According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Americans keep 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats as pets. Other types of pets include birds, tortoises, lizards, fish, and even snakes. However, many people leave their pets unattended at home to go to work or run errands.

Our pets don’t like to be alone any more than humans do. So they aren’t happy when we leave them alone at home or go out or to work. We can’t just give them the keys to the house and let them walk around in the city either. So does that mean that people with busy jobs can’t have pets? No, a new breed of connected devices has come to the rescue. The interactive pet camera’s or Smart Pet Toys. These innovative devices allow us to stay in touch and play with our pets from anywhere through WiFi and smartphone apps.

If you have one or more cats and are looking for a Smart Pet Toy, then Kittyo and Petcube will seem like very competing options. But how do they compare to each other? Here is a detailed comparison of Kittyo vs. Petcube.

Kittyo Petcube Original Petcube Play
comparing kittyo vs petcube at smart pet toys review petcube_camera_kittyo-vs-petcube petcube play comparison for kittyo vs petcube at smartpettoysreview
Main Features:
  • Moveable laser pointer
  • Treat dispenser (8 treat magazine)
Main Features:
  • Moveable laser pointer
Main Features:
Shape and dimensions: Cylindrical, 5" diam, 9" high Shape and dimensions: Cubical, 4" x 4" x 4" Shape and dimensions: Cubical, 3" x 3" x 3"
Video: 720P, no viewing angle specified Video: 720P, 138 Deg, no night vision Video: 1080P, 138 Deg, night vision
Audio: 2-way Audio: 2-way Audio: 2-way
Home security functionality: Unknown Home security functionality: Alerts when major activity is detected Home security functionality: Alerts when major activity is detected
Price: $249.00 Price: $149.00 Price: $199.00

Summary

The Petcube Play is the best choice for pet owners that want the latest technology and the option to add a treat dispenser at a later moment.

Petcube Original is the best option if you want to get started for a low price. It lacks night vision and treat dispensing but has proven itself over the last two years as a solid device with few bugs and problems.

If you want a device that dispenses treats and has a laser pointer in one housing, then the Kittyo is an option. It also has a set of pre-programmed noises to attract your cat to the camera. Please be aware that many early adopters on Kickstarter are having problems and are claiming refunds  (in November 2016,  over two years after the crowdfunding campaign)

Feature: Video Camera

The camera is the most crucial part of a Smart Pet Toy. A bad camera will make any other function a lot less valuable. And a good camera does not just have to perform under ideal lighting conditions; it has to work well in our homes where it’s often darker than outside. Both Petcube Original and Kittyo use a 720P camera without night vision. Petcube Play uses a 1080P camera with night vision. You can read the full breakdown in our review of Petcube

A higher resolution of the camera is not always better. Particularly for people that will be using their smart pet toys through cellular networks. The higher the resolution, the more data will be used. Having a camera with night vision is a definitive advantage when you leave the house at night or in winter. We don’t want to always leave the lights on at home in case we decide to check on our cat.

Feature: Laser Pointer

The laser pointer is going to be the biggest reasons why we are looking at these two devices. With this, we want to send our cat jumping through the living room. Both Smart Pet Toys have a laser pointer, and they are very close in performance and features. The Kittyo laser pointer

Feature: Treat Dispenser

One of the ways that we spoil our cats is with treats. They are powerless against their favorite cookie or piece of food. So it’s a cool idea to be able to treat you cat from a distance and see how they enjoy it. Kittyo was the only device to feature a steerable laser pointer and treat dispenser when the project started. But that was over two years ago.

Now Petcube is working on separate treat dispenser that can integrate with the Petcube Play. Of course, having two separate devices is more expensive and requires communication between them. But it also allows you to place the treat dispenser in a different location than the camera. And in general, it’s better to place the camera and laser pointer in a higher position. The Petcube treat dispenser (called Bites) is available for pre-order, so we can’t say much about it yet. However, with the original and Play, Petcube has proven itself to make high quality and innovative products. We are looking forward to see how it turns out.

Feature: Home Security Functionality

Petcube is equipping their Smart Pet Cameras with a function for home security. When the device detects a lot of activity, it will send you a sound or visual alert on your smartphone. You can’t use it as a complete home security system because the Petcube only watches part of your living room. But it’s a nice feature that can also detect when your pets are going crazy or destroying the furniture. It can allow you to intervene with the audio system and break the habit, which is otherwise very difficult.

The Story Behind Kittyo

DetailsFrontSide_highKittyo is a web-connected device that you can use to play, talk, or watch your cat while away. In addition, you can use it to dispense treats. It is being developed and built by Lee Miller. He has been looking for a better way to interact with our pets for years. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, Kittyo had a chance to become reality.

The first products were shipped to early adopters in spring of 2016 and many people have had a great time with their cats. A number of people have run into serious problems with network connectivity and app functionality. This has made it impossible for them to use the device. Currently, (november 2016) the staff at Kittyo is working to resolve those issues.

Kittyo smartphone interface

Setup

Setting up Kittyo is easy because all you have to do is set-up your user account with your Wi-Fi password. After this, you can interact with your cat remotely via the Kittyo app. To make things easier, Kittyo has a minimalist UI with button icons that denote specific functions.

 

The Story Behind Petcube

Petcube with catPetcube could be called the most succesful interactive pet camera to date. The cute box with moveable laser pointer was introduced at the end of 2014 at CES. Since then many people have used the original Petcube to play with their cats and dogs from anywhere. In early 2016 they introduced the updated Petcube Play and a treat dispensing extension called the Petcube Bites.

Petcube smartphone interface

Setup

Setup for Petcube is very similar to the Kittyo device. You download the app, connect the device to your Wifi and are ready to get started. First you use the smartphone app to connect directly to the device. Then you select your preferred network, login information and options you would like. After this you can access your Petcube from anywhere and start having fun.

 

Conclusion

Kittyo and Petcube are both web-connected smart devices that you can use to monitor, play with, and talk to your cat remotely. They also come with apps that support functionalities such as dispensing treats and recording pet videos. The main differences are:

  • Kittyo has a treat dispenser and Petcube has not. This can be a critical feature to get your cat to be become and stay focused on the device.
  • Kittyo has some extra functionality for making various noises to attract your cat.
  • Kittyo is considerably more expensive than Petcube.
  • Petcube is a more mature product. Kittyo has just shipped the first units to the Kickstarter backers and is having issues.
  • Petcube Play has the best camera, both in resolution and night vision.
  • Petcube Play with Petcube Bites will give you the ability to dispense treats and play with the laser, but will be more expensive than Kittyo.

 

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