IoT kept our cats warm one cold Dutch winter.
We were on holiday and our digital (not smart) thermostat broke down. We realized that due to an air purifier that also tracked humidity and temperature. We could see the cats sleeping together on camera just to get warm and that made us check the temperature. We had someone bring a heater in and plug it in a smart plug that we had in our home. We turned the heat up by scheduling that on/off for the rest of our holiday. The cats got comfortable again. It wasn’t a life and death situation, because in The Netherlands the winters rarely go bellow 0 degrees Celcius and the cats were indoors. Nevertheless, IoT helped us with the situation.
We have a cat feeder for dry food that is just programable when it comes to providing food while we're away, and that never failed. We also have someone visiting the cats to provide food, clean the litter, and human touch as often as possible.
When it comes to our little furry friends I think that the best solutions are provided by supervised automation and a couple of fallbacks in case the supervision fails.