“Playing regularly with a cat easily satisfies her stalking instinct, keeps her stimulated, and provides the exercise she needs to stay healthy and happy,” says the Humane Society. But, is it helpful to play with your cat when you aren’t with her?
Apparently, over 1,700 Kittyo backers think so. Kittyo, a device designed to remotely interact with your cat, launched on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $30,000. With 23 days to go, they’ve already raised close to $200,000. Kittyo’s tagline is “Playtime. Anytime.” While it looks like an elegant coffee maker, it does so much more. But, is it all good for your cat?
Here are some of the Kittyo features that early adapters are finding attractive:
- Video camera helps you spy on your cat while you are away
- Audio camera lets you speak to your cat while you are away
- Laser light lets you remotely move a laser light for your cat to chase (using an app on your smart phone)
- Cat treat dispenser (activated via your mobile app)
I’m not the only one who is concerned that Kittyo will cause sensory confusion in cats. Cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett writes on CatBehaviorAssociates.com, “Laser lights cause lots of frustration. If you really take time to understand how cats hunt and how they use ALL of their senses, you’ll come to realize that chasing a red beam of light without ever having the satisfaction of capturing it isn’t a lot of fun.”
Cat Behaviorist and author Marilyn Krieger wrote in Catster, “Cats seem to go crazy pointlessly chasing the elusive beam of light. Laser pointers and laser toys can frustrate cats, overstimulate them, and, in some cases, cause them to act aggressively toward playmates.”
While the Kittyo treat dispenser may be advantageous, and the video camera allowing you to spy on your cat could be interesting, I’d stay away from the other features that may cause sensory confusion. Instead, take the time to play with your cat when you are home. The playtime will be advantageous to both of you.
What’s your opinion? Is Kittyo a device you would want for your cat?
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