IF SHADOWKyle Crawford’s cat could speak, the 12 year old domestic short hairstyle could say, “I can ignore you when you are here, but when you leave I panic: I eat stress.” The new high-tech feeder that Mr. Crawford, 36, recently bought – designed to distribute Shadow’s food on a set schedule – makes his occasional three-day business trip outside of Chicago less anxious for the cat, he said, “The Robot Feeder allows him to eat slowly over time instead of having a large meal, which happens when someone comes by and feeds him. “
While cats would always prefer to be cared for by a human, the new smart pet gear is designed to allow your tabby to fly in comfort alone during the weekend beach trips and office commute trips that many of us have resumed. Robots can make sure the most demanding pet has a clean litter box and even has a way to hear your voice (and ignore it at will) when you’re gone.
Here are our top picks for cat grooming technology.
1. Meal Mechanizer
It is only good etiquette to verbally invite your cat to eat when you stop feeding. With the Petlibro 4L Wi-Fi automatic feeder, you can still do this from the beach. The device plays a recorded 10-second message before tossing dry food into a stainless steel bowl. Use the intuitive app to control when, how often and how much your cat eats during your absence. And if the power to the socket fails in the event of a power failure, the D-cell backup batteries are activated. Ashley Davidson, 35, vice president of a public relations firm in Alexandria, Va., Said the scheduled meals seemed to calm her cat. “I think it got rid of his stress waiting for us to get home so he can eat.” $ 90, petlibro.com
2. Smarter tracking system
While most smart cameras let you keep an eye on your pet while you are away, none is as entertaining. The 3 1/2-in Petcube Play 2 is equipped with a high-resolution wide-angle camera with 4x zoom and night vision. The device casts a laser on the floor for your cat to track, and the speaker lets you give soothing cheers in real time. Smartphone notifications notify you when the microphone picks up excessive meowing. It plays music with Amazon Alexa for Bengalis who insist on Billie Eilish and Calicos who prefer country. $ 199, petcube.com