Cameras to monitor our pets are more popular than ever—people want to know that their fur-babies are okay while they are at work or on vacation, and face it, who doesn’t want to know what their cats are doing all day (even if it’s just snoozing in the sun spot)? Nowadays, pet cams such as the Petcube Camera are more affordable, versatile, and easy to use than ever!
But pet cams can be more than just a way to keep an eye on your pet, or to get your litter of foster kittens to go viral on social media! As a cat behavior consultant, I love the potential for pet cams to be a tool for information on the well-being and behavior of your cats.
When I do a home visit with a behavior client, I am only going to be with them and their cat for a few hours. Sometimes, the cats are fearful of strangers and I may not get to interact with them. And if it’s a problem like peeing outside the litterbox? The chance that a cat will engage in this behavior while I’m visiting are pretty slim. So I often ask my clients to provide me with video—footage of how their cats interact with each other, or how their cat responds to play. Sure, you can get some of this footage with your cell phone camera, but a pet cam allows you to go hands free.
There are many times that I don’t want the cat’s owner to interfere with certain feline behaviors—for example, no kitty likes being disturbed in the litterbox. But I might want to see how much time your cat spends scratching and digging in the litter, and whether they leisurely saunter away from the box, or zoom away like they are terrified! A pet cam, such as the Petcube Camera, provides an opportunity to stealthily spy on your cat and get the information that we need to solve behavior problems.
Sometimes people don’t even know which cat is responsible for a certain behavior—they might have their suspicions about who is peeing on the bed while they are on vacation. But the pet cam may surprise us all. The camera doesn’t lie.
Pet cams can also help us determine the motivation for a behavior—is your cat doing something for your attention (like jumping on the kitchen counter or meowing)? Or are they doing it because you are gone? The only way we can know for sure is to compare your cat’s behavior when you are home with what is happening while you are gone. With a pet cam, you can also monitor your cat for signs of boredom that might suggest it’s time to provide more enrichment for your cat, such as a new condo to climb or a bird feeder to watch.
So get a Petcube Camera for the fun of watching your cat from afar, for saying hello from a long day at work, and for sharing their cute antics with your friends and family. But don’t overlook its potential to help you learn more about your cat and understand their behavior. A pet cam can help you provide a better life for your cat, even when you are away from home.
Written by Mikel Delgado, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant at Feline Minds.