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Nest Battery Camera won’t see my pets

Community Member

Hi there. I’ve just bought an Outdoor battery cam to replace an Arlo one, but it won’t see our cats which was one of the main reasons for buying it - so we can keep an eye on them while we are away. It’s placed directly above the back door pointing at the cat flap in the same spot as the Arlo was. The Arlo cam saw every tiny movement of the cat but the new nest hasn’t spotted it once? (Yes everything is turned on in the app) 




We've had a battery camera for almost 2 years now, plugged in with the optional power cable.  But if we unplug it so that it is running on battery power, it does not come out of "Idle" mode to detect and record an event if we walk in front of the camera.  We're glad ours is plugged in.

Thanks for the reply! It seems to be a common issue from some more googling.  Annoying as it means they aren’t really fit for purpose sold as a ‘battery’ camera.  

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi everyone,  


@MrLexicon, thanks for reaching out here in the Community. We use machine learning to ensure animal notifications are as accurate as possible, but the technology isn't always perfect. Your camera is more likely to accurately detect animals that are larger, nearby, and within clear view of the camera. And your camera or doorbell may misidentify things like:

  • Confuse a picture with a real event. For example, a picture of a dog on a t-shirt might trigger an "Activity or animal" event.
  • A person could be misidentified as an animal in some situations, like if they're crawling on the ground, or bent over to do housework.
  • An animal may be missed.
  • Other objects, such as a shadow or bush, may be misidentified as an animal.

To learn more, you may visit our public article “Animal detection


I appreciate the help, MplsCustomer.




Hi Emerson, thanks for the reply. I understand what you are saying but the issue seems to be more that the camera's idle mode doesnt 'wake' fast enough to see a pet. While active after seeing me use the back door it then identified the cat. I guess I'm just very disappointed the Google product isn't as good as it should be - my previous Arlo & Simplisafe cameras were so good they woke when a tiny spider moved in front of them so its pretty bad the Nest cam wont see a giant fluffy long haired cat. I wanted to get my whole system onto google for ease but I guess it's back to using Arlo and I now own a very expensive Google paperweight 😞

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hello MrLexicon,


I appreciate your update and your thoughts that you're sharing here. Please make sure that the steps below are turned on.

Turn on animal detection

  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Google Home app .
  2. Tap your Nest Camera that you want to record animal events.
  3. Tap Settings and then Events and then Seen events.
  4. Turn on 'Animals'.
  • Your Nest Camera will now record animal events for all home members.
  • Home members can find 'Activity or animal' events in the camera’s history, Home history and Feed.
  • Any home member can turn 'Activity or animal' notifications on or off in the camera’s 'Seen events' settings in the Google Home app.

Turn on animal detection for an Activity Zone

To help improve the relevance of your animal alerts, you can turn them on for only the specific Activity Zones that you want to monitor. This means that you’re less likely to receive a false animal alert in areas where you don’t expect animals to appear.

To turn on animal detection for an Activity Zone:


  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Google Home app .
  2. Tap your Nest Camera with the Activity Zone that you want to use.
  3. Tap Settings and then Events and then Seen events.
  4. Turn on 'Animals'.

 In case you’re still getting the same issue, you may reset your Nest Camera to the factory default and monitor its behaviour.

Let us know how it goes.