The built-in laser sets the Petcube Play 2 apart from other pet cams. Within the app, you can drag your finger around on the camera’s live feed, and the built-in laser will follow the path of your finger. The laser is pet-safe, and the camera itself has Alexa built-in, meaning if you tell Amazon’s voice assistant to play with your pet, it will initiate a play session. That feature works whether you’re at home and feeling lazy, or you’re away and don’t have time to drag the laser around yourself.
My kitties loved playing with the laser, but the process of playing within the app is finicky. Sometimes the laser skips around or responds slowly, and on more than one occasion, my cats couldn’t see it because the pet-safe light can be quite dim. Reading other reviews of the Petcube 2, there seems to be an issue with laser visibility and smooth motion in houses filled with a lot of natural light, so you may want to take that into consideration if you’re planning on buying it. For my testing purposes, I mostly had Alexa play with my cats, which is honestly what I’d do most of the time if I owned the camera myself.
Like Adrienne, I also tried the Petcube Care subscription. If you don’t need a bigger backlog of stored videos, a constant stream of lackluster discounts from Petcube’s partners, or AI smarts, I wouldn’t recommend it. The Play 2 already has a hefty price tag compared to other models on the market. Even if you go with the cheapest annual Petcube Care plan, you’ll be paying an extra $48 per year. That’s nearly a quarter of the camera’s regular cost. But if you have multiple pets or you’re away from home a lot, you may find the subscription worthwhile.—Louryn Strampe
Pawbo+ Wireless Interactive Pet Camera
The Pawbo+ pet camera is designed to keep track of dogs or cats. This pet cam includes an HD video feed, a two-way talk feature, and remote treating options. There’s also an instant sharing feature that lets you seamlessly post cute photos to social media.
Like many pet owners, you may be worried about your furry friend not getting enough exercise and mental stimulation while you’re away. The Pawbo+ is neat because it has a handy laser game built into that your feline friends will enjoy. (Note that some animal professionals have discouraged the use of such games in the past.)
Although this camera is definitely more pet-friendly than your basic security camera and the features it does have work well, it’s not as advanced as the other options in this list, making it hard to stand out considering its price tag.—Kayla Matthews
Correction 2/27/2020 9 am PST: We updated the Petcube Bites 2 listing to note that Alexa is built in, not enabled.
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