Persik the cat was seven years old when his owner picked him up one day to discover that his pet had shed around a quarter of his body weight. Within five days, Persik passed away, falling victim to cancer. Owner and engineer Alex Treiner began to wonder how cats' health and happiness could be monitored more closely and came up with the Tailio, a monitor placed underneath a litter box, where it keeps tabs on your feline's behavior and lets you know if something is not quite right.
According the Tailio's developers, a lot can be learned from tracking a cat's activity in and around the litter box. Beyond health problems that may affect how often the litter becomes soiled, changes in weight can point to stress and illness. Detecting these signs early on can be important in maintaining the well-being of the animal.
Tailio is essentially a weight-sensing device that monitors how heavy the cat is, the amount of waste it is producing, how frequently it is going and its behavior when inside the box. This data is then processed in the cloud and analyzed to generate individual profiles of the cats. These are viewed via the companion smart phone app, available on both iOS and Android, enabling the owner to identify trends and departures from normal behavior.
This information can help to reveal conditions such as diabetes, cancer, kidney infections, hyperthyroidism and urinary tract issues, and passing it onto a vet can assist with professional diagnosis. Further to this, the smartphone app can offer reminders to give the cat medicines and clean out the litter. The developers even say that Tailio is capable of differentiating between cats, should you have more than one in the house, by learning about each one's physiology and behavior.
We have seen devices emerge before to gain an insight into what exactly is going in and coming out of our cats, such as the Bistro cat feeder. Tailio does promise a certain level of discretion, however, with the device slotting neatly under the litter box leaving kitty none the wiser.
The team is running a campaign on Kickstarter to fund commercial production of Tailio, and things are purring along very nicely so far. It has passed its initial goal of US$30,000 with around a month left to run, and will ship one your way for a pledge of $99 if all else goes to plan. Shipping is slated for April 2015.
You can check out the pitch video below.