The modern world is all about connectivity through technology. We get our news on the go, looking at trends to consume the news that interests us most. We use technology to remind us to take more steps and monitor our health and fitness. We keep in contact with friends and family using video software.
And our pets are no exception to the rule, in fact, as the pet technology market shows, our interest is growing rapidly as we seek to learn more about our pets and strengthen our connection with them.
From health and wellbeing, fitness and food, to physical and mental stimulation for pets, technology offers solutions to pet-related problems and helps us to connect with our pets more than ever before.
Nick Hill is MD of Sure Petcare. He has a PhD in physics and his passion for invention and technology has led him and his team to create some of the most loved smart reading products for pet owners, which have sold across the globe.
This year his company has released more tech for pet owners than ever, he tells us why.
“With our lives busier than ever before, we can’t be with our pets 24/7, so it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to notice changes in our pets’ behaviour.
“These small changes could be a sign of illness or distress and over time, could lead to a bigger problem if left undetected. With cats, it is particularly difficult to notice when they are unwell as they can be very good at hiding their symptoms. Monitoring a pet’s behaviour over time can help us to notice changes which may indicate when a pet is unwell, much earlier than was previously possible.”
Get to know your cat’s routines
What our cats do when they’re not with us fascinates us, doesn’t it? Before our cat, Buster, moved in I was interested but perhaps not fascinated. Now we have a cat, I often wonder where she goes in the small hours of the night.
Sometimes I get up to see her sitting on her own, snuggled up on the sofa in the lounge and other times, she’s nowhere to be found. She sets her own agenda with no apparent schedule.
Nick explains that their technology was designed to help cat owners keep track of their cat’s activity, and it can even prevent cats who aren’t part of your family (via microchip detection) gaining access.
“Using a connected pet door such as the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect and Microchip Cat Flap Connect enables pet owners to keep track of their cat’s comings and goings. When linked to an app, such as the Sure Petcare app, owners can monitor the amount of time a pet spends in and out of the house, how often they go out, and see changes in the patterns of behaviour over time.
“Recent feedback from one of our Microchip Pet Door Connect customers showed that their cat would go out no longer than half hour at the same time each night. On one occasion, the cat was outside for over two hours. Noticing this change on her Sure Petcare app, the owner found on closer examination that her cat had indeed been in a fight and managed to get her to the vet, avoiding a costly bill if it had been left any longer.
“If your cat stays indoors for longer than usual, there might be a health reason they are feeling more lethargic or there could be a new cat on the block which is putting them off venturing outside.”
What your cat’s feeding patterns reveal
Some cats are set in their ways and others, my cat included, change their feeding patterns regularly.
A stray I feed, for example, likes his breakfast and tea at the same time every day and he’ll wait for me. My own house cat eats more sporadically, except during the winter where she’ll eat more regularly but even though she has less of a strict eating pattern, I monitor her intake to gauge her overall health.
And many cat owners I know do the same.
I recently learnt how technology wants to make this easier for myself and fellow cat owners with the launch of the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Connect, launching early next year.
Nick explains how their pet feeder connects to an app, what information can be learnt and how it could reveal when a pet’s ill but not showing physical symptoms.
“When connected to the Sure Petcare app, cat owners will be able to browse on your mobile or tablet and view data on the frequency, duration and times of feeding, as well as the amount that your cat has eaten.
“This is all really useful information to have if you’re looking to learn more about your cat’s feeding patterns because our pets can’t tell us if they’re under the weather, so by spotting changes to their routine and daily habits, we can monitor more easily what’s going on.”
How to channel your knowledge
The power of the smart, connected pet products that are starting to come to market is that they help us to understand the unique and changing needs of our cats to provide them with the best care throughout their life.
I’m all for making use of advancements to technology to make my life as a pet owner more connected.
I use pet treat cams (I have one for each pet) to keep in touch with my pets when I’m not at home. Whether they get the same feeling of being connected as I do, I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure for them it’s all about the tasty pay off when treats are dispensed.
But knowledge is power as they say and if by learning more about my cat’s routines and habits, I can have greater peace of mind at being on top of any potential health problems which may arise, I’m all for it.
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