Bliss Thru Shopping
Shopping Siren
Pet gadgets

Newsflash: Shopping Siren is considering getting a cat.

I’ve never had a cat before. Dogs, yes. Guinea pigs and rabbits, yes. One poor, ill-fated frog when I was 5. (We don’t talk about that.)

But never a cat.

There’s really no reason for it. I have no allergies, no landlord, no prejudices against those of the feline persuasion. (That whole seeing in the dark thing? Very cool.) So I started doing some research.

And by “research” I mean “shopping.”


But what started out as an informal survey of cat accouterments (Um. Cat leashes? Really?) quickly became a stunning newsflash of its own.

Pets have gadgets.

Lots of gadgets.

Lots of really neat, shiny, oh-my-god-I-must-have-that-right-now gadgets.

I don’t know how that happened. Or how I missed it when it did.

But gadgets!


The trip was a bust when it came to figuring out the best cat food or how many pounds of catnip it takes to get a cat to actually walk on a leash, but I did find enough pet gizmos to keep any animal lover (or gadget lover) happily entertained for days.

Oh. And your cat (dog, ferret, turtle. . . .) will probably like them, too.

•Pet shower deluxe, Petco, $32.99

Eight-foot hose attaches to your regular shower-head. No more dumping a bucket of water over Fido’s head to get him rinsed off. Or waiting until it rains and shoving him outside. Because that would be bad. And wrong. And muddy.

•Pedi Paws, Petco, 19.99

Rotating emery board-like gadget that files down your pet’s nails without muss or fuss. So it says. I have a feeling any self-respecting dog or cat will completely freak out if you get this within six inches of their paws. But I would be happy to be wrong. Happy and scratch-free.


• PetSafe Micro ID Rescue Collar, Petco, $7.49

Metal ID tags are, like, so 1990. Plug this tiny USB into your computer, fill out your pet’s information and then put the collar and attached USB on your pet. If he gets lost, his rescuers can plug the USB into their computer and. . . ta da! Everything from your cell phone number to the medication your pet takes. Warning: This collar was in the Petco clearance bin and the salesperson thought it may have been discontinued. A quick search turned up a ton online, so maybe less discontinued and more on a really, really good sale?

• Zoo Med Turtle Dock, Petco, sizes S, M and L, $14.99 to $29.99

Floating dock that allows your favorite newt, frog or turtle to escape
the murky depths in favor of a little dry land. About as high tech as turtle gadgets get. The dock includes a
partially submersible ramp so your reptilian pal can easily clamber
onto it. If only people docks were that easy.

•Outward Hound petsaver life jacket, sizes XS to XL, Kennel Shop, $19.99 to $39.99

Not sure if Fido can swim? Buckle him into this life jacket and worry no more. Or worry less. According to the package, the handle at the top of this vest allows you to snatch your dog out of the water. Um. Maybe if he’s a cocker spaniel. A St. Bernard? Only if your canoe comes with a winch.


• Ferret front pack by Marshall, Pet Quarters, $27.99

Like a backpack, only, you know,  on the front. Carry your ferret friend in warmth and comfort, taking him along with you to. . . well, wherever ferrets want to go.

• Petmate litter locker plus, Pet Quarters, $36.99

I’m not quite sure what this does, except that it has something to do with getting rid of used cat litter and reducing odors. Both laudable pursuits. And if I get a cat, I’ll probably be lauding every day.

Best find: • Pet-Temp instant ear thermometer, Petco, $19.99 (reg. 39.99)

your furry friend’s temperature by slipping the end into his ear and
waiting one second for the beep. That bears repeating: In his ear. For one second.
Packaging says it works for all kinds of animals, including dogs, cats
and rabbits. How has someone not thought of this before?


Think twice: Air tight food container, Petco, $45.99

Stainless steel, air-tight food container that probably holds a couple of gallons of dog food. (No size on the label.) This container is signed by dog whisperer Cesar Millan and sports this reminder: Be the pack leader. Though it might as well say: “Are you kidding?”Seriously, $46? And that’s with a few dollars off. My advice: Check around. Air tight plastic containers cost a heck of a lot less and you can scrawl “Be the pack leader” on the side if you really want to. But my guess is you won’t want to. It’s hard to feel pack leader-ish when you’re on your hands and knees, scooping kibble into Fido’s bowl while he whips you with his tail and drools on your shoulder.

Maybe cats do rule.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who cancel out any single-crazy-cat-lady stereotype SS might have to deal with) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at

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