A kitten playing with a laser pointer toy.

Fight Pet Boredom with These Cutting-Edge Toys

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Lonely Pets Are Bored Pets

We all know bad things happen when our pets are bored. Whether it is anxiety, loneliness, or aggression, unengaged pets get into trouble as they try to soothe themselves. Unfortunately, as many pet owners return to longer workdays or hours spent away from home, our pets are readjusting to life home alone. You can help ease their transition by introducing your pet to some of the latest gadgets for solving pet boredom.

From pet cams to treat-dispensing puzzles, 2021’s crop of pet gadgets delivers. Get ready for a calmer, more engaged, and less destructive pet.

Food Puzzle Fun

A “food puzzle” is a toy that typically contains a snack and requires your pet to figure out creative ways to obtain the food harbored inside. In the wild, cats and dogs are foragers – they must hunt for their food. We take our pet’s job away when we place a bowl full of food in front of them each day.

Just like teaching a child a new game, start with an easier food puzzle so that your pet doesn’t get frustrated. Then, as their skills improve, they will be ready for more complex puzzles like the Trixie Mini Mover Activity Strategy Game, which includes levers, sliding compartments, and other obstacles.

Cats love food puzzles too. The Catit Design Food Maze Bowl allows them to move food through the maze by pawing at open side slits.

Rats, rabbits, and even birds will have fun trying to get their food out of Living World’s Teach ‘N Treat 3-in-1 food puzzle for small animals.

Flirt Poles

Some interactive pet gadgets also help keep your pets more active. By providing them with ways to burn up extra nervous energy, you can help your pet stay calm and out of trouble.

Flirt poles offer an interactive way for you to play with your pet, and what pet doesn’t want to play with their owner? So, make the most of playtime by incorporating stimulating flirt pole play. At the end of the line, the prey object or lure triggers their prey drive, motivating them to chase and catch the toy.

Flirt poles for dogs are very similar to feather wands for cats. For dogs, you can use the flirt pole for training, working on “fetch,” as well as release commands like “drop it” or “leave it.”

Some of the newer varieties are more durable, such as a spring handle for tough tug-of-war matches or a collapsible model for flirt pole play on the go.

Petcube Smart Pet Camera and Interactive Toy

Tackle pet boredom with this high-tech, wi-fi-enabled camera that allows you to keep an eye on your pet and speak to them directly from your smartphone. The compact camera cube comes equipped with night-vision, digital zoom, live streaming, and video recording. It’s even compatible with Alexa, so you can go hands-free and give your pet a treat if you opt for the Petcube Bites version. The more expensive Petcube 2 variety offers an interactive laser pointer for your dog or cat to play with, which can even be programmed to turn on at certain times of the day.

BarxBuddy Busy Ball

With its hefty price tag, this is not a ball you want to lose in the woods during a game of fetch. However, you might just decide this motion-activated ball’s cost is worth the peace of mind it brings both you and your dog. Equipped with smart-chip technology and LED lights, this ball alternates between rolling, stopping, and bouncing to keep your dog guessing about what comes next.

Hexbug Cat Toy

Your kids will love the quick scooting and buzzing circles of robotic hexbugs, and your kitten will be smitten as well. This cute little hex bug, embellished with a feather tail, will mesmerize and exhaust the most curious kittens. Automatic vibration technology causes the bug to shift directions whenever it bumps into an obstacle, challenging your active feline to stay engaged.

Interactive Cat and Dog Laser Play Toy

With a lower price point than the Barxbuddy Ball or the Petcube Camera, YVE’s automatic laser toy is a great way to test out your pet’s passion for play. This toy has five different settings, all of which turn off after 15 minutes, so your pet doesn’t exhaust themselves. Lasers are an excellent toy for cats who love to chase bright, shiny lights. The adjustable circular patterns of YVE’s laser play toy will even entice some dog breeds to join in the chase as well.

Fighting Pet Boredom

All pet owners hate leaving their BFF’s home all day with nothing to do. Without any physical or mental stimulation, pets are more likely to develop separation anxiety. Combining active, mentally challenging toys such as the ones listed above with soothing chew toys can help curb separation anxiety and the accompanying destructive behavior.

Relieving pet boredom involves a combination of exercise, interactive play, engaging toys, and training. With this list of high-tech gadgets, you can help your pet feel less bored and more engaged.