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Forget the quantified self: Should you quantify your cat?

Quantify your cat
Smoky, you rascal, what were you up to last night?

Don’t worry, Fitbit hasn’t created a watch for cats. Yet. But British company Sure Petcare really does think you should use the microchip that’s already in your pet to monitor its movements, eating habits and overall health. Yes, it wants to quantify your cat.

Before you strike this idea off as another ridiculous piece of IoT technology looking for a purpose, as I must admit that I initially did, consider this scenario. Your cat looks a bit off this morning. So, you fire up the app and see that little Flipper was out for two hours in the early hours, when she normally only stays out for half an hour at a time.

Against her wishes, you examine her and find puncture wounds in her leg. Twenty minutes later you’re at the vet and Flipper is on the road to recovery, rather than suffering from pain all day, and possibly getting worse.

If that all sounds a bit far-fetched, it’s based on a true story – the Coen brothers have optioned the rights – from a Sure Petcare customer who bought its Microchip Pet Door Connect product. As the name so subtly hints, it’s a pet door that uses the microchip to recognise your cat and is connected to the internet.

Quantify your cat
The Sure Petcare app in action – welcome to the future

Quantify your cat: Hot topic

In future, there’s a good chance that Sure Petcare will be able to track the body temperature of your pets too. Two years ago it “joined” (code for “was bought by”) the Allflex group, a much bigger company that produces microchips for animals, and it’s pushing vets to use a version with temperature-sensing abilities.

In fact, the more you think about this the more quantified cats, quantified dogs, quantified hamsters and all the rest makes sense. Who knows, by sidestepping endless tests it might even save on some of those horrendous vet’s bills too.

Read next: How do I set up a security camera for my dog?

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About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis.

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