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Ask any cat owner and they’ll likely agree, the only real drawback is the thankless daily chores. Nobody actually likes dealing with litter, after all. But what if robots took care of all the hard work for you?
Enter Autopets. This Michigan-based outfit has designed an array of machines to help weary pet parents with all manner of tasks, from feeding to entertaining your beloved feline.
As a self-confessed germaphobe, I was more than happy to drop just shy of $500 on the brand’s Litter-Robot when I bought my purebred ragdoll, Mochi. Without getting into graphic detail—because, well, ew—this futuristic machine takes care of pretty much all the litter box duties while keeping your abode fresh and clean.
When your cat uses the box, its mechanism filters out the waste and drops it into a lined drawer that’s then sealed to stop any smell. The robot notifies you via the app when the drawer is full and you simply grab the bag and chuck it in the bin. As a result, your cat will always have fresh litter—and you’ll never have to sift through it again.
The robot has, of course, made me as lazy as my fur baby, who sleeps for hours on end. So when Autopets recently asked if I would like to trial the Feeder-Robot ($249), I jumped at the opportunity. As its moniker implies, this machine automatically dispenses cat food at designated mealtimes. You can control the portions and create a schedule that it will adhere to even when you’re not home.
The machine is even fitted with a sensor that weighs the contents of the bowl and tops it up with food when needed. For me, this means not having to locate Mochi’s food bleary-eyed at 6 am while the furry dictator meows incessantly.
Like the Litter-Robot, the Feeder-Robot is WiFi-enabled and both machines can be controlled via the same app. This is arguably one of the biggest drawcards as it means you can monitor and control the robots directly from your smartphone while you’re out and about or at home cuddling your four-legged friend.
Autopets also makes cat furniture, which Mochi has tried. Its Cat Silo ($149) is billed as a “unique escape” for the typically elusive animals. The multipurpose design provides a cushioned covered space where the cat can relax along with two textured panels that they can scratch.
I was concerned that my decidedly spoiled blue-eyed boy would give it a sniff and move on to the next exciting thing, but he absolutely loves it. So far, he’s spent many afternoons clawing the bejesus out of the scratch pads. He has also curled up inside a handful of times, though it’s quite a snug fit. It’s worth noting, however, that ragdolls are one of the largest domesticated cat breeds—so a smaller cat would have more room.
The silo itself resembles a chic, mid-century modern side table and I was quite impressed with the overall quality. Featuring a black woodgrain finish and gold accents, it will look at home in any contemporary living room or den. I’ve positioned mine next to the bar where its top provides a little more real estate for bottles, glassware and cocktail paraphernalia. It’s also much easier to put together than the flatpacks offered by a certain Swedish brand. My husband and I built it in around 30 minutes while Mochi supervised.
The best part about these three innovations is the fact that you’re freed up to spend more time with your pet, which those same cat owners will agree is priceless.