Ben Millam who refers to himself as an “aspiring geek” built an incredible machine that takes cat feeding to a whole new level. He trained his cat Monkey to look for plastic balls hidden around the house and throw them into the machine. Once the machine recognizes the RFID-tagged balls, the feeder is activated and the ball is filled with cat treats. Monkey was trained using ‘clicker’ training that is based on associating a desirable behaviour with a distinctive click and a reward. It took some time and patience but as Millam says, Monkey successfully managed to put up with all his experiments.
“This all started after I read an explanation of why cats go about repeatedly exploring the same areas: it’s partly to establish and survey their territory, but they’re also practicing ‘mobile’ hunting,” Millam said. “So what if my cat, while out on patrol, actually found its prey? Surely this would bring him one step closer towards a more fulfilled and self-actualized indoor kitty existence.”