Like the idea of a cat more than the reality of one? Want a four-legged feline friend you can pet and play with, but that doesn’t bring you dead things as gifts, rake its claws down your shins, and cough up furballs in your lap? Then grab yourself a MarsCat (from $699). This autonomous robokitty moves, meows, and acts much like a real cat. It’ll respond to touch and your voice, happily play with the bundled set of toys, and has a personality that develops the more you interact with it. Unlike a real moggie, though, MarsCat’s behaviour can be changed in a jiffy – the Raspberry Pi-powered unit’s open source and programmable. And although the outlay might feel like a clawed swipe to your bank account, it’s nothing compared to a lifetime of vet bills.