A new app called “Tably” tells you if your cat is happy
The app looks at ear and head position, eye-narrowing, muzzle tension, and how whiskers change, to detect distress. Tably App uses a phone’s camera to tell whether a cat is feeling pain.
Cat owners who like to take pictures of their furry friends now have a new excuse to take their smartphones out and take a picture: it can help the cat.
A Calgary, Alberta, animal technology company, Sylvester.ai, has developed an app called Table that uses a phone camera to tell if a feline is in pain.
The app looks at ear and head shape, eye loss, body tension, and how the beard changes, to detect stress. A 2019 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports found that the so-called ‘feline grimace scale,’ or FGS, is a valid and reliable tool for the diagnosis of severe pain in cats.
“It helps human-cat owners know if their cat is in pain or not,” said Michi Priest, Sylvester.ai. “We were able to train the machine using reading equipment and a series of photographs.”
The app can help young veterinarians, says Dr. Liz Ruelle of the Wild Rose Cat Clinic in Calgary, where developers are training the algorithm.
“I love working with cats, I always grow up with cats,” he said. “For some colleagues, the new grads, who may have never had so much experience, can be very disturbing to know – is your patient in pain?”
An app that learns patterns on cat faces can help but cat owners should also look at the whole body of their pet, including the tail, to find clues about their health, says Alice Potter from the British charity RSPCA.
“Concerned or frightened cats will grab hold of the tail and it is tense to them. And besides, there’s just thinking about their behavior as to whether they eat, drink, bathe, sleep as they usually do?”
Here is a link you can download it: