If you've got a new pet, find yourself out of the house more than usual, or just like the idea of being able to say hello to your furry pals from work, you've probably looked into cameras like the Petcube Bites 2 Lite already.
It's a tall, minimalist smart camera that sits on a shelf or table or mounts to a wall, giving you a constant video feed to the Petcube smartphone app for peace of mind and interaction whenever you leave home. If you've got an anxious animal or want to continue training remotely, the Bites 2 Lite can help.
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa
Lens: 160-degree wide angle, 4x digital zoom
Night vision: Yes
Treat dispenser: Yes
Two-way audio: Yes
Size: 14.5 x 7.3 x 26.8 cm
To distinguish it from a regular security camera or webcam, it has pet-specific features, the most obvious being a treat-tossing dispenser. This essentially flicks treats from a swipe on the Petcube app, while a microphone and speaker let you hear and talk to your pet through the app for commands or reassurance.
The best pet cameras have surged in popularity over the past few years, going from something few pet owners used to a real consideration for most pawrents – as Petcube describes them. I think they're useful if you want to keep an eye on problem behavior or ensure that your cat or dog isn't doing anything it shouldn't, like chomping on furniture or barking at the neighbors. Although there's little you can do to change these behaviors from afar – other than talk your pet down through the mic – being able to monitor them when you're not there does help with awareness. For example, if you see that they struggle with separation anxiety, you might be able to make changes in your routine or training to help with this. Or if they get unsettled by knocks on the front door, you might be able to move their bed to another part of the house.
Petcube appeared on the scene in 2012, and the Petcube Bites 2 was launched in 2019. I previously used, reviewed, and enjoyed the original Bites 2, but it's now been discontinued, leaving two models currently in the Petcube lineup; the compact, budget Petcube Cam and the Petcube Bites 2 Lite which is taller and comes with a sizable treat dispenser for tossing food out.
The company is well-known for producing pet cameras, and it mainly competes with Furbo and its 360 dog camera that provides complete room coverage. Petcube products also go up against the best indoor security cameras, which allow you to monitor your pets (and home) without treat-tossing abilities. To compare the Bites 2 Lite performance against the Bites 2 and cheaper cameras without feeding features, I tested it for several weeks at home with my young Flatcoated Retriever.
On top of paying for the camera, it's worth considering whether you'll be willing to subscribe to Petcube Care. I found out pretty quickly that the free plan limits what you can do. A basic plan will only give you live streaming, whereas the entry-level optimal plan ($5.99 per month/ $47.88 per year) stores 3 days of video history, sends smart alerts to let you know about barks and door knocks, and allows 10 video downloads from your pet's activity timeline. The premium plan costing $9.99 a month or $119.88 a year offers an extensive 90 days of video history and unlimited video downloads.
Petcube Bites 2 Lite: What's changed?
The Petcube Bites 2 Lite is an updated version of the original Bites 2 camera, but it's around 25% cheaper than its predecessor. Petcube has made savings on the design, which is now all-plastic rather than the more durable aluminum and plastic build of the original. While the Bites 2 Lite only has one microphone rather than a 4-mic array, it offers 8x zoom – double that of the Bites 2. The lens, image resolution, and night vision remain unchanged.
The original Bites 2 had Amazon Alexa built-in so you could use it for all your questions, queries, and weather checking, plus 5GHz and 2.4GHz WiFi. With the Bites 2 Lite, the product works with Alexa, and you only get 2.4GHz, which can impact the reliability of the connection.
Petcube Bites 2 Lite: Design & Handling
The Bites 2 Lite shares the same upright design and sizing as the original model. At 5.7 x 3 x 10.6 inches (145.1 x 73.2 mm x 268.73 mm) it's about as thick as my favorite cookbooks but slightly taller, and fits on the bottom of my bookshelf.
The Bites 2 Lite is split in half, with a white bottom and a light gray detachable top where the treats are stored. The aesthetic is minimal, but I personally want a pet camera to look clean and neutral. It helps that the walls in my house are white and gray, making the Bites 2 Lite look right at home, but I think it would fit most interiors without becoming an eyesore. The flexible white USB-C power cable is easy to tuck away from view and paws.
Although there's a non-slip rubber bottom for extra grip on smooth surfaces, that didn't stop my retriever from toppling the camera backward with her nose during a burst of excitement. I expect that kittens could do the same, even if you positioned the camera in an elevated spot, but wall-mounting does solve this issue. I wonder why the treat container couldn't have been made slightly shorter, which would have lowered the capacity but increased the stability.
The gray dispenser can hold up to 1.5 pounds of treats, which Petcube says should be under an inch in diameter and ideally spherical, presumably to avoid getting jammed. There were several instances during testing when the Petcube app couldn't detect any treats inside the container, so I'd recommend only using dry nibbles that are uniform in size and rollable.
Setting up the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is incredibly easy and took me no more than 10 minutes. After downloading the free Petcube app (available on Android and iOS smartphones) to my iPhone 15, I logged into my old account. If you're new to Petcube you'll need to sign up and create a profile for your pet with their name, breed, gender, and birthday.
I turned the camera on, pressing the tiny setup button on the side above the power cable while waiting for the light on the front to turn yellow. The camera said "Read for setup" and the rest of the pairing instructions could be followed on the app. After establishing a WiFi connection, the app automatically installed the latest firmware onto the camera, and the status light turned to a solid blue when the Bites 2 Lite was online and ready to go. It will show a yellow light if there's a WiFi error.
Using the Petcube Bites 2 Lite for day-to-day monitoring was a mixed bag. If I wanted to check in on what my dog was doing from my phone while we were out (mainly just sleeping, I'm happy to report) a quick tap on the play button in the Petcube app would bring up a live feed. Simple. However, there was often a delay in bringing up the video stream, and once or twice I had to wait up to 30 seconds with the app open before seeing anything.
Everything is controlled by the app, and I'm happy to report that the interface is easy to use. Tossing a treat is down by tapping the bone icon on the live feed and swiping up to fling it. During testing, this worked every time, and I have to admit that my partner and I had quite a lot of chuckles watching Remy scurry around to pick up her kibble when thrown from the machine. On a more serious training note, I was able to get her to sit while talking through the microphone, and reward her when she stopped barking at next door's cat through the living room window.
Petcube Bites 2 Lite: Performance
The Petcube isn't designed for taking stills, but it is possible to capture grabs from the live video stream by using the snapshot function on the Petcube app (a tap of the camera icon on the feed). The quality is best when there's plenty of natural light, but at high zooms, resolution and detail are poor – certainly not good enough to share on Instagram. Fortunately, when you do take a snapshot, you don't get the Petcube watermark applied, as you do when you record video footage.
On a bright and sunny day, the live video feed from the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is clear and well-balanced, and with the wide-angle lens I found it easy to see my dog, Remy, from across our living room – the camera is about 15 feet away from where she likes to nap on the sofa. The dynamic range could be better; as she's a black dog on an already dark sofa it was sometimes hard to see what she was doing. While 1080p Full HD is a standard resolution for security and pet cameras, I would have liked to see Petcube push this higher (at least 2K) so that you can make use of the 8x zoom. The zoom feature is digital (not optical) and past 4x the footage was very fuzzy.
In low light – with electric lamps on – and after dark, the camera's built-in night vision mode is activated. This was a feature I found surprisingly effective, and I could see Remy in black-and-white easily when we went out for dinner one evening. Her shining eyes were slightly creepy, but the picture was bright and easy to monitor.
Elsewhere, I was disappointed by the performance of the Lite's two-way audio, which I tested at home before using remotely. Even when I was close to the Wi-Fi router, there was often a delay between talking and the sound coming out of the speaker. Or, I found that it would freeze or echo in a way that confused Remy, especially when she was given commands that she usually does without thinking. This is a shame, as Petcube markets the interactive audio as one of the camera's main draws, but I think the distortion is a standard issue among cameras running over WiFi. Although I sometimes found the Petcube app and audio to be laggy, the speaker is clear and you can tweak the volume to suit the room size and your pet's sensitivity levels.
Petcube Bites 2 Lite: Sample video
Petcube Bites 2 Lite: Final Verdict
If you're looking for a dedicated pet camera and don't need smart speaker capabilities integrated, the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is more streamlined and affordable than its predecessor. For dog and cat owners, there are real benefits to buying it over a vanilla security camera, like the ability to treat your pet for good behavior or soothe their anxiety from afar by speaking through the integrated mics.
I begrudged paying a monthly subscription to Petcube Care (and took up a free 14-day trial first to see if it was worth it) but I did find the bark alerts and video storage features helpful. It's shame that Petcube couldn't have included an integrated storage option, but cloud subscriptions have become the norm for security cameras.
From the Petcube app, you can also set the camera to detect and record events during certain hours customize motion sensitivity, and alter the frequency of notifications to your phone. I'll only leave Remy for up to a maximum of four hours and found hourly checkups a convenient way to keep up to date – any more and you might find your feed getting clogged.
For cat owners, the treat-tossing abilities of the Bites 2 Lite might not be worth the hike in price and the space that the camera takes up over the Petcube Cam. Even with its subtle styling, Bites 2 Lite is still a tall slab of a camera.
The results you get from the Bites 2 Lite depend on where you place it, and how your pet moves around during hours of surveillance. Its wide angle of view effectively covers big rooms, but some might struggle to find a spot free of obstructions, at the right height for treat tossing, where it's unlikely to get knocked over.
Those who have pets that roam around multiple rooms will be served by a robot device like the ENABOT EBO. However, if you've been eyeing the Furbo range of pet cameras, but want to spend less, the Bites 2 Lite is a brilliant alternative.
Should you buy the Petcube Bites 2 Lite?
✅ Buy this if...
- You want to feed your pet remotely
- You plan to monitor one room
- The option to wall-mount is helpful
🚫 Don't buy this if...
- You want to follow your pet around
- You want the sharpest video
- You're against paying to store videos
If you want a camera you can place in the center of a big room and track your pet roaming around it, the Furbo 360 Dog Camera is a better choice. It also offers 2-way audio, night vision, treat tossing and noise alerts, but with a rotating view for full room coverage.
If you're on a serious budget, the Petcube Cam is the most affordable smart pet camera on the market from a major brand. You don't get treat throwing, but with 110- wide view, 8x zoom and night vision, it's possible to keep an eye on things from a corner of the room.