Home / Features / Christmas Gift Guide 2017: 22 gadget gift ideas for animal lovers

Christmas Gift Guide 2017: 22 gadget gift ideas for animal lovers

Give your cuddly furball something to bark (or meow) about this Christmas

If your name is Fido, Tibbles or Mr Kitten Paws, then congratulations: you’ve gained the ability to read and peruse the internet. And all without opposable thumbs.

If, on the other hand, you’re the human companion to said furry friends, then this selection of the best Christmas gift ideas for animal lovers should be right up your scratching post.

We’ve even chucked in a few treats for your pets, so everyone’s happy. Bring on the wagging tails.

More Christmas gift ideas

Looking for something different? Our full Christmas Gift Guide 2017 hub page has categories to suit every taste, budget and interest.

See more Christmas gift ideas here

PitPat (£39.99)

PitPat (£39.99)

Look at yourself, poring over the data from your fitness tracker all day long while the poor dog – yes, remember, you’ve got one of those – sits around in front of the telly all day long eating crisps. Put a PitPat dog activity monitor right at the top of your Christmas list and you’ll soon be hitting those running goals together.

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster (£15.99)

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster (£15.99)

Seven hours into the Nerf ideas workshop, innovation was flatlining and tempers were rising. Then Ethel the tea lady tottered in, saw the blank whiteboard and thought for a second. “People like firing big plastic guns,” she said, “and dogs like chasing tennis balls. I don’t suppose there’s any way you could… no, silly me, forget I spoke. Tea, anyone?”

Tabcat (from £69.99)

Tabcat (from £69.99)

A whole roast chicken has disappeared from the kitchen table and the cat hasn’t been seen since. But how can you give Jehoshaphat a stiff talking-to if you don’t know where he is? Fortunately, he’s wearing his Tabcat tracking tag – and you’ve got the directional handset that will pick up the signal and lead you straight to his drumstick-strewn lair.

Bionic Bird (€64)

Bionic Bird (€64)

We don’t need to say much about this – just watch the film on the website and you’ll want one. A natural evolution of the Tim Bird ornithopter that’s been around since the 19th century, this French invention is a biomimetic drone: looks like a real bird, flaps its wings like a real bird, performs smartphone-controlled aerobatics like a bionic bird.

Wingscapes Digital Wildlife Camera (£89.95)

Wingscapes Digital Wildlife Camera (£89.95)

They come as soon as you’re alseep. Owls, bats, foxes, hedgehogs, all sorts – and they party hard. If only you had some hard evidence, you could get the council to send them a formal warning… but how, when they’re so easily spooked? Well, you could always ask Santa for this motion-triggered, tree-mountable wildlife cam from Wingscapes. It does video and 8MP stills.

Tractive GPS XL Pet Tracker (£74.99)

Tractive GPS XL Pet Tracker (£74.99)

You’d think it’d be impossible to lose a dog that’s the size of a horse but if your hound has a habit of joining in Grand Nationals you can easily find it at the finish line with the help of Tractive’s XL GPS tracker, which is designed for bigger-boned pets. It’s hard wearing and fully waterproof, plus you can even use it on larger animals such as cows, although we wouldn’t fancy Daisy’s chances in the race.

Owner techTop 10 wearables

Leuchtie Plus LED Dog Collar (£32.76)

Leuchtie Plus LED Dog Collar (£32.76)

There isn’t much we can say about this one that isn’t obvious from the picture: it’s a collar, for dogs, that’s lit by LEDs. Ah, but there is a clever twist: built-in sensors turn the lights on automatically when it’s put over a dog’s head. Nifty.

It comes in a wide range of colours and sizes, and is waterproof to boot. So, if you know someone whose pooch likes going out after dark and isn’t averse to splashing in the occasional puddle…

Mixse Cat’s Meow (£10.99)

Mixse Cat’s Meow (£10.99)

Some cats would be happy with a yellow circular mat to play with. Jump on the mat! Hide under the mat! Scratch a dirty great hole in the mat! Do a poo on the mat and expect someone else to clean it up!

But Cat’s Meow is much better than that, because underneath this durable nylon disc is a silent, direction-changing ‘mouse wand’ for your domestic predator to hunt. It imitates the movements of a real terrified mouse, and has four speed settings.

Petcube Play (£139.99)

Petcube Play (£139.99)

Do you miss your pet when you’re at work? Do you sit there, so riddled by concern for your fluffy companion that you don’t notice the phone ringing? Well, we hope you’re not a 999 operator.

Anyway, Petcube Play could be the answer: it’s a camera that sends a live feed from your home to your smartphone, with a built-in mic and speaker for two-way ‘conversations’. You can even control a laser beam for the rascal to chase.

iFetch (£135)

iFetch (£135)

The most efficient device for throwing a ball for your dog to run after is, in most cases, the human arm. But how many people’s arms can chuck balls for 30 hours straight without getting tired? How many people’s arms are always available when the dog wants to play? And how many people’s arms look like unplumbed bidets? None. So the dog lover in your life needs one of these automatic, distance-varying ball launchers.

Cat Laptop Scratch Pad (£17.99)

Cat Laptop Scratch Pad (£17.99)

Cat videos have long been the boon of the web, but, now that chickens are tweeting, it’s time to take your kitty to the next ‘net level with this paw-ly designed play pad.

OK, so it’s not a real laptop – in fact, its cardboard get-up is distinctly less connected than Google’s – but little soft-paws need never know. With a super-scratchy keyboard and a fluffy mouse for a, well, mouse, it’s the perfect plaything for your on-the-net pet.

CatGenie (from £279.95)

CatGenie (from £279.95)

Cats are such refined and fastidious creatures. Cats that poo in other people’s gardens, especially. Cats that poo in your own garden, slightly less so. Cats that poo in a stinky box of gravel next to the washing machine, less again.

This self-flushing, self-cleaning litter ‘toilet’ comes with everything needed to keep it running for four months. Apart from the cat.

Replace the kitty litterAmazon’s Dash Buttons

Hedgehog Home with Wireless Camera (£259.95)

Hedgehog Home with Wireless Camera (£259.95)

Give the gift of 24-hour, live hedgehog action this Christmas. You know those nature programmes where they hide an infrared camera in some nocturnal mammal’s lair and you can see them scurrying about in black and white? This cosy hedgehog home includes the camera, a wireless transmitter and even a microphone so you can hear them arguing about household chores.

GoPro Fetch (£39.99)

GoPro Fetch (£39.99)

Where doth doggy go? Who be his puppy pals? Where art his canine companions? All questions never answered with video evidence – until now.

Simply strap on this over-and-under sling and mount up your mongrel with not one, but two GoPros so you can get a truly dog’s-eye-view of the world. Pleasantly padded and fully adjustable, there’s no better way to watch the world as your buddy bounds through leaves and selects the perfect tree. Woofing brilliant.

Choose a snapper for the strapWhich GoPro should you buy?

biOrb Flow 30 (£123.44)

biOrb Flow 30 (£123.44)

Thirty litres is bigger than a cartoon goldfish bowl but smaller than the sort of aquarium that takes half a day to clean, up to your shoulders in dark green slime and guppy turds.

The Flow 30 is a little more conventional-looking than some of biOrb’s trendy aquariums, but the emphasis is on ease of set-up and use. Besides, you’re supposed to be looking at the fish, not the tank.

Big Brother Bird House (£79.95)

Big Brother Bird House (£79.95)

As the burglar creeps around the side of the house towards the back door, he suddenly sees it: a CCTV camera, and it’s pointing right at him. Rumbled! But then he sees a chaffinch fly out of the ‘lens’. He realises it’s just a cleverly disguised birdhouse for security-conscious twitchers, and proceeds to steal Grandma’s laptop. It’s her own fault for letting the chaffinches stay up past their bedtime.

Kitty Coin Bank (£19.99)

Kitty Coin Bank (£19.99)

Place your coin on the little fishy dishy and a pussycat will pop up to paw it back into the box with a grateful meow. How about that for encouraging kids to save their coppers? There’s also a dog version which, dogs being dogs, transfers the coin into the box not with its paw, but with its anus.

Save your pennies5 of the best money-saving gadgets

ThunderShirt (from £35)

ThunderShirt (from £35)

Little says “I care” more than a doggy jacket that applies gentle, constant pressure akin to being cradled in an owner’s arms.

Designed to appease petrified pooches and soothe scared sniffers, ThunderShirt is loved by (almost) all canines and keeps them happier than a baby after brandy. Used by vets, trainers, shelters and owners across the woofy world, it’s a tummy-tickler of a T-shirt that’ll put an end to friction-bashed fur-niture.

Neon Jellyfish Tank (£49.99)

Neon Jellyfish Tank (£49.99)

If you kept real jellyfish in a small plastic tank in the corner of your bedroom, they’d be furious. They’d also be dead after a bit, which wouldn’t look very impressive under the vivid illumination of 18 colour-changing LEDs.

So, these are fake jellyfish, gliding around in the fan-powered current and waving at everyone with their lifelike tentacles. And no, they don’t sting.

Grow what you wantSmart tank

Dorothy Rock ’N’ Roll Zoo (£30 for set of three prints)

Dorothy Rock ’N’ Roll Zoo (£30 for set of three prints)

Even though vinyl doesn’t purr when you stroke it, some people love records more than they love animals. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But, no matter: these arty/funny 12in prints cover both bases, and will liven up the walls of any nature-fancying audiophile’s listening room.

There’s a range of themed ‘box sets’ of three to choose from, including Indie Kid, Beatles, Cool Cats and Hot Dogs. Our favourite image of the lot is Diamond Dogs, complete with Bowie-style mismatched eye colours.

Cat Scratching DJ Deck (£19)

Cat Scratching DJ Deck (£19)

Cats need something to scratch because they can’t operate nail scissors. DJs need something to scratch because they can’t play the guitar. This product is for cats, not DJs.

Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado (€29)

Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado (€29)

This reward-based puzzle game for dogs is described as ‘slobber-proof’ and has been designed to ‘encourage active thinking and problem solving’. Lord knows they need some encouragement.