Tweeting your way to successful pet management
Photo: Wales News Service
This is about managing and stimulating your cat or dog while you are away. A lot of people have difficulties in managing their cats because they are away a lot. Perhaps these people feel a little guilty. I used to. I am retired now so spend all day with my cat. He loves that! I can manage him closely and keep him settled and dieted.
I think one problem people might have in managing the diet of their cats is ensuring that their cat receives a steady but limited supply of food. If you are away all day all you can do it put down a decent amount of dry cat food. Dry cat food in large quantities is not good for a cat. It can lead to health problems such as diabetes, obesity and urinary tract problems such as cystitis. Also being away a lot can cause stress in the cat which also promotes urinary tract problems.
After that lengthy introduction I'd like to write about something brand new and in fact unique. It is not yet on the market but a smart IT guy in Wales, UK, has built a very sophisticated device that allows him to feed his dog via a Twitter Tweet. The device also allows him to watch his dog feeding.
Nat Morris sends a tweet to his device from work. The mini computer he built sets off a buzzer that alerts his dog, Toby. Toby attends the feeding station. The computer then sends a signal to a motor that opens a trap door releasing food to a bowl. An online camera allows Nat to keep an eye on things.
Well, I love this. It has lots of potential for feeding cats. Cats are trainable especially when the reward is food. I can't see any reason why the device can't also provide other things that a cat might need. It might activate another device that is a toy for a cat for example.
Perhaps the cat obesity epidemic that we read about in the United States might in part be due to absent owners putting down too much dry cat food while they are away. Perhaps Nat's device might go some way to arresting that unwelcome trend.
Another benefit is that the cat's owner could see what his or her cat is doing if the device could be extended to cover more than one camera. This is reassuring for the human caretaker.