I was able to get my hands on a fancy-pants pet camera (Thanks, Ariel!) that had wifi, night vision, two-way audio, motion detection, a phone app, notifications, and even a treat dispenser! It’s this one from Petcube called Petcube Bites. I was in the market for one because I’m a worry-wart who goes away for a weekend and feels the need to look for my two cats on a webcam constantly. Spoiler: they’re always fine.
But this wasn’t just a webcam — this was supposed to be a state-of-the-art surveillance swat team of a camera that also allows me to
taunt coo at my kitties while rewarding them for chilling out in front of the camera. Here’s how my pet camera trial went down…
Cats be into the treat part
My cats are fools for food so getting them interested in the treat part was super easy. One of them spent most of the time trying to grab more treats from the dispenser tray:
After that, it was all about figuring it out and seeing if it could be trusted. Narrator: it couldn’t.
Here’s how the ride went in night vision (it also records color when it’s not so dark)…
The robot shoots food!
So far so good with the food part. This robot seems lawful neutral:
NOPE. Chaotic evil. I’m out…
We apparently thought it was hilarious, at least. He was able to get over the grudge of getting smacked in the face by
love treats, though, and eventually was chill with it.
The audio is clearly a ghost
I am SAD that I wasn’t able to get a vid of their first impression of the two-way audio. Hearing my disembodied voice coming from seemingly nowhere wigged them the hell out. But they jumped right up and started sniffing so, win?
It’s got connection issues
The big problem we had was that it took literally DAYS for the firmware to update, which wasted some of the free trial time to view videos online (more on that part later). And then when it finally started working, it would crash and lose connection often. We’ll see how this goes, but ultimately, unless you’ve got a trained dog at the ready, I imagine you’d miss out on a lot of cat moments just due to the connection being lost when they were motion detected.
It requires a subscription service
I knew this going in, but do note that it does required a paid subscription to host and view archived footage for any length of time longer than four hours. No biggie, just know that going in.
What’s the verdict?
Verdict: it MOSTLY worked. Wifi connection issues aside, the night vision, audio, treat launching (yowza), and all the fancy features seemed to work well. I could totally see attempting to spy on my felines while I’m away.
Dogs are way more known for coming when called and doing shit for treats, but cats? Not so much. So a dog would probably go nuts for this.
Have you tried out a wifi pet camera? How did it go?
Disclaimer: Petcube provided us with this product for an unbiased test. Opinions and reviews are our own.