Veterinary behaviorist enthusiasts, do you want film?

Veterinary behaviorist enthusiasts, do you want film?

Pet cams like the Petcube Camera are spilling onto the pet retail market, giving pet owners a chance to see and even interact with their cats, dogs and whatever away from home. So ... silly gimmick or future tool for diagnosing at-home behavior problems? You decide.

Petcube CameraLook, am I the only one getting a 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe off the glowy red dot and the white styling of the Petcube Play?

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't let you play with that laser pointer today, Dave."

The Petcube Camera is a steel box with a camera, a mic and a speaker that streams to the iOS or Android devices of pet owners with a laser pointer to rev up your cat or dog while you're away. You talk to your pet. You can turn on the pointer. A sound and motion sensor can automatically go on and record footage. It's like you're there.

Cats chasing the Petcube Camera's red dot. And just like the fictional HAL 9000, you could withhold the laser pointer: "Sorry, Dave. I can't allow you to run around the living room right now, Dave."

Perhaps pet cams like the Petcube Camera could help alleviate issues like separation anxiety as well as track some of the behavior happening while pet owners are away.

As of Aug. 31, an online Kickstarter for Petcube Play—an improvement on the Petcube Camera—and the Petcube Bites, which offers long-distance feeding and treating, was already funded. The Petcube Camera is already available.

So, what do you think? Take a second and vote in our totally unscientific poll that popped up in the bottom corner of the page (or open the poll in a new page).