Best electronic pets

Electronic Toys

Some electronic pets make animal sounds and others speak. The question is whether the recipient wants a realistic pet or is fine with some fantastical elements.

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Which electronic pet is best?

An electronic pet can be a fun toy or a realistic companion. While the majority of electronic pets are designed for children, you can also find highly lifelike electronic pets meant to offer comfort and companionship to seniors who can no longer care for a real pet.

This guide to the best electronic pets contains all the details you need to make an informed purchase. At the end, we’ve listed our top models, including FurReal Friends The Curious Panda Bear Cub, which is our number one choice, thanks to its blend of realism and fun features.

What to know before you buy electronic pets

Type of animal

Some people might be happy with any type of electronic pet, but others probably have a species they’d prefer. You can find a wide range of electronic pets, from common house pets like dogs and cats to wild animals like tigers and elephants. There are also some electronic pets modeled after fantasy creatures and extinct animals, such as unicorns and dinosaurs.

Age range

Consider the age of the person you’re buying for and make sure that any electronic pet you’re thinking of buying has a suitable recommended age range. Most electronic pets are toys, but you can also find realistic electronic companion animals for adults, which may or may not be safe for kids, depending on the particular model. Those electronic pets designed for kids tend to have an upper and lower age recommendation. The toy may not be safe for a child under the lower age recommendation, while it may not have enough features to interest a child older than the upper age recommendation.

What to look for in quality electronic pets

Interactive features

Many electronic pets have interactive features, meaning they respond to the person playing with them. This makes them feel a bit more like real pets and helps create a bond between electronic pets and owners. Some electronic pets respond by making noises when people talk to them or moving when people pet them. Some are equipped with cameras or sensors so they can follow their humans around.

Power source

Electronic pets are battery powered, but they may run off either standard single-use batteries or have built-in rechargeable batteries. Those with rechargeable batteries should come with a charging cable that you can plug the pet into for recharging. Single-use batteries last longer but you have the expense of replacing them when they run out.

How much you can expect to spend on electronic pets

You can find some inexpensive electronic pets starting at around $20, whereas realistic electronic pets or programmable robotic pets can cost as much as $100-$200.

Electronic pets FAQ

How large are electronic pets?

A. You can find electronic pets in a range of sizes. Some are extremely compact, measuring just a few inches high, while others are similar in size to the animal they’re trying to replicate. Of course, life-size electronic pets are only possible in smaller breeds or species — you might find a life-size cat or chihuahua, but you won’t find a life-size tiger.

Do all electronic pets have fur?

A. No. Some electronic pets are covered in faux fur to replicate the natural coat of the real thing, but you can also find electronic pets with a smooth plastic or metal finish. Fur-covered electronic pets might look and feel more realistic, but they’re also more likely to get smeared with maple syrup or stained with juice by little kids.

What are the best electronic pets to buy?

Top electronic pet

FurReal Friends The Curious Panda Bear Cub

FurReal Friends The Curious Panda Bear Cub

Our take: An interactive electronic panda any kid will love.

What we like: Realistic panda noises and movements. Comes with a bottle to feed the panda. Responds with 100+ different noise and move combinations.

What we dislike: Pricey.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top electronic pet for the money

WEofferwhatYOUwant Electronic Pet Dog Harry

WEofferwhatYOUwant Electronic Pet Dog Harry

Our take: An affordable electronic dog that’s great for little kids but might not entertain older children for long.

What we like: Sensor responds to touch and causes the dog to bark, walk, talk, sing, dance, and more. Walks well on smooth surfaces. Batteries included.

What we dislike: Volume isn’t adjustable and may be too loud for some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Hasbro Joy For All Interactive Companion Pets Tabby Cat

Hasbro Joy For All Interactive Companion Pets Tabby Cat

Our take: Primarily designed for seniors but also a great toy for kids who really want a cat but can’t have one.

What we like: Looks realistic with soft fur for petting and brushing. Purrs and meows, plus moves in a realistic way. One of the most realistic electronic pets around.

What we dislike: Ears are hard and don’t feel realistic to pat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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