|Mr. Lee became an online sensation after his owner, wondering what his feline friend was up to all day, sent him outside with an ingenious automatic "cat cam." (Supplied)
The humble laser pointer might still be the only gadget cats care about -- unless they're using your keyboard like it's their own personal chaise lounge. But technology created for pets can sure make humans' lives a lot easier. (If you're still looking for more stupid pet tricks, park your cat on a Roomba vacuum cleaner and watch the magic happen.)
A German cat named Mr. Lee became an online sensation after his owner, wondering what his feline friend was up to all day, sent him outside with an ingenious automatic "cat cam." The device went up on the market, and now any cat (or dog) can become an amateur shutterbug. The contraption, which weighs 70 grams, goes around your pet's neck, and the camera will automatically take snapshots at one-minute intervals. When your pet gets home, just hook the camera up to your computer via USB. Take note, readers who already treat their pets like children: You just may be tempted to print out your fluffy friend's artwork and tack it up on the fridge. Snap up a Cat Cam for $53 at mr-lee-catcam.de. (A video version is also available for $71).
There's nothing that entices a cat more than a forbidden countertop -- and dogs sure love the couches they're not allowed to sit on. The Tattle Tale pet training alarm features a vibration sensor that will emit a two-second beep if the alarm is jostled. It can also be hung on a door or a piece of furniture, and features high or low settings so you can get the sensitivity right. They're available for $26.99 at amazon.ca.
Electrical wires can be irresistible to chew-happy pets -- bad news for your home office, and a potentially dangerous hobby for your dog or cat. CritterCord cable covers are one way to make sure your pets and gadgets stay protected. The clear tubes are infused with a citrus scent and a bitter flavour that quells biting habits while the tubes cushion the cords. The cord covers come in 6-foot rolls; the standard size runs for $10.99 and the thinner micro size is $7.99 at CritterCord.com.
The Wireless Doormat Chime was created by Swann, a company known for its at-home security products. However, it would also come in handy for pet owners who frequently let their dogs and cats slip outside. If they hop back on the mat, a chime will sound from the wireless indoor unit, which can be placed anywhere within 30 metres of the mat, so no matter where you are in the house, you'll know that your pet wants back in. It's way easier than training your dog to ring the doorbell. It's available for $34.99 at Swann.com.
Sure, it's not a real pet, but at least you can fit this one on your office desk. Kikkerland's poodle USB hub is a cute, clever design that lets you hook up four devices to one computer USB port. The eyeball light even indicates whether or not the hub is hooked up properly. Find it for $12 at Urban Outfitters.