Scooping your cat's 'buried treasures' can give you an insight into its health, but it's not one of the highlights of pet ownership. That's why tech startup Petato (opens in new tab) has developed Footloose (opens in new tab) - a smart litter tray that uses AI to analyze your kitty's leavings and clean up hygienically afterwards.
“We saw cat parents’ attentiveness to their critter’s health as an opportunity to lead the future of litter box design through the use of AI,” said Petato Founder, Byron Fan. “Our pets can’t tell us when they aren’t feeling well and cats often hide their pain. Footloose takes out the guesswork so their owners know when they are unwell.”
Footloose (which is cleverly designed to prevent litter being kicked all over your floor) tracks your cat's weight, how often it uses the tray, how long it spends there, and how much it leaves behind. It uses this data to build a picture of the animal's health, and alert you if anything seems amiss, so you can intervene.
No more scooping
If your share your home with multiple feline friends, Footloose can differentiate between them using their weight and activity patterns to avoid confusion. It'll also alert you to any unusual activity (if the dog decides to use it, for example).
It's also self-cleaning. Using "a meticulous fusion of hive-style sieve, curvy funnel, fine-tuned turning speed, powerful torque and gravitational force", Footloose filters out clumps into an airtight receptacle.
The receptacle then uses NASA technology to neutralize smells at the molecular level. UV light triggers a catalyst (mostly titanium dioxide), starting a reaction that decomposes and deodorizes ammonia and sulfide compounds.
Footloose is available on Kickstarter (opens in new tab) for an early bird price of $249 (about £190, AU$350), and will retail for $499 (about £380, AU$700). That might seem steep for a litter tray, but considering the potential benefits to your pet's health and the elimination of a stinky chore, it could be worth every penny.