How to Use Tapo Camera C200 to Monitor Your Cats

For this guide, I am using a Tapo Camera C200, an indoor WiFi camera. It is suitable for monitoring indoor cats – but if you have a garden or cattery, the camera can be pointed outside through a window. This will require some special attention, and I will go into detail about that in this article as well.

The Tapo C200 security camera is a WiFi camera of good quality for a reasonable price that can be used as a security camera in general, and of course for monitoring your cats.

Why Use a Security Camera for Your Cats?

There are many reasons to use a security camera for your cats. For example, even though I have indoor cats, my cats did have access to our backyard when we lived in the Netherlands. Although the backyard was fenced off, cats did come by and the possibility of escape was also present, as the fence and protection had become old and fragile. (Cats have also fallen into our backyard as a result of the fence breaking off.)

To avoid injury to either my own cats or the ones (unintendedly) entering our backyard, I kept an eye on the backyard at all times via my Tapo C200 camera.

How to Properly Setup your Tapo Camera in front of a Window

As a window tends to cause reflection, interfering with your image quality, you should definitely turn off the Status Led light in your Camera Settings.

As for using the Tapo Security camera at night, because of the reflection by your window, it is not recommended to use Night Mode. If you have a light source around your cats (we had a shed light in our backyard for example), your camera should work well enough to be able to oversee your area without turning on Night Mode.

In addition, make sure you leave the lights off where your camera is placed.

Oh, and when it’s raining… your vision is obviously impacted.

Watch your Tapo Stream on your PC or Mobile

It is possible to watch your Tapo C200 camera stream on your PC or mobile. In this way, you can more easily keep track of your cat’s security camera. This method requires VLC Player, which is available as an app for mobile.

The Tapo C200 camera can work with VLC Player by using the RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) stream.

Set up a Tapo Camera Account

First, you need to set up an account within your Tapo Camera app. This is how to do that:

  1. Open your Tapo Camera App
  2. Click on the camera you want to stream
  3. Go to Camera Settings
  4. Go to Advanced Settings -> Camera Account
  5. Create a username and password

Find your camera’s IP address

Go into your Tapo Camera app and click on settings (cog, top-right corner). Click on your camera (all the way at the top). You will be taken to a page that displays some information about your Tapo Camera, including its current IP address. Your IP address may change, so do check back here if you’re having trouble streaming your camera!

Tip: If your camera is running, you will see a preview picture. That’s what you will want to click to go to the camera settings.

This should be your RTSP:

rtsp://ACCOUNT:PASSWORD@IP/stream1

Example:

rtsp://browserstream:TapoPassword@[196.26.1.128]/stream1

Connect to your camera stream with VLC Player

Once you have your account, let’s connect to the stream with VLC Player:

  • Open VLC Media Player on your computer/mobile
  • Go to Media > Open Network Stream…
  • In the “Network” tab, enter your RTSP URL
  • Click on the Play button.

Your VLC player may ask for your account and password. Enter the same data as from the RTSP URL. Now it should connect to your stream!

Very important: Make sure you are watching from a device that is connected to the exact same WiFi as your camera!

Image above: This is actually a still image taken with a Tapo Outdoor camera. It is weather proof and offers many similar features as their indoor camera.

Cons of Using the Tapo C200 Camera to Monitor Your Cats

I am generally very satisfied with the Tapo C200 camera. It has some issues and downsides, many I can live with. The cons of using the Tapo C200 security camera that I have found, are:

  • Poor sound quality
  • Camera tends to switch to LQ (Low Quality) mode a lot
  • It sometimes doesn’t listen to my recording schedule
  • No (free) option to livestream
  • No (free) option to monitor my cats while I’m out of town

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the infrared light hurt my cat’s eyes?

The infrared light from the Tapo C200 camera is generally safe for pets, including cats. The IR LEDs are low-powered and designed to be non-harmful. To ensure safety, avoid mounting the camera where your cat might stare directly into the LEDs for long periods. Proper positioning will provide better coverage and keep your pet safe and comfortable.

Can I monitor my cat while offline?

Unfortunately, no.

Can I talk to my cat through the Tapo camera?

Yes, this camera features two-way audio, allowing you to talk to your cat through the built-in speaker and microphone.

What if my cat moves out of the camera’s field of view?

The Tapo C200 camera has a pan and tilt feature, which allows you to adjust the camera angle remotely through the Tapo app. This way, you can follow your cat as it moves around the room.

What does “Tapo Care works best with one of the NVR or MicroSD card recording, noth both” mean?

NVR stands for Network Video Recorder. An NVR is a specialized computer system that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card, or other mass storage devices. The primary function of an NVR is to handle the recording, storage, and management of video streams from IP (Internet Protocol) cameras over a network.

In the context of your Tapo C200 camera, it means that Tapo Care, the cloud service provided by Tapo, works best when used with either an NVR or a MicroSD card for recording, but not both simultaneously.

How do I set up my Tapo C200 camera?

To set up your Tapo C200 camera:

  1. Download the Tapo app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Plug in the camera and wait for the LED to blink red and green.
  3. Open the Tapo app and follow the on-screen instructions to add your camera.
  4. Connect the camera to your Wi-Fi network.
  5. Complete the setup by naming your camera and customizing the settings as needed.

How can I enable motion detection on my Tapo C200 camera?

To enable motion detection:

  1. Open the Tapo app and go to the camera settings.
  2. Navigate to the “Detection & Alerts” section.
  3. Turn on “Motion Detection” and adjust the sensitivity and detection zones as needed.

Is the Tapo C200 camera weatherproof?

No, the Tapo C200 camera is designed for indoor use only. It is not weatherproof and should not be used outdoors or in environments with high humidity or exposure to water.

Can multiple users access the Tapo C200 camera?

Yes, multiple users can access the Tapo C200 camera. You can share camera access with family members or trusted individuals through the Tapo app by adding their accounts.


♥ I hope my post was useful to you! If this post helped you solve your problem, please consider supporting me by making a small donation via my Ko-Fi page!

Visits: 5