Owning cats can be a challenge. They are much more independent than dogs. As such, it’s challenging to figure out their moods. This can lead to a host of complications. If a dog is in pain or needs something, they are pretty vocal about letting their owners know. However, many cat owners often wonder if there is something wrong with their cat or if it’s just another time when you’ve forgotten to Zen garden their litter box or have added a little less food than they want. All joking aside, one of the things that most pet parents worry about is that there may be something wrong with their cat. Even though we can never be a hundred percent positive, new AI technology is helping to take the guesswork out of many common pet issues. According to Forbes, AI has dramatically helped people identify health issues before becoming a problem.
Now, the same technology is being applied to pets. Algorithms compile data from many different pets and can predict when a pet will develop a disease years before it becomes a problem by analyzing data from other pets who had the same illness. Now, Syvlester.ai is taking cat AI a step further. The company creates predictive health care products which use artificial intelligence to help animals have a better quality of life. Additionally, their technology helps their owners better understand what is going on with their pets and cause for concern. One of the ways they are working towards their goal is the new iPhone App, Tably.
What are you feeling?
One of the most often asked questions is what in the world is my cat thinking. Tably works towards answering that age-old question. Initially, the app was called Happy or Not and was created by Sylvester.AI, Alta ML, and The Bar G. These companies have worked on many AI-fueled products, including sleep gadgets and ranching apps animal health. The app uses facial expressions to determine what mood your cat is in. Yet, it’s not solely based on what you might typically see on your cat’s face, a combination of resting kitty face and grumpy cat. Instead, it uses a scientific tool that has been proven to determine the cat’s mood. According to Wired, AltaML happened upon the Feline Grimace Scale, featured in Scientific Reports and Nature in 2010. The scale is used to diagnose pain in cats using facial expressions.
Since the company had an extensive background in artificial intelligence, they wondered if they could incorporate the technology into an app and use algorithms to determine if the cat was distressed. This was when they began to develop Tably. It’s ingenious because typically, when cats are upset or not feeling well, they hide in a corner, unlike their canine counterparts. Dog owners are much quicker to notice something is wrong with their four-legged because they come up, nuzzle and whine. Cat owners are often baffled and think that their feline’s aren’t showing any signs of being distressed. So, when something happens, they feel mystified. However, cats show many different signs when they aren’t feeling well, just more subtly than dogs. A cat’s muzzle, eyes, ears, whiskers, and head position will tell you if your cat is in pain. Paulo Stegal is the primary author for the Feline Grimace Scale and an associate professor of veterinary anesthesia at the University of Montreal. He created the FGS as a resource to help veterinarians and cat owners learn what’s going on with their pets.
Everyone who owns a cat probably has a camera roll full of pictures. Now, you’ll have an excuse to take even more. According to Gadgets 360, the app analyzes the head position, eye narrowing, muscle tension, and even if the whiskers changed directions. Essentially, it’s the Feline Grimace Scale streamlined. Even though we spend a lot of time with our pets and notice some of the funny quirks, they tend to do. It can be challenging to see more subtle features like the one Tably picks up. Tably will help not only pet owners but also vets, especially those new to the profession. The Feline Grimace scale demystifies much of a cat’s expressions, using different marker classifications called Action Units. These include whiskers, ears, and tightening of the eyes. It uses a scale that ranks these between 0 and 2 to determine how your cat is feeling.
If your cat scores a zero, it means all is well; one is moderate pain and two means that your cat is having a lot of pain. If you can capture a well-lit photo with your cat facing the camera, there is a 97% chance the app is giving an acute reading. Sylvester.AI is thrilled with the results and hopes this app will be the first in a long technology line for apps that focus on other animals. Although the app isn’t fully available, anyone who wants to try it out can sign up for the beta program on their website. One word of caution, this app may work well at picking up subtleties when your cat is not feeling their best, but it’s also a good idea to check out the rest of your cat. For example, when a cat is worried, they will tense up from head to tail. Additionally, make sure you notice their eating and drinking habits.
We live in a highly hectic world with many obligations. Even though coming home to our cats is one of the joys of the day, sometimes you’re so tired you only notice the fun you have playing with them, and if even if you see something is off, it may be easy to dismiss it because a cat never lets on what is going on with them. Having an app like Tably lets you figure out if you’re worrying quickly is for nothing or if your cat has something wrong with them.