Six of the best... pet gadgets
It's World Animal Day on October 4, so show your pet how much you care with these great gadgets, writes Polly Weeks
Lap cat: Kitty Laptop, £19.95, from www.prezzybox.com. Whether you've got a big desktop computer or just a small tablet, the second you turn on your device, you can be certain that's also the moment your cat will saunter on over and demand attention - perhaps even sitting on the keyboard to make their point clear.
So, why not set up one of their own? Granted this isn't a laptop with tech capabilities - it's actually a flat-packed cardboard toy - but it does come with a scratchy keyboard for them to dig their claws into. To make the experience complete, print off pictures and slide them into the 'screen' for them to focus on while they're getting their computer fix and playing with the lifelike mouse.
Dart around: Frolicat Dart Cat Toy, £35, from www.petsathome.com
If your cat needs to burn off some energy, switch this gadget on and watch them run around desperate to 'catch' the laser light blasting out of it. The dart will need to be placed on the floor, then it's a case of choosing from four speeds and timer settings. The laser light will jump from place to place - infuriatingly so for your feline - and goes around in circles too. Your cat will enjoy the chase and you'll enjoy not having to clear up after a traditional 'hunt'. Requires 3x AA batteries.
Play time: iFetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher Dog Toy, £135, from www.petsathome.com
Playing fetch with your dog is fun for the first 200 times, but if you get tired and they want to continue, this toy will pick up where you left off. It automatically launches the ball so your four-legged friend can run to pick it up. Train them to drop the ball back into the gizmo and your dog will be able to amuse itself when you're out of the room or garden. The iFetch comes with three balls, each 4cm in diameter which means it's a great toy for smaller dogs, but isn't quite so suitable for larger ones. Requires 6 C batteries.
Eat up: PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder, currently priced £38.79, from www.amazon.co.uk
If you're out all day and would prefer your cat or dog to eat little and often rather than have one big - often messy - bowl of food, this gadget is perfect. There are five compartments for the food, however, four of the compartments will be covered, meaning only one is accessible to your pet to scoff from at a time. Just set the easy-to use timer to decide when the next compartment will become available. Very straightforward to use and sturdy enough that your pet won't be able to prise it open, it could be a great option especially if your pets demand an early morning feed and you want a lie-in. 4 D batteries required.
Feel the heat: Self-heating pet bed, £19.99, www.presentsformen.co.uk
From cats finding the warmest spot in the garden to sunbathe in, to dogs curling up in front of the fire, our pets are just as keen on keeping toasty as we are. That's why they'll love this bed. On the outside it might look like just a snugly, faux-sheepskin bed, but on the inside, hi-tech fabric absorbs the heat coming from the animal and reflects it back, so after just a few minutes of lying on top of it, your pet will be lovely and warm. Perfect for the colder months or for older pets who struggle to get comfortable.
Keep track: Motorola Scout 5000 Connected GPS Dog Collar, £199.99, available November from www.amazon.co.uk
OK, you might be hesitant to spend such a sum on a dog collar, but this is pretty much the most techie thing your woofer could own. Available from November, this takes the 'wearable tech' tag line to the next level. At the front of the collar, you'll find a small black box which comes with GPS tracking and a camera so you can see exactly what your dog is doing and where it is. It doesn't end there though, it also includes two-way audio communication, so, if as soon as you leave the house Rover jumps up on your bed even though he's banned from it, or you can see he's antagonising your cat, you can tell him to behave.
App of the week:
Dogs Trust Emoji Keyboard, free from iTunes and Google Play
If you believe dogs really are man's best friends, and you know your Beagle from your Boxer, download this app. Created by the Dogs Trust, you'll have access to 23 emojis, all of which represent different breeds. The app was inspired by residents at the organisation's re-homing centres.
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