Pet owners worry about their fur-babies; it’s a fact of life. Almost every time I set foot outside of my house I have the same paranoid thoughts. What do my cats do while I’m gone? Do they get lonely? Bored? What if there’s an emergency? It’s not like your cat can pick up the phone and give you updates on how they’re doing!
Luckily, in this digital age there’s a way to ease your concerns about your cat that means you can go to work and run errands without stress. Pet cameras (or cat monitoring systems, if you want to get a bit more technical) allow you to watch your cat remotely on your phone, tablet, or laptop. You can check up on your feline friend whenever you chose and can even feed and play with them remotely…allowing you to leave them at home safely and with peace of mind.
This article reviews nine of the best pet cameras currently available on the market, to help take the guesswork out of buying a cat camera for your kitty.
Our review process is unbiased and based on extensive research. If you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Our review process is unbiased and based on extensive research. If you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Quick-Find Table Of The Top Cameras
- “Fun factor” included
- Easy set up
- High functionality
- Diverse features
- Allows for multiple users
- Sleek design
Best Treat Dispenser
- High-tech treat dispensing system
- “Scheduled treat times” feature
- HD camera
- High quality security camera
- Alleviates spending guilt!
- Skype, but with your cat!
- Cat-training capabilities
- Treat dispenser
Easiest To Use
- Users can share photos to Petzi’s unique social network
- Small but effective treat dispenser
- Easy to setup
What Makes A Great Pet Camera The Best Monitoring System?
There are several different factors to take into account when you’re deciding what the best cat camera is for you and your pet.
The cost is obviously a concern to most people, but you also want to make sure that you’re getting a good product for the amount that you end up paying.
- Which camera is the easiest to set up and use?
- Which has the best resolution and display?
- Should you buy a monitor or a collar camera?
- Do you need an in-built laser pointer and feeding system so you can interact with your kitties remotely?
- And, perhaps most importantly, what kind of feedback have previous buyers given?
All of these factors are taken into account in the reviews below, so that you know for certain that you’re making an informed and smart purchase that caters to your cat’s specific needs.
Types of Cat Cameras: Monitors versus Collar Cams
There are two major subcategories of pet cameras; monitors and collar cams.
Monitor cameras are more like traditional security cameras; they’re a stationary unit that you can set up in your living room or kitchen to watch your cat.
Collar cams, on the other hand, are smaller devices that fix to your pet’s collar. It’s important to note that for cats, and especially smaller sized cats, many collar cams just aren’t suitable because they’re too big and heavy for your cat to be comfortable with wearing.
When you’re deciding between a monitor and a collar cam you also need to think about what you want to use your pet camera for.
Is it to see the world through your pet’s eyes or is it to keep an eye on them when you’re out during the day or on vacation?
If your answer is closer to the former then a collar cam is right for you, and if you’re more worried about your cat’s safety then a monitor camera is a better choice. If you’re really enthusiastic, perhaps you could splurge and buy one of each!
Now, keep in mind that most of these can be used as a dog camera, which can be especially helpful if you have a multi-species pet household.
Our Top Three Picks For The Best Pet Cameras for Cats:
#1. Petcube Play 2
- Night vision
- 1080p HD video streaming to your device (both android and iOS systems are supported)
- 160° ultrawide angle lens
- Built in laser pointer and two-way microphone
- Simple, modern design
- Most of the pet parents we talked to or read reviews from love it
- Built-in Alexa
- 4x digital zoom
- No treat dispenser
The Petcube Play 2 takes the top spot on this list for a few key reasons.
The first is that it’s unique. There are dozens of cat cameras out there that provide adequate features and perform well, but when it comes to interactivity and functionality the Petcube Play is in a league of its own.
It comes with a built-in laser pointer so that you can play with your cat remotely and a two-way ‘pet microphone’ so that you can talk to your precious pet and they can meow back at you.
The camera itself provides fantastic resolution and a zoom option so that you can spy on your cat in HD, plus the night vision lets you see your cat even in the early dark days of winter.
It also has a motion sensor that alerts you to movement, meaning that you don’t have to stare at your phone screen for hours just for a glimpse of your cat.
It has a discrete, modern design, is small enough to not be intrusive, and has a non-slip pad on the bottom, which provides peace of mind for owners like me, who have cats that delight in knocking things over.
The price is on the higher end, but when you take all of the included features into account it’s well worth the extra cash. Customer reviews of the Petcube Play 2 are overwhelmingly positive, with common comments applauding the ease with which the camera can be set up and marveling at how much their cats adored the laser pointer.
Basically, the Petcube Play 2 is everything you could ever ask for in a cat camera and more.
BEST ‘ALL AROUND’
#2. PawBo+ WiFi Pet Cam
- 720p HD video stream
- Treat dispensing system
- Laser pointer
- Connects to other PawBo+ accessories
- Works with multiple users at a time
- Loved by pet parents, but not quite as much as the Petcube
- No motion sensor
- Speaker is not the best quality
- Laser toy doesn’t work as well as others
Coming in at number two is the PawBo+ Wi-Fi Pet Camera.
With an inbuilt laser pointer and a two-way audio system, this device is similar to the Petcube Play in many ways.
However, there are some differences that set it apart, the most obvious being that it’s not only a great camera with a wide-angle lens, but it’s also one of the best treat dispensers out there.
Under the camera itself is a compartment to store your cat’s favorite treats. With a push of a button, the treats can be dispensed, allowing you to remotely reward your cats for not scratching the furniture, for using the litter box, or just for being cute.
However, the treat dispensing tray is very small and you might have to refill it every time you leave the house, depending on how much you treat your furry pal throughout the day.
Another difference is the operating system. The downloadable PawBo+ app can be used by up to eight people at any given time, so you can invite your friends and family to gawk at your precious kitten right alongside you.
If you’re social media savvy, this model also allows you to screen-capture the live feed and upload the pictures straight to Facebook.
In sum, the PawBo+ is a reliable and affordable pet camera that’s well worth buying.
BEST TREAT DISPENSING
#3. Petcube Bites 2
- Large treat-storage compartment
- 1080p HD video streaming
- 10-30 days of video storage
- Like the Play version, people LOVE this unit
- Bigger than other models, making it more obtrusive to put in living spaces
- The treat dispensing mechanism is loud, which might frighten particularly sensitive scaredy-cats.
The Petcube Bites 2 Pet Camera is tailor-made for one specific thing: dispensing treats.
The large treat-storage container can store up to 2 pounds of treats for your cat, which can be dispensed at the push of a button.
If your pet is extra good and needs bonus treats (which, let’s . face it, all cats deserve) then the Petcube can be programmed to automatically dispense treats at regular intervals for your cat to enjoy.
Even though it’s another fairly technical device, the treat dispensing system works flawlessly, although the loud noise it makes can give particularly sensitive cats a nasty scare at first. Make sure to introduce it slowly, like any new piece of cat equipment.
Aside from the treat dispenser, the unit also features a high-definition camera similar to that of the Petcube Play. It has a two-way audio system, can store 10-30 days of video history (with the use of Petcube Care’s cloud storage feature), and connects to both android and iOS devices, which provides ease of use and versatility.
It’s slightly more expensive than the other two models listed above, but considering that it’s bigger in size and has the extra treat-dispensing system it’s more than worth a little extra cash.
If you have a food-motivated cat then you really can’t go wrong with this model.
(Please excuse the fact that this is a dog-centric video! The same features apply for use with cats…hopefully Petcube sees this and makes some more cat-friendly videos!!)
#4. Logi Circle 2
- Small and barely noticeable in your home
- 1080p video streaming
- Motion sensor
- No treat dispenser or laser pointer, since it’s not actually designed for kitties
- The battery might not actually last for 12 hours
- No option to share photos of your cat
If you feel a little guilty about parting with your money for the sole purpose of spying on your cat then the Logi Circle 2 is perfect for you!
While some of the other cameras on this list are pet cameras that can also function as security cameras, the Logi Circle is primarily a security camera but can also function as a pet camera. It looks a bit like a webcam.
It has 1080p video streaming, two-way audio, a motion detector, and can store footage for 24 hours in the cloud, meaning that it functions almost exactly the same as any specialty-made cat or dog camera does.
A nice additional feature is that it has 12 hours of battery life, so you can position it wherever you want during the day and then charge it at night.
Basically, you can convince yourself that you’re spending your hard-earned money on a quality home security camera rather than on your already spoiled cat. What’s not to love about that?
#5. PetChatz HD WiFi Video Camera and Treat Dispenser
- HD video-chat screen
- Low-light camera
- Manual and remote treat dispensing system
- Much more expensive than most pet cameras
- More suited to dogs
- Sometimes the video feed freezes
The PetChatz Camera and Treat Dispenser has a unique feature that no other product on this list has: an interactive two-way video camera.
Owners can video-chat with their pet through an app on their phone.
Think Skype, but with your cat.
The camera also features a treat dispenser, which means that you can essentially bribe your cat into walking up to the monitor and talking to you.
Unfortunately, this camera really is more suitable for dogs than for cats.
Any cat owner knows that trying to get your feline friend to do what you say is difficult, and the fact is that training your cat to come to the monitor when you want to talk to them is a challenge.
However, we’ve heard of multiple pet parents who have been able to teach their cat to use the PetChatz camera, so if your kitty is receptive to training then don’t hesitate to give it a go!
EASIEST TO USE
#6. Petzi Treat Cam
- Photos can be shared to the Petzi social network
- Easy to set up and use
- The treat compartment is small and must be regularly refilled
- Treats may get stuck in the dispensing mechanism from time to time
- The design isn’t as modern as most other cameras
The Petzi Treat Cam is similar to many of the other cameras on this list, with a high-definition camera, a treat-dispensing system, and a two-way audio system.
What sets it apart is the ease with which it can be set up and used.
Everything is controlled through a simple app, which features buttons to call your cat to the monitor, to use the microphone, to dispense treats, and to capture photos.
If you like sharing pictures of your fur-baby then you’re in luck because Petzi has its own social network for pet owners, and any photos that you capture can be shared with this community with a click of a button.
Set-up of the camera is also coordinated through the app, which scans for nearby Petzi cameras and then taps into them so you can see the live feed (your camera is password-protected, of course, so not just anyone can hack into it).
It’s a good, reliable, and easy-to-use system, but if you’re looking for a treat-dispensing camera in a similar price range I’d still recommend the Petcube Bites over the Petzi Treat Cam.
Cat Collar Cam Reviews
#1. DOGTEK Eyeanimal Cat Video Camera – Best Collar Cam (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
- Suitable for cats as well as dogs
- 2.5 hours of recording time
- Negative reviews state that some units don’t turn on or charge and that the motion detector feature is faulty
- Lower video resolution
Finding collar cameras made specifically for cats is a challenge, given that many models are too big for a cat to comfortably and safely lift.
The DOGTEK Eyeanimal Cat Camera, however, is designed specifically for cats and is light enough for even a smaller cat to carry.
It features 736×480 Video resolution, which is much less than most monitor cat cameras but is incredible given the small size of the model.
It also boasts a motion detection feature, although several customer reviews complain that it doesn’t work very well.
Other negative reviews explain that some of the cameras DOGTEK ships don’t work and need to be replaced.
Regardless, if you’re looking for a cat collar camera then this product really is the best of the few options available.
#2. Digital Pet Collar Cam Recorder
- Very affordable
- Adjustable collar
- Good quality picture
- Poor set-up instructions
- 1 hr working time
- Easily broken
- Memory card not included
- 2 star average customer rating
This collar camera isn’t designed specifically for cats, but it’s small enough for most cats to wear comfortably.
The camera’s resolution is fair, and the product itself is of high quality given its incredibly low price.
However, there are also considerable drawbacks when it comes to this particular collar cam.
The battery lasts only 1 hour, so it isn’t a permanent or even semi-permanent fixture by any means.
The instructions for setup are difficult to follow, and when some cats lean over their water bowl to drink, the collar can get submerged, which can stop it from working.
Also, it should be noted that you have to buy a memory card separately for the footage to be saved onto.
If you’re looking for a cheap collar camera to use maybe once or twice, this seems to be a good fit, but a higher-priced, better-quality collar camera should be used for anything more than this.
What do I do if my device breaks?
Contact the manufacturer and see if the camera is eligible to be replaced or refunded. If you’ve had it for more than a few weeks and it was working fine prior to breaking then chances are you won’t be able to get a refund, unless the camera was sold with a warranty. If the camera isn’t actually broken but you’re instead having an issue setting it up or connecting it to your devices then call the company’s tech support team (here’s the Petcube support link) and they should be able to assist.
Can collar cameras hurt my cat?
Yes. This is why it’s so important to look up the size and weight of a collar camera before buying it for your cat. Since most collar cams are made for dogs they may be too heavy for your cat and their neck or cause difficulty with walking or running. If you purchase a collar camera make sure to watch your pet in the hours after you clip it on so that you’ll know if the weight is bothering them too much.
Can my camera connect to my android phone?
For the most part, pet cameras are able to connect to both android and iOS systems. However, if it isn’t specified on the product’s page then make sure you check with the manufacturer before purchasing. There’s nothing worse than buying a cool new device only to find out that you can’t use it!
Is the footage from my cat camera kept private?