The best pet cameras are the ultimate babysitting device, keeping a watchful eye on your furkid whenever you’re away so that you always have peace of mind that they’re safe and sound.
One of the great things about pet cameras is they don’t just help you feel more at ease, they can also help your feline friend or canine companion, easing boredom and reducing separation anxiety and stress.
Just like the best automatic pet feeders, pet cameras have been designed to help make your life easier, not only allowing you to check in on your furkid when you’re out of the house but also letting you engage with them via two-way talk, which can be a great comfort.
Many can dispense treats, perfect for when you’re wanting to reward your pet for being a good girl or boy, and some also do double-duty standing in for the best laser toys and providing your pet with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
When it comes to choosing the best pet camera, we don’t blame you if you feel overwhelmed. The marketplace has suddenly become crowded with lots of different options, but there are a few things that can help make the decision easier.
If you have one of the best pet trackers, then you likely already know how widely the prices of these kinds of gadgets can vary, and pet cameras are no different. While some are more sophisticated and expensive than others, we’ve included some excellent budget options in this guide that will do the job nicely.
You’ll want to consider the field of view the camera offers, with a wide degree of horizontal and vertical movement providing you with more room coverage, and if access to expert advice and guidance would be something you’d find helpful, look for a pet camera that comes with an app that offers 24/7 live veterinarian support.
Now that you know a little bit more about what the best pet cameras have to offer, let's zoom in and take a closer look at a few of our favorites...
PetsRadar's pick of the best pet cameras
- Best overall pet camera: Petcube Play 2
- Best pet camera with treat dispenser: Furbo Dog Camera
- Best pet camera with color night vision: Arlo Pro 3 Camera
- Best pet camera for fun: Skymee Owl Robot
- Best budget pet camera: Neos Smartcam
- Best high-end pet camera: Arlo Ultra
- Best motion-detection pet camera: Victure Pet Camera
Petcube Play 2
Best overall pet camera
Resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 160° | Laser pointer: Yes | Treat dispensing: No | Motion detection: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
The Petcube Play 2 is very compact, and certainly looks the neatest of any of the specifically pet-led cameras we've featured here. It's almost a cube, save for a fraction of an inch on one axis, and its black-and-silver case makes it a little less conspicuous than the white alternatives out there.
It's not only the refined design that makes it a very cool camera. A wide-angle lens lets you see more of your room, and there's a quad-microphone array that helps you hear your pet, along with an upgraded speaker so that your pet can hear you more clearly. Then there's the smarts: the Petcube Play 2 doesn't just link with Amazon's Alexa so you can trigger some of its features with your voice, it actually has Alexa built-in itself, so you can ask it what the weather is like, or play music.
The camera is very strong: a high-resolution Full HD sensor with night vision and smart motion-sensing, so it can distinguish between whether it's seeing people or animals; position one on your kitchen counter, for example, and you could set it up to alert you when your cat decides to investigate those forbidden areas.
There's no built-in treat-dispensing here, but depending on your pet's proclivities that may be a positive. Instead, there's a rather smooth (and less fattening) laser pointer to keep them entertained. You could, alternatively, try the Petcube Bites 2 if you're OK trading the laser for a treat chute.
Sadly this second edition isn't yet available worldwide. US readers should have no trouble finding it, but for now readers in the UK can only get the first edition, which doesn't have Alexa built in.
Best pet camera for dogs
Resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 160° | Laser pointer: No | Treat dispensing: Yes | Motion detection: No | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
The Furbo Dog Camera is crammed with nice touches and smart features. Take its treat-dispensing function: where others might dribble out a kibble or two on command, this actively fires 1cm treats a full metre away, with a randomness to its launch method that should keep your dog interested. It works with Amazon’s Alexa, and you can even set up dispensing routines in order to keep your canine on its toes during the day.
Pet cameras are often used for training and comfort, so the Furbo Dog Camera naturally features bark alerts. It'll send a message to your phone when your pup is bothering the neighbours, the idea being that you can then open up the app and use two-way talk (or even pop out a little treat) to placate your pet. These alerts are adjustable, meaning you can tweak them to only trigger at a certain volume level, which means you can choose to only be notified when your dog is really raising the roof.
The Furbo Dog Camera doesn't only hang its hat on smart features, though. It's no slouch as a camera, carrying effective black and white night-vision capabilities, a perfectly decent Full HD hi-res camera sensor, and a 160-degree lens that should help you cover as much of your main room as possible. You can zoom in via the app too.
One downside is the size; it's hefty compared to a camera-only device such as the Neo SmartCam, or even a compact pet camera like the PetCube Play 2. It has to make room for treats somehow, sure, just bear in mind that it's not exactly going to hide itself away on a shelf or table.
Arlo Pro 3 Camera
The best pet camera with color night vision
Resolution: 1440p | Field of view: 160° | Laser pointer: No | Treat dispensing: No | Motion detection: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
The Arlo Pro 3 Camera has remained steady in its popularity since its release two years ago and it’s easy to see why. A big step up from the Arlo Pro 2, it offers superior benefits for pet parents looking for peace of mind that their furkid is safe and sound when they’re home alone.
With 2K Ultra HD, 12x zoom, color night vision, and a rechargeable battery that stays powered for up to six months, this little beauty ticks almost every box. Not only does it look great with a sleek and stylish design, but it also performs well and pairs beautifully with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
There’s a two-way talk system that enables you to clearly converse with your pet and a wide 160° diagonal viewing angle that lets you monitor your furkid no matter where in the room they are.
The camera comes with a three-month trial to Arlo Smart, which offers 30 days of Cloud storage and an intelligent alert system that lets you dial 911 or sound the alarm straight from the app. Unlike the Arlo 2 though, there’s no 7-day free Cloud storage after the trial period ends, so you’ll need to sign up permanently or opt for a USB storage device.
While there’s no fancy treat dispenser or laser with this camera, security-wise it does its job well. Its pricing between the Arlo 2 and the Arlo Ultra makes it a good compromise for pet parents looking for a balance between affordability and features.
Best pet camera for fun
Resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130° | Laser pointer: No | Treat dispensing: Yes | Motion detection: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
You may accuse Skymee of deviating into the more silly end of the pet camera market here. Alternatively, you may applaud them for bringing something fun to the table. Whichever your viewpoint, it's hard to argue that Skymee's roving floor robot isn't equal parts ludicrous and brilliant.
It works like this: you charge it up, fill it with treats, then leave it on the floor. When you want to see what your pet is up to, open the app on your phone and drive the Skymee Owl around your room until you find them. You can then watch the goings-on through the Full HD camera built into its left eye, and it has night vision for darker corners or those nights out. You also don't have to actively control it – the Skymee Owl can be assigned to a pre-programmed patrol schedule or set to use its infrared sensor to detect pet motion and record automatically.
A very handy camera, then, but this won't be for every household. We've seen reports that it struggles with certain kinds of carpet, so it runs best on hardwood or laminate floors. If you're in a multi-level household, you'll obviously only be able to run this on one of those levels. Certain pets will definitely need a little acclimatization before they get used to the little rolling robot, but it seems sturdy enough to take a few back-tooth bites if you have a larger dog at home. Even if your pet starts out spooked, the treat dispenser does mean you'll win them round pretty quickly.
Once your pet is used to it, you can even take the Owl outdoors for some interactive play; it can generate its own Wi-Fi network for you to connect the app to, and you can record video as you play.
As a pet camera we'll admit this is pretty niche, but as an automated or remote pet entertainer, it's super-fun.
Best budget pet camera
Resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 110° | Laser pointer: No | Treat dispensing: No | Motion detection: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
You don’t specifically need a camera designed for pets if all you want to do is keep an eye on your furry friends when they're at home and you're not. In fact, you might be better served not picking up a pet camera; there's a certain premium added on for the pet market, a little like how the same flowers will cost three times as much if you utter the word 'wedding'. For the same price as one pet-specific camera, you can cover every corner of your home with individual Neos Smartcams.
There are no pet-specific features here, sure. It can't spit out a treat or waggle a laser around for them to chase. But plenty of the Neos Smartcam's built-in smarts are perfectly applicable to your pets. Two-way talk means you can shout them off the counter or hear whether they're barking (and it has noise detection, so will message you if it hears a sound over a certain level). There's also motion sensing, with 12 seconds of recording triggering after it sees motion or hears sound, which is stored online for free, making it easy to look back on any particular incidents that occur while you're away. The Neos Smartcam also sports night vision, giving its 1080p, 110-degree camera a whole lot more versatility.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the Smartcam is its size. This thing is absolutely tiny, particularly compared to the likes of the chunky Furbo and Pawbo cams. While you'll still need to provide each camera with its own power source, the magnetic base means mounting it on a metal surface like a fridge is trivial, or you'll be able to scatter these around on flat surfaces without compromising your decor too much. It can be wall-mounted, too.
Readers in the US might also see this same hardware not as the Neos Smartcam but as the Wyze Cam. Readers elsewhere still might have seen it under Xiaomi branding. All of these share the same hardware, but have different features and software, so they're not compatible with each other. The common thread, though, is that the camera unit itself is plenty cheap and surprisingly good.
Best high-end pet camera
Resolution: 4K | Field of view: 180° | Laser pointer: No | Treat dispensing: No | Motion detection: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes, colour
When you scale up the security camera ladder, you inevitably stop at the Arlo rung: this company makes some of the best wireless cameras going, and this is the top-of-the-line model. If you're willing to back a not-insignificant hardware investment up with a reasonably expensive monthly subscription, then the Arlo Ultra's indoor/outdoor construction makes it perfect for keeping tabs on pets inside and outside your home – and spotting garden visitors, too.
Much of the smart stuff happens in the cloud. When motion is detected, the Arlo securely analyses your footage for the presence of people, cars, packages and, yes, animals, picking out anything above rodent size and sending a notification straight to your phone telling you what kind of thing it saw, and it arrives with a snapshot of the video attached, so you can see exactly what's been detected. Given the Ultra's superb 4K, 180-degree sensor, you shouldn't have any trouble identifying the offending beast, and you'll have access to full recordings to see exactly what they've been up to.
As we've mentioned, Arlo equipment isn't cheap, and the Ultra doubly so. As a tool just for seeing your cat sleeping, this is likely to be way too expensive. But as an investment in your home security that also has some great animal-specific features, that price looks a little less daunting, particularly when you consider all the features on offer. There's two-way audio with full noise-canceling against wind and other outdoor sounds, sound detection (including the ability to detect and warn you if an alarm is going off, such as a smoke alarm), local storage on an SD card as well as cloud, security sirens built into the cameras to scare off intruders, and even color night vision.
4K resolution is no mere number, either: if something happens at home, you can basically pull off the 'Zoom, enhance' dream of classic crime shows and still see perfectly well what's going on.
Victure Pet Camera
Best motion-detection pet camera
Resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 360° horizontal and 100° vertical | Laser pointer: No | Treat dispensing: No | Motion detection: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
We’re loving this cute pet camera that reminds us of a mini R2-D2! Affordable and packed full of features, this is one of the best cameras we’ve seen in this price range and over 25,000 pet parents agree.
Quickly growing a fan base for itself, and rightly so, the Victure Pet Camera does an outstanding job of motion detection, following moving targets, and sending you notifications so you never miss a moment of what’s going on.
Offering a night vision reach of up to 30 feet, the camera switches between day and night modes automatically and it has a crystal-clear two-way audio system with anti-noise technology that allows you to effortlessly converse with your pet.
With both SD card and Cloud storage, you can easily keep track of your video footage, and with 360° horizontal rotation and 100° vertical rotation, you’ll be able to easily track every movement your pet makes.
How to choose a pet camera
As with most pet products, your choice of camera will depend heavily on your particular pet and their specific pattern of behavior. Before you choose anything, determine what you're OK to leave in the house alone with your pets.
For larger dogs, a camera that dispenses treats might seem like an invitation to gnaw on that thing until the rest of the treats are revealed, which isn't the best when the treats are contained within an expensive camera powered by electricity. Even smaller dogs might get rather interested, so ensure you can place that camera somewhere they won't be able to reach it.
For lazier cats, a box with a laser built in might not rouse their attention even slightly; but for attentive, easily bored pets, a laser-equipped camera gives you a great opportunity to engage with your furry friends even when you're not there.
If you tend to go out in the evenings, or often hear rumblings around the house while you're in bed, then night vision will be a useful feature, particularly if you have cats aligned to their natural nocturnal sleep cycle, or you're worried about your dog's cage training. Pick something with recording facilities, too, so you can go back and watch for any signs of bad behavior.
Alex is a freelance writer, editor and sub editor specialising in entertainment and technology; he is a father of two, and owned by three increasingly grumpy cats. Somehow he has been doing this for 24 years, and it's still fun.
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