Game Console and Other Pets Care Automation Gadgets
Whether you decide to visit friends or family for dinner, or you travel for few days, you need plan ahead for someone to take care of your pet. Fortunately, there are gadgets that can make your life easier, and allow you make impromptus decisions to go out or have a short stay away from home. They also simply free you from daily chores, while increasing your pet happiness. In the remainder of this post, you’ll find descriptions and videos of the following selection of automated pets care gadgets:
- Automatic Pet Feeder
- Automatic Pet Waterer
- Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
- Game Console for Dogs
- Electronic Toys for Cats
Automatic Pet Feeder
Fish owners enjoy since long ago, food dispensers that attach to fish tanks. They release a programmable amount of feed based on a schedule defined by the user. The same idea has been transposed to feed cats and dogs.
One of the best pet automatic feeders is the “Simply Feed” by PetSafe (see Video 1 below). It accommodates both dry and semi-dry food. It can serve up to 12 meals in a stainless steel bowl. Its parts are dishwasher-safe to ensure easy cleaning. There is also a smaller variant, that is cheaper, but serves only 5 meals. The feeder uses a conveyor belt to dispense food. You can customize your pet’s meals with flexible portions from 1/8 cup to 4 cups. The “Slow Feed” option dispenses scheduled meals slowly over a 15-minute period to help prevent gulping, vomiting, and bloat.
Video 1. PetSafe 12-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
Automatic Pet Waterer
A traditional low-tech waterer is basically a bottle that refills a bowl once the water level goes below some threshold. Water flow is typically controlled using a pure mechanical solution involving a rubber valve and a spring. While it provides water for several days in a row without needing a refill, water remains stagnant and might get dirty. And pets dislike it, since they prefer flowing fresh water. This is why many cats love drinking from faucets and showers. Dogs will drink from toilet bowls and puddles if their water bowl is dirty.
Automatic waterers avoid these issues by continuously circulating and filtering the water. Our favorite is the “Drinkwell Pet Fountain” made of dishwasher safe BPA free plastic (see Video 2 below). As suggested by its name, this automatic waterer has a fountain that aerates the water. It also, includes a built-in reservoir that increases capacity and requires less refilling. Last, its replaceable carbon fiber filter removes bad tastes and odors, and hence encourages your pet to hydrate, which helps prevent urinary and kidney diseases.
Video 2. Drinkwell Pet Fountain
Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
With normal litter boxes, cat owners need to scoop daily. Self-cleaning litter boxes relieves you from dealing with the poop and bad odors for weeks in a row. You don’t have to see, touch, or smell messy waste. In this review, we’ll discuss the two best automated litter boxes: ScoopFree and Litter-Robot.
ScoopFree has a rake that sweeps solid waste to a front covered compartment 20 minutes after your cat uses the litter box (see Video 3 below). Safety sensors detect if your cat re-enters the box and the 20 minutes timer will reset. One specificity of ScoopFree is that is uses disposable litter trays with special a crystal that is more effective at reducing odor than clay or clumping litters. In average you need to replace the litter tray every 20 to 30 days for a single adult cat.
Litter-Robot is a self-cleaning litter box that accommodates with any clumping litter. Its spheric chamber rotates slowly to separate waste from clean litter (see Video 4 below). By relying on gravity, the efficient process drops poop into a bag inside a large-capacity waste drawer. A carbon fiber filter absorbs the odors, while a weight sensor detects the presence of the cat. The cleaning process automatically starts 7 minutes after the cat leaves. All you have to do is to refill litter once in a while, and replace the waste bag when an indicator light signals that the waste drawer is full.
ScoopFree costs less than $130. But, you need to buy litter tray refills which cost $44 each. Assuming that you have one cat and replace the tray monthly, you’ll end up spending $658 the first year, including the price of the ScoopFree litter box. Then, expect to pay at least an extra $528 yearly on litter trays. The high-end Litter-Robot is the most sensible choice with a price tag of $450.
Video 3. ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Video 4. Litter-Robot Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Game Console for Dogs
Video 5. Dogs Playing with CleverPet
Electronic Toys for Cats
CleverPet is for dogs only. For playful cats, you can make your an electronic toy using an Arduino board. We provide you here with three samples of cool week-end DIY projects. It will cost you few bucks to entertain you furry friend.
- The first project is basically a ball hide and seek game. You hide some balls around and the cat has to go fetch them (see Video 6). Once a ball is found, the cat has to carry it, and insert it into a funnel. The ball rolls down and trigger the delivery of some treats.
- If your cat is too lazy to go hunting balls, then you might prefer making an on demand feeding machine. The cat has to press a button to get a small portion of dry food, kept fresh inside a box (see Video 7).
- To really make your cat exercise, this automated laser tower is for you. Your cat will jump and run chasing the laser spot (see Video 8). Beware to keep it on only for short periods of time, to avoid your pet turn crazy or get exhausted.
Video 6. Cute Cat Playing an Electronic Ball Game
Video 7. Funny Cat Pushing a Button to Get Food
Video 8. Crazy Cat Chasing an Automated Laser Spot