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The digital cat and dog: Gadgets for the fuzzy ones amongst us

Centurylink: Better living through technology

Humans aren’t the only one that can have fun with all the funky gadgets out there. In fact, there’s a whole market full of toys and pet accessories to help both you and your pets live a more fulfilling life. Who needs to pick up kitty litter when you can get a robot to do it, or use a GPS collar to keep track of your pets? Here’s our picks for 21st century gadgets designed just for your four-legged friend.

Tagg GPS Collar ($100)

Tagg-Pet-TrackerIf your pet’s an explorer who likes giving you a mini-heart attack every time it disappears from the house, worry no more. Just put on the Tagg collar and you’ll always have your pet’s GPS location right on your iPhone. The collar runs on an energy-efficient battery system that conserves power if your pet is within the range of your home, and only begins using the charge once your pet runs outside of the preset parameters. If it does, you’ll get a text message alert noting that your pet has gone off on an adventure once again.

Additionally, the collar acts as a fitness system to track Fido’s activity level so you can see if your dog’s getting enough exercise each day. Tagg is constantly being updated to include new features, which makes sense when you consider the $8 a month subscription cost.

Cat Scratch Turntable ($31)

It’s a well known fact that cats love scratching: It’s a way of communication for these critters and helps them remove dead cells from claws like a good human manicure. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for cats to ruin furniture or forbid them from having fun. The Cat Scratch turntable will make this ordinary pastime into something more current and hilarious. The entire set is made of cardboard so you don’t have to worry about your cats actually hurting its claws, and the item is 100 percent recyclable once it’s all-scratched up. With nine exciting lives, who says your cat isn’t destined to be a DJ in one of them?

Eyenimal Petcam ($100)

Ever wonder what’s in like for a day in your pet’s shoe… urr, paws? The Eyenimal pet cam is a collar-based video camera you can attach your cat or dog and get a read on your pet’s daily behavior and activities. The camera comes fully equipped with color recordings, 680 x 480 pixel resolution, microphone, and 4GB of internal storage. That’s about two and a half hours of video footage to assess or share with friends, or gasp in horror if Eyenimal manages to capture your cat slaughtering that pesky mouse in your basement. Maybe you’ll have yourself a new YouTube sensation.

WaterDog Automatic Drinking Fountain ($67)

Sick of refilling your pet’s water bowl every so often? With the WaterDog automatic outdoor fountain, your dog can quench its thirst whenever it pleases with clean, healthy water. The fountain installs with any faucet and can sense your dog’s approach for up to three feet before releasing a gentle stream of water. Once your dog is done and scurries away, the machine will turn itself off. The WaterDog fountain runs on replaceable batteries that boast up to one year with regular use — more than good enough to last a hot summer season.

MeteorLight LED Ball ($10)

As complex as your pet’s brain might be, sometimes, all it really needs in a good toy is pretty lights and colors. Such is the case with this LED rubber ball that constantly changes color to keep your pet intrigued (and yes, blues and greens are the colors dog recognize). The MeteorLight ball is designed after stars and the galaxy so you can pretend your dog is running through Space-Time Continuum during a game of fetch. The extra-durable ball also floats for fun in the water, but beware, this item is not to be confused with a chew toy.

Litter Robot Self-Cleaning Litter Box ($340)

You love your pets, but cleaning up after them can be a daunting task. The Litter Robot will do all the work so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. Simply set the Litter Robot up in your home and let your cats do their business, the machine will contain all the stink while it sifts and cleans the litter bed after each use. The collected clumps are deposited in a garbage bag set underneath the machine all you have to do is change the bag after it’s full. The Litter Robot is big enough accommodate up to four cats per unit so you only have to replace the bags once a week.