Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Our furry friends are important members of the family, and leaving them at home while we go out to do people things can be hard. However, pet cameras—specifically designed to keep watch over dogs and cats—can make the human’s absence from the home less stressful for both parties. If you’ve considered getting a pet camera, there’s no better time than now.

Read our Best Indoor Security Cameras, Best Outdoor Security Cameras, Best Dog Tech and Accessories, Best Dog Beds, and Best Cat Tech and Supplies guides for more.

Updated December 2023: Eufy’s Pet Camera Pro is our new top pick. We’ve added Furbo’s cat-specific 360 camera, and options from Petcube and Catit. We’ve also updated prices and links throughout.

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Security Camera or Pet Camera?

Before getting into details about specific cameras, it’s important to clarify the difference between pet cameras and your run-of-the-mill security camera.

Security cameras let you watch your pet while you’re away from home, but pet cameras often have a few more pet-specific features that can make them more helpful. Some can dispense treats or allow you to interact with your dog or cat using your voice or a type of video chat. They can help address common issues like separation anxiety and boredom, which can lead to destroyed furniture, other kinds of property damage, or undue stress.

That’s not to say that you can’t use a security camera as a pet cam—we actually have a recommendation below that can help. Regardless of what you buy, you should take steps to secure the device. Like any other smart home device that connects to Wi-Fi, there’s a chance it can be hacked and compromise your privacy. Make sure your Wi-Fi password is strong, set up two-factor authentication with your camera’s app, and keep it updated. It’s smart to keep it turned off when you’re home, too.

We loved the older version of this camera, the D605 (9/10, WIRED Recommends). The N140 is just as great, with 2K video resolution versus 1080p. The design is nearly identical, though this one gets a light gray bottom, and there’s a $10 difference in price. If you find the older version on a super sale, that’s still a great choice. Both rotate 360 degrees, so you won’t ever miss an important moment because it was just out of frame.

I love tossing treats to my pets while I’m away, and you can opt in to have those moments recorded. If you want a sound to play before tossing a treat, choose between a squeaky toy or up to three of your own audio recordings. You can also turn it off completely; my cats always hear the mechanism moving and come running anyway. The app lets you know when the treat reservoir is almost empty too, which is a nice addition, and it can be removed from the rest of the camera body and washed in the dishwasher.

The Eufy N140 is a little bit bigger than the Furbo cameras below, but not by a staggering amount—they’re bigger than a typical security camera, given the addition of treat dispensing. Eufy has a leg up on the Furbo, though, thanks to local storage. You don’t have to pay for any monthly subscription to get video history. Most other cameras only give you a live view or require an SD card if you don’t want to subscribe. Here, you’ll have video history for about 15 days, give or take how quickly your activity log fills up. If you are interested in professional monitoring and emergency dispatch, Eufy does have a few plans to consider (the brand also partners with our favorite personal safety app, Noonlight, to send dispatch to you).

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