The best gadgets for your pets
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Whether they be cat or dog lovers, Engadget’s editors have our fair share of fur babies. With all the comfort and joy our pets have given us, especially over the past year, we think they deserve gifts just as much as any other member of the family this holiday season. Here’s a list of things we’ve given our own little furry friends that we think your pet will enjoy too.
BarkBox monthly subscription
You can buy your pet the cutest, squeakiest toys but you know they won’t last forever: your dog will tear even the sturdiest plush to shreds eventually. You can at least stay ahead of them with a Barkbox subscription, which will deliver a themed box full of funny toys and delicious treats once a month. The themes will make you laugh, while your dog will love having a package that’s all for them. — Kris Naudus, Buyer’s Guide Editor
Cat Person cat food subscription
Prior to last year, my husband and I usually bought cat food at the grocery during our weekly shop. Then, sometime during lockdown, all of the cat food was suddenly sold out. As I was browsing online to see if we could get some delivered, I came across CatPerson, a subscription service for cat food. On top of that, the food looked high-quality, with natural ingredients and 50 percent more protein than the industry standard. I decided to try it out, and my household hasn’t looked back. The cat absolutely loves it and we like that there are 16 different flavors so she’ll never get bored. Bonus: the delivery box easily converts into either a toy or a kitty chalet for the cat to play around in. — Nicole Lee, Senior Editor
Catastrophic Creations “The Lift” Cat Hammock
When I first saw this, $80 felt like a big splurge for a piece of cat furniture I wasn’t even sure if my kitty would like. But after more than a year with Catastrophic Creations’ “The Lift,’‘ I’m so glad I took the chance. The wall-mounted hammock is exceptionally well made, and comes in a variety of colors and finishes so you can match your existing decor. Most importantly: my cat absolutely loves having her own space, a few feet above the couch, where she can nap in the sun and silently judge us from above. The company makes a range of other wall-mounted cat furniture as well, so you can set up an entire elevated playground, complete with mini Indiana Jones-style rope bridges, scratching posts and feeding stations. But even if you’re not ready for all that (or just lack the wall space), the cat hammock is the best of both: a comfy nap spot and a new place to run to when the zoomies hit. — Karissa Bell, Senior Editor
Catit Senses 2.0 Flower Fountain
Cats generally prefer drinking moving water; if you ever see your kitty splashing her water around in the bowl, that’s why. It’s also one of the reasons many people suggest getting a water fountain for your cat. We ended up getting the Catit Senses 2.0 Flower Fountain for our little one. It has three different water flow settings and a triple-action filter that helps ensure the water is as fresh as possible. On top of that, we love that it looks like a little plastic flower pot. — N.L.
Buy flower fountain at Amazon – $30
K&H heated cat bed
In my house, we’ve nicknamed this bed “the hottub,” because our resident cat loves to sit in here for hours, especially in the winter months. The K&H bed is simple, yet effective. There’s a built-in heating pad stashed in the base of the bed that keeps it at a consistently cozy (and safe) temperature. The cover is also removable, so it’s easy to wash up, which is a good thing when your cat spends hours a day in there. — K.B.
Buy heated cat bed at Amazon – $45
Pet Cube Bites 2 Lite treat slinger
From the affordable Cam to the more luxurious Bites 2, PetCube offers several different pet camera models, but we like the Bites 2 Lite for its balance of price and features. You get a treat dispenser with a 1080p camera that features automatic night vision and 8x digital zoom. It also comes with support for two-way audio. The Bites 2 Lite doesn’t come with Alexa built-in, but there’s a good chance you don’t need Amazon’s voice assistant on a device you use to check on your pet and toss them treats when they’ve been a good boy or girl. — Igor Bonafacic, Associate Editor
Buy Bites 2 Lite treat dispenser at Amazon – $149
PetKit Dog Water Bottle
If your doge is anything like mine, they’re mostly floof and easily get thirsty on warm, sunny days. After trying several different dog-specific water bottles, I found the travel bottle from PetKit ideal for helping my canine companion stay hydrated. It’s only $13 but can hold up to 14 ounces of liquid and features a clever design that limits spillage. A silica gel gasket and lock ring also help ensure that the bottle won’t leak in your backpack. I take it on almost every walk with my dog and he always seems thankful when he can drink from it. — I.B.
Buy travel bottle at Amazon – $20
PrettyLitter subscription service
My husband and I love our cat very much, but boy, does her poop stink up the joint. After seeing an ad for PrettyLitter online, we decided to try it out to see if it would help us. Fortunately, it does, and more. Not only does it have super absorbent silicon crystals that trap odor, but it actually changes color to tell you if your cat has any urinary tract issues. Of course, this doesn’t replace going to the vet, but it’s nice to know what’s going on with your cat’s health. Since the litter is so efficient at keeping odor away, we’ve found that we actually use less litter than before, which helps reduce waste. Plus, our cat seems to like it too. On top of that, the company offers a subscription service, delivering a new bag to your door every month. — N.L.
Ruffwear Dog Cooling Vest
The Ruffwear Dog Cooling Vest is ideal for hiking and camping fans in warm climates, and it’s incredibly simple to use. Dunk the vest in water, wring it out and buckle it onto your dog — that’s it, and your buddy is ready to run around in the sun. The Ruffwear vest has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating of 50+, a built-in leash slot and a three-layer design that encourages evaporative cooling. It comes in sizes from x-x-small to x-large, and it costs around $60, or about as much as a Patagonia workout shirt (for humans, that is). — Jessica Conditt, Senior Editor
Buy cooling vest at Amazon – $60
Timbuk2 Muttmover luxe dog backpack
Hopefully, your pet will be too comfortable in this bag to care that it’s called a “Muttmover.” This backpack from Timbuk2 is designed to carry your dog (or cat, we guess), their water bowl, and even your own gadgets, with padded shoulder straps and plenty of external pockets. The main bag has a zippered hole big enough for your pet’s head to poke through while you walk, while the entire front panel unzips for easy extraction. The interior is easy to wipe down and made of durable ripstop nylon fabric, and it even comes with a collapsible dog bowl. — J.C.