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The best tech for pet parents from auto feeders to smart litter boxes

These pet tech items can make life easier for both fur babies and their parents.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Christina Darby
Petlibro auto pet feeder | Best automatic pet feeder
A Petlibro automatic pet feeder on a grey background
Petlibro auto pet feeder
Best automatic pet feeder
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Pioneer Pet water fountain | Best pet water fountain
Close-up of a Yorkie drinking from the Pioneer Pet water fountain
Pioneer Pet water fountain
Best pet water fountain
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Petcube Bites 2 | Best pet camera
A Petcube Bites 2, smartphone, and dog on a grey background
Petcube Bites 2
Best pet camera
View now View at Amazon
Tractive GPS pet tracker | Best GPS pet tracker
A Tractive GPS pet tracker and three smartphones on a grey background
Tractive GPS pet tracker
Best GPS pet tracker
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Litter-Robot 3 | Best automatic litter pan
Close-up of an orange tabby cat exiting the Whisker Litter-Robot 3
Litter-Robot 3
Best automatic litter pan
View now View at Whisker

Pet parents are always on the lookout for gadgets and devices that make caring for their furry friends an easier, more streamlined process. Popular gadgets like automatic pet feeders and water fountains are perfect for professionals with busy schedules and for picky drinkers who may turn up their noses at still water bowls. 

Also: Meet Rocki, the robot pet companion

Dedicated cameras (which may also be tricked out with a built-in treat dispenser) and GPS trackers make it easier to keep an eye on your pet or check in from the office or a vacation. There are even litter boxes that clean themselves. 

That said, if you're looking for a great gift for pet parents, there is no shortage of awesome tech and gadgets. To help you choose, I put together a list of the best tech pet gifts you can buy when it comes to pet care, security, and convenience. 

The best pet tech gifts of 2023 

Pros & Cons
  • Up to 4 meals per day
  • 17 cup capacity
  • Great for small and medium sized pets
  • Companion app for deluxe model only
  • No in-bowl sensor to detect excess kibble before subsequent feedings
  • Better for smaller animals
More Details

Petlibro auto pet feeder specs: Capacity: 17 cups | Material: Plastic | Power: AC wall outlet/3x D-cell batteries

This model from Petlibro is our pick for the best automatic pet feeder, and for good reason. Not only does it use a wall outlet for power, but you can also install three D-cell batteries for backup power in emergency situations. It can hold up to 17 cups of kibble, and you can program it to deliver up to four meals per day. 

The LCD screen makes it easy to set up feeding schedules, so you no longer have to rush home from work or run late in the mornings to make sure your pets get their food. You can even record a 10-second audio clip to help train your pet to recognize new feeding times or encourage them to eat when you're not home.

Also: The best automatic pet feeders for when you're away

Pros & Cons
  • Great for picky drinkers
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Metal construction reduces risk of skin conditions in pets
  • No battery backup power
  • Not suited for large breed pets
More Details

Pioneer Pet water fountain specs: Capacity: 60 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Power: AC wall outlet

Like auto feeders, water fountains can help streamline care for your pets by providing a constant source of fresh, moving water. Some pets, especially cats, are picky about standing water in bowls, which puts them at risk for dehydration and other potential complications. 

The fountain is made from stainless steel, which helps prevent bacteria growth and is easier to clean and sanitize than plastic. You can even put this fountain in the dishwasher for a thorough clean and sanitizing cycle. The metal construction also helps reduce the risk of acne and other skin conditions for pets who are sensitive to plastics and other chemicals.

Pros & Cons
  • 1.5 pound treat capacity
  • Alexa built-in
  • Sound and motion alerts
  • Wall mounting option
  • Expensive
  • Immobile
  • No Bluetooth
  • No battery backup power
More Details

Petcube Bites 2 specs: Capacity: 1.5 pounds | Resolution: 1080p | Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Compatibility: iOS, Android | Voice controls: Alexa

Pet cameras have become popular as a way to keep an eye on your pets while you run errands, work, or just spend time out and about. The Petcube Bites 2 features a 1080p camera with a 160-degree field of view to give you the best possible video feed of your pets. It can be wall mounted to keep the camera and treat cache safe from food-motivated pets or curious cats who like to knock things off of shelves. 

The treat hopper can hold up to 1.5 pounds of goodies, meaning you can spend more time checking things off your to-do list and less filling the dispenser. With sound and motion alerts, you'll get notifications on your phone if your dog barks or cat enters a room. It even has Alexa built-in so you can quickly order pet food and supplies, play soothing music for pets while you're out, or connect with other compatible devices for whole-home monitoring of your pets.

Pros & Cons
  • Works in 150 countries
  • GPS and LTE networks
  • Pet health metrics
  • 7-day battery life
  • Waterproof
  • Requires subscription
More Details

Tractive pet GPS tracker specs: Range: Unlimited | Power: Rechargeable battery | Compatibility: iOS, Android  | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, LTE

If you know someone who has an escape artist pet, the Tractive GPS pet tracker can help bring them home safely. It works with both GPS and LTE cellular networks to provide accurate location tracking for faster pet recovery. And since the tracker attaches to your pet's collar, it's less likely to be damaged or knocked loose. 

With the companion app, you can set up geofences for your yard, local parks, and other safe areas and get alerted immediately if and when your pet decides to make a break for it. The tracking unit works in 150 countries, so you can have peace of mind while traveling with your pet. 

Along with GPS tracking, you can get basic health information about your pet like active time, sleep schedules, and calories burned. This information will give you a better understanding of your pet's activity and food needs as well as a framework for discussions with your veterinarian about dietary changes and exercise routines.

Also: 7 ways AirTags can simplify your life (beyond tracking keys) 

Pros & Cons
  • Auto clean
  • Companion app
  • Carbon filters for odor control
  • Great for multi-cat homes
  • Motor sounds may scare cats
  • Very expensive
  • Accessories sold separately
More Details

Litter-Robot 3 specs: Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Multi-cat friendly: Yes | Dimensions: 24.25 x 27 x 29.5 inches

Whether you have just one cat or multiple, keeping up with litter boxes is a chore that no one exactly relishes. The Litter-Robot 3 from Whisker is a litter pan that cleans itself by combing the litter itself to remove waste from clean substrate and place it in a dedicated pan for collection and disposal. The unit also has carbon filters to help reduce odor, and you can buy a ramp and mat to help keep litter mess at a minimum. 

The companion app lets you keep an eye on how full the disposal tray is, set cleaning schedules, or start a cleaning cycle on your own. You can even track how often your cat uses the litter box and for how long to catch medical issues before they can turn into big problems -- which is especially important for long-haired cats as they are more susceptible to UTIs and other urinary issues.

What is the best pet gift?

Every product on this list is a strong contender for the best pet gift for Mother's Day. I've included everything from automatic feeders and water fountains for streamlined mealtimes to automatic litter trays for multi-cat homes and GPS trackers for escape artist pets. 

The best tech-focused pet gifts will fill a need, so make sure to talk to the pet mom or mom-with-pets in your life to see what they need to help care for their animals. This ensures that they'll actually use your gift rather than put it in a closet where it won't go to use.

Best pet gift


Smart capabilities

Power source

Petlibro auto pet feeder


Voice recording, companion app, Wi-Fi connectivity

AC wall outlet/3x D-cell batteries

Pioneer Pet water fountain



AC wall outlet

Petcube Bites 2


Wi-Fi, companion app, sound/motion alerts, Alexa

AC wall outlet

Tractive pet GPS


GPS, Wi-Fi, LTE, companion app

Rechargeable battery

Litter-Robot 3


Wi-Fi, companion app

AC wall outlet

Which is the right pet gift for you?

The best pet gift or gadget is one that fills a need, either for the pet or the human. Automatic feeders and water fountains help make mealtimes faster and more consistent, while toy launchers and treat dispensers help tire out energetic dogs and reward pets when you can't be home. 

Some pet gadgets like the Litter-Robot 3 are aimed at helping keep your home clean and odor-free, which is a constant battle for multi-pet homes.

Choose this pet gift

If you need…

Petlibro automatic pet feeder

An automatic feeder for your cat or dog. It can hold up to 17 cups of kibble and can be scheduled to provide up to 4 meals per day.

Pioneer Pet water fountain

An automatic water fountain for your cat or dog. The stainless steel construction helps prevent allergic reactions and is easier to clean and sanitize than plastic parts.

Petcube Bites 2

A wireless camera to check on your pets. It also can hold up to 1.5 pounds of treats to give your pet a snack or reward for good behavior.

Tractive GPS tracker

A GPS tracker for your pet. It claims to have an unlimited range as well as compatibility with both LTE and GPS networks in over 150 countries to help you bring your pets home safely.

Litter-Robot 3

A litter box that cleans itself. You can set cleaning schedules or start cycles with the companion app, and the Litter-Robot 3 is great for multi-cat homes.

How did I choose these pet gifts?

I did my best to focus on gadgets and tech built to help streamline care or provide safety measures like automatic feeders and RFID pet doors and GPS trackers. Therefore, I stayed away from tech-centric toys as much as possible, since they're most likely to be bought year-round rather than be saved for a special occasion.

I tried to keep all of my pet gift picks within a reasonable price range, though some products can be pretty expensive, especially when factoring in subscription and shipping costs.

How does a smart pet door work?

A smart pet door works either with a dedicated collar tag or your pet's existing RFID microchip. Much like a keyfob for apartment or office buildings, the smart pet door will only work for dedicated chips or fobs with matching radio frequencies. 

This ensures that your pet and ONLY your pet can get in and out of your house. Which means you won't have to chase the neighbor's cat out of your bathroom or random dogs from your laundry room.

What are the disadvantages of an automatic pet feeder/water fountain?

Automatic pet feeders and water fountains are just like any other tech -- they have their pros and cons. Pros are that you don't have to worry about rushing home after work or being late in the mornings, since auto feeders work on set timers. And water fountains provide a constant, steady source of fresh water for your pets -- which is great for picky cats who may turn their noses up at stagnant bowls.

The downsides? Auto feeders don't monitor how much your pet is eating, so if there is leftover food from breakfast, chances are that the bowl will be overfilled at dinner. They're also not durable enough to stand up to food-motivated pets, who may be able to knock over the whole unit to chow down on spilled kibble. Water fountains need regular cleaning to reduce bacteria and other yucky stuff growing that can make your pets sick. 

Motor sounds from auto feeders and water fountains might also scare your pets too much for them to use the tech. So before you drop cash on fancy new feeders and fountains, slowly introduce your pets to motorized toys to get them used to new sounds.

Can I use an AirTag as a pet GPS tracker?

An AirTag is a great, short-term solution for keeping tabs on your pet. However, due to limited rangefinding and battery life, it's not as good of an option as a dedicated pet GPS tracker like the Tractive device. AirTags are also not as durable, meaning that if your pet sneaks out on a rainy day or decides to galavant about town, the device could get waterlogged or damaged. This means you'll have less of a chance of bringing your pet home safely.

Are there alternative pet gifts worth considering?

Being a pet parent comes with a lot of responsibilities, and thankfully, there are tons of tech gadgets and devices out there to help make the job a bit more streamlined. Here are a few other cool, tech-y pet gifts I think are great:

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