Any cat owner who’s had to chase an injured mouse, bird or even a squirrel round the house after their pet left them a little “gift” will know how annoying it is.
Especially when they have a full bowl of food and have no intention of eating their kill.
And it isn’t much consolation to know the dead or injured prey is just your pet showing you how much they care!
Now a tech wizard and cat owner might just have come up with a solution.
Ben Hamm – a senior product manager at Amazon – attached a computer to his cat Metric’s cat flap lock which detects when the moggy has prey in its mouth.
When a killing is detected the flap’s lock triggers a 15-minute shutout. Mr Hamm unveiled his invention in Seattle last month, reports tech site The Verge.
He installed a smart camera which took 23,000 images of his pet coming and going. Of those, 260 showed Metric arriving with something.
He then spent several months marking up every shot of the cat bringing in prey, until the computer system learned how to detect Metric with a victim.
During a trial period of five weeks, Metric came home with seven birds or rodents and was locked out on six occasions.
When the camera spotted Metric carrying something, the flap locks for 15 minutes and sends a text to Mr Hamm.
Being a cat of course he managed to outwit the computer and highly complex software, but only once.
Mr Hamm said changing your cat’s behaviour is impossible so the only thing cat owners can do is try to outwit them.
“Negative reinforcement doesn’t work for cats, and I’d challenge you to come up with a way to use rewards to prevent a behaviour that an animal exhibits once every 10 days at 3am!”
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