, and Tech Specs
Photo by Ana via Wyze

If you’re like me, you’re so incredibly obsessed with your cat, it hurts. When I worked in production doing 12+ hour days, I always had the camera on so I could check on Max. Of course, he was always too mad at me for leaving so he would just completely ignore me. My camera is about five years old and is on its last legs, but fret not, there is a whole slew of cameras out there that I can buy!

Pet Specific Cameras

Pet specific cameras are elevated security cameras. They’re pricier than in-home security cameras as they come with pet-friendly bells and whistles like laser pointers and/or treat dispensers. While the cameras have wide angle lenses, none of them have 360° rotation capability. But if the bells and whistles are what you’re looking for, then these are the highest rated pet specific cameras you’ll want:

Pawbo+

Photo via Chewy

Pawbo+ is a popular choice because it allows for treat dispensing and laser pointer fun. Do you want to remind Fluffy you love her even though you had to go to work? With this one, you can log on to Pawbo’s app, dispense some of her favorite treats, and watch her enjoy. While the Pawbo+ is an adequate camera, what you’re really paying for is the treat dispenser and laser pointer. This camera comes in around $150, depending on the retailer.

Pros:

  • Dispenses treats
  • A built-in laser pointer
  • Up to 8 people can log on at once and watch
  • Free app for iOS or Android
  • Dual microphone to chat with Fluffy while you’re away
  • Can share videos or photos to social media

Cons:

  • Only 720p HD video
  • Camera is stationary and does not allow for panning a room
  • No night vision
  • Laser can be difficult to control
  • No motion alert
  • Expensive

Petcube Play 2

Photo via Chewy

A popular camera among pet owners is the Petcube Play 2. While it lacks treat dispensing, it does have a laser pointer. Plus, it lets you log on to the app anywhere to see what Peanut’s been up to and you can chat with him. If your cat is a hider, you can enable sound and motion alerts so you are alerted when he or she comes out of hiding. This camera comes in around $200, depending on the retailer.

Pros:

  • 1080p HD video
  • Wide angle lens
  • Night vision
  • Free app available for iOS and Android
  • Sound and motion alerts available
  • Adjustable laser pointer for playtime
  • Tiny and unassuming
  • Built-in Alexa
  • Can pair numerous Petcube Play 2s to each other to allow for multi-cam coverage

Cons:

  • Camera is stationary and does not allow for panning of a room
  • Difficult to reset if the cover is on (could cause issues if the camera is mounted on a wall)
  • No treat dispenser (if that’s what you’re looking for)
  • Mount for the device doesn’t seem sturdy
  • Expensive

Petcube Bites

Photo via Chewy

The Petcube Bites is the biggest pet camera out there as it has a storage bin for 2 pounds of treats. Plug this in, connect to WiFi, and watch Fluffy and Peanut scramble to get those goodies! Purrhaps Fluffy sits close to the camera and Peanut sits far away; lucky for you, you can change the throwing distance to accommodate both of your cats’ needs. This camera comes in around $125, depending on the retailer.

Pros

  • Night vision
  • Offers motion alerts
  • Has a microphone so you can chat with Fluffy
  • 1080p HD resolution
  • App available for iOS and Android
  • Has a treat dispenser that supposedly can hold up to 2 pounds
  • Can change throwing distance

Cons

  • Treat dispenser is loud and can be an issue for anxious cats
  • Must use particular treats or the dispenser will jam
  • Cannot connect to 5G networks
  • Cannot change HD resolution
  • Only allows for 1 user
  • Can only get “smart alerts” if you sign up for paid monthly subscription
  • Does not have a laser pointer

Security Cameras that Double as Pet Cams

If you’re more concerned about seeing your cat and not dispensing treats or having a laser pointer, getting a security camera may be the best bet for you. Security cameras tend to be much more affordable and offer better options such as motion alerts, HD resolution and movable lenses. If these features are more important to you, then here are the top-rated cameras you should consider:

DEATTI Wireless Security Camera

Photo via Amazon

Coming in with 4/5 stars on Amazon, the Deatti Wireless Security Camera is an affordable alternative to the above mentioned pet specific cameras. While the Deatti won’t dispense treats or allow you to play with a laser, it will monitor Fluffy’s movements. You are also able to chat with Fluffy and check the entire room as the wide angle lens moves. This camera comes in around $30, depending on the retailer.

Pros

  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • App compatible with iOS and Android
  • Wide angle lens allows 355° horizontal rotation and 90° vertical rotation
  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Offers push notifications for motion detection
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Cannot connect to 5G WiFi; must connect to 2.4G
  • According to some reviews, the picture on the app could be clearer. This could be a WiFi, app, or a lens issue

Wyze Cam

Photo via Amazon

With over 14k reviews, this camera clocks in at 4.5/5 stars. While you’re unable to pan a room for Peanut as the camera is stationary, the resolution and night vision are top notch. If you’d prefer SD resolution, you have the option to switch between the two. And if you’re someone who loves Alexa, you’re in luck! This camera is Alexa and Google Assistant compatible. This camera comes in around $26, depending on the retailer.

Pros:

  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion and sound alerts optional
  • Free 14-day trial offer to the cloud
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Night vision
  • iOS and Android compatible
  • Multiple users can access the camera if invited to your account
  • Allows you to switch between SD & HD resolution

Cons:

  • Camera is stationary
  • Only works on 2.4G WiFi

TOOGE Pet Camera

Photo via Amazon

This camera is similar to the other non-pet specific cameras. The thing to note is that while they call this a pet camera, it only has the capabilities of a security camera. A touch pricier than the Wyze and the Deatti, it’s still much more affordable than Petcubes and Pawbo. It’s compact and has a moveable lens. You’ll be able to talk to Fluffy and Peanut whether it’s day or night. This camera comes in around $40, depending on the retailer.

Pros:

  • iOS and Android compatible
  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Night vision
  • Two way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Wide angle lens that allows 350° horizontal rotation and 80° vertical rotation
  • Multiple phones can be logged in to the account at one time

Cons:

  • Alarm notification only covers motion and not sound
  • Cannot connect to 5G WiFi; it must bc 2.4G

Where Should You Put Your Cat Cam?

Depending on your housing set up and your cat’s temperament and habits, deciding where to put the camera(s) is totally up to you. I live in a studio. So when I hooked mine up, I put it in the most central location on a shelf under the TV. Max tends to sleep on my bed, under the bed, or in one of his three other cat beds (yes – he has that many beds in a studio because this boy owns me). I also opted for a regular security camera that doubles as a pet cam as I preferred the 360° view over laser pointers and treat dispensing.

If your cat has certain hiding spots, it would be a good idea to place cameras in those areas. If your cat goes wherever he or she pleases and has no patterns, perhaps get a few cameras and spread them throughout your home to cover more surface area. I have a client who has a one-bedroom apartment, and her cat spends equal time in both rooms so she has one in each room to cover the most lived in areas. As the old cliché goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While any one of these cameras will do the job, it comes down to what you want the camera to do and how much you’re willing to spend. Whatever you do, always read the reviews!

Deciding on a camera can be tedious. To find the best option for you and your cat, evaluate your needs, your housing situation and what is most important to you while you’re away. While you know your cat will be in good hands when your Meowtel sitter visits, having the option to check in on your baby the other 23 hours of the day they aren’t there is always a great feeling.

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Melanie Deisz

Melanie Deisz

Creative & Opurrations; Cat mom to Maxwell Wellington