Well, a new Swedish invention could put an end to the mystery.
A Scandinavian group called the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery — or, more simply, NSID — has developed a device called No More Woof. The system that reads a dog’s EEG brain waves and then translates those brain waves into English (and soon, Mandarin, French and Spanish, too.)
The No More Woof Micro can distinguish three different thought patterns for hunger, curiosity and tiredness. The No More Woof Standard can distinguish four or more canine thought patterns and it can be calibrated to work for multiple dogs; its software can also be upgraded when new versions become available.
The NSID admits that the first generation No More Woof was pretty primitive, but they point out that the first computer was quite primitive as well. A more sophisticated brain-computer interface (BCI) could translate more complex thoughts and emotions.
What’s more, there’s hope that the technology could have other more practical applications, such as enabling disable pets to move artificial limbs. There’s even potential for two-way communication by converting your words into dog language, with your words or thoughts sent directly to the pet’s brain!
Notably, No More Woof’s creators had launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, seeking to raise $10,000 USD to fund further development. But as 2014 arrived, NSID had already exceeded their goal, raising just short of $17,000 USD.
If you’re a bit crafty and want to make a few fun homemade toys for kitty, here are a few ideas to try!
To make a catnip pouch, get an old sock and put a golf ball-sized bit of catnip in the toe. Tie a knot into the sock, just above the pouch and cut off the excess. You’ll be left with a tube of fabric. Many socks are long enough for you to make a second pouch. Just place a knot at one end of the tube, fill with catnip and knot again.
Make a homemade kitty wand by unraveling a wire coat hanger. Straighten the wire and use wire snips to cut off the kinked ends. Twist the wire into a loop at one end — the loop will serve as an attachment point for a ribbon or teaser, and the loop will prevent your kitty from poking his eye out with the wire tip! Make your own kitty teaser with a few feathers, plucked from your feather duster and affixed with a bit of thread.
Make a toilet paper roll sunburst by making a 1 ½ inch snip every one-third inch around both openings of the toilet paper roll. Then, bend the strips a bit so it looks like a sun. It will bounce around, keeping kitty occupied for hours!
Have you ever noticed how your cat tends to prefer the box better than the item that came in the box?
It’s true! Cats tend to enjoy the simpler items in life. So why not make a few homemade cat toys?
A peek-a-boo box is a great toy if you have more than one cat. Place the box on its side, so the cat can easily walk inside. Then, cut a few small peek holes in the sides of the box, so your cats can bat at each other and peek out. To pretty it up, cover the box with fabric. All it takes is a yard or two of fabric and some hot glue!
Another idea: a toilet paper roll snake. Get three to five toilet paper rolls (or cut a paper towel roll in half.) Poke a hole near the opening of each roll, pull a bit of twine through the holes to connect the paper towel rolls. For a more flexible snake, you can cut the rolls in half. Then, cover the rolls in fabric (or an old knee sock or two, with the toe cut off.) and decorate! This makes a great treat-hider toy and you can pop a bit of catnip to sweeten the deal!
Obesity presents lots of health risks and like humans, overweight cats tend to live a much shorter lifespan. So it’s time to get kitty on a healthy diet! But where do you begin?
First, it’s time to pick up the food bowls and put an end to so-called free feeding. It’s best to feed meals, as you’ll have much better control over what your cat is eating.
Next, it’s important to select a high quality food that’s high in nutrients. Your cat will be eating less, so it’s important to find a food that’s rich in nutrients, so kitty will get all of the essential nutrition and vitamins. A weight loss formula cat food is a nice choice, as these foods have lower calories, with lots of vitamins, minerals and nutrients packed in there.
If your cat typically eats dry food, consider soaking the kibble in hot water before feeding. The kibble will soak up the water and swell, which will serve to help kitty feel full with fewer calories. Plus, the extra fluids will help improve your cat’s overall health, as most cats tend to drink less than what they should.
Also, feed your cat 3 or 4 small meals per day. When you feed only once or twice per day, the cat’s metabolism slows into starvation mode, so their body absorbs more calories and conserves energy. Feeding several small meals over the course of the day will help normalize the cat’s metabolism, helping to burn calories more effectively.
With these tips, your kitty will be fit and trim in no time at all!
On your most recent visit at the veterinary clinic, your veterinarian noticed that your cat is a bit overweight. So she recommended that you help your cat lose weight. But you can’t take a cat out for a walk! So how are you supposed to help a cat lose weight?
It can be difficult to get a cat moving and exercising, especially if they’re lazy or simply not in the mood! Unlike dogs, cats tend to march to the beat of their own drum, which makes it rather challenging to coax them into exercise or a diet.
So if you need help to get your kitty moving, try one of the following tricks:
– Make kitty work for dinner! If your cat eats kibble, turn dinnertime into game time by tossing a piece of kibble down the hall or across the kitchen. Most cats love chasing — then eating — the kibble bits.
– Get lots of balls that encourage your cat to run around and exercise. This may take a bit of experimentation to find the right toy for your cat.
– Whip out the laser pointer, as most cats love chasing that mysterious red dot!
– Kitty wand toys are a wonderful way to get your cat running and jumping around.
When paired with a healthy diet, just a few minutes of exercise per day can make a significant difference for your cat’s health. With these tricks, your cat will be losing weight and looking fit and healthy in no time!
Are you looking to improve your health in the new year? Team up with your pet to work toward a healthy 2014!
It’s estimated that approximately half of all pets are overweight or obese. And nearly 20 percent of all adults worldwide are obese; many more are overweight.
Humans and pets alike face lots of significant health risks when they’re overweight or obese. Some of the most common health risks that face humans and pets alike include:
• Type 2 diabetes
• Osteoarthritis and joint pain;
• High blood pressure;
• Heart disease;
• Respiratory disease and breathing problems;
• Kidney disease; and
Sadly, an overweight cat or dog will see a decrease in lifespan of approximately 2.5 years — that’s a significant chunk of a pet’s life, which serves to emphasize the importance of feeding a healthy diet and ensuring your pet gets plenty of exercise.
If you’re a dog owner, you and your dog can partner up to exercise together with lots of walks in 2014! And cat owners can commit to eat healthy, while also ensuring their feline friends eat a nutritious diet, in addition to helping your cat to get plenty of exercise with lots of interactive play.
A man in Japan stands accused of a series of crimes, apparently committed to help feed his 120 feline friends.
The man, 48-year-old Mamoru Damizu, allegedly stole cash and precious gems during more than 30 residential burglaries, netting an estimated $185,000 over the course of a year.
The unemployed man, who lives in western Japan in Izumi City, had just one cat at home, but he cared for dozens of other cats, including 20 cats who lived in a local warehouse and about 100 ferals and strays who wandered the neighbourhood.
As any stray and feral feeder can attest, caring for a colony (or two) of feral cats and strays can take a tremendous toll on your finances. But these cats didn’t dine on normal cat food or even gourmet cat food; they dined on food that would keep a human very happy — primarily fresh chicken and fish.
It’s said that Mamoru Damizu spent approximately 25,000 yen per day — that’s about $270 Australian dollars — to feed his ten dozen cats.
Notably, this man’s efforts did not go unrewarded, as a police officer told the media that ‘He said he felt the happiest when he rubbed his cheek against the cats.’
Do you need to find a petsitter?
A good petsitter can be hard to find! So how do you know how to identify the perfect petsitter?
Begin by seeking out a petsitter with experience. Seek referrals from fellow pet owners or your veterinary clinic. In fact, many vet techs and vet assistants also offer petsitting services on the side!
When you find a candidate, ask to speak with a few references who’ve worked with the petsitter.
Feeding, walking and tending to a pet’s basic needs are fairly simple. You need a petsitter who’s attentive and knows how to identify a potential problem, such as an injury or signs of illness!
Therefore, once you’ve found a potential candidate, you’ll want to ask questions such as:
• What are some of the most common signs of illness?
• Do you know how to check the pet’s vital signs? (If so, ask them to explain)
• Do you have training in pet CPR and first aid?
It’s wise to enquire about a few emergency scenarios so you can find out how the petsitter would react and what action they would take.
Also, ensure the petsitter has a contingency plan in the event of an injury or illness. In particular, it’s important the petsitter has a suitable action plan in the event you’re unavailable and the pet needs urgent care.
With these tips, you’ll be on your way to finding a wonderful petsitter for your furry friend!
Are you looking for a fun way to treat your pet this holiday season, but need to stick to a budget?
No worries! There are lots of ways to treat your pet on a budget, whether it’s for the holidays, a pet’s birthday or just because!
First, there are treats — the key to virtually every pet’s heart! The web is home to tons of recipes for homemade pet treats for dogs and cats. You can also cook up a special homemade meal for your pet, perfect for a birthday, a special holiday dinner or just because!
Homemade pet toys are another great option! The web is home to lots of fun homemade pet toy ideas. Cats will love a new clawing post or climbing box, which is easy to make with a bit of wood, old carpet scraps and a staple gun. Dogs will love a homemade tug toy, homemade stuffed toys or unstuffed toys (remove the stuffing and eyes from an old stuffed animal and you’re good to go!)
If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you can make a new pet bed with some old fabric scraps or fabric harvested from an old outfit, linens or drapes. Opt for stuffing or you can even repurpose pillow stuffing or part of an old cushion!
Are you shopping for a pet lover this holiday season?
Giving a pet-related gift will be a sure fire hit with them!
Handmade pet bowls and pet treat jars are a wonderful option for dog and cat owners alike. They’re practical yet decorative, which is a nice blend.
Pet apparel and novelty items, like hair bows, pet nail polish, pet hair dyes and pet perfumes can also make a great gift, but only for owners who are apt to use this sort of thing. The more practical pet owner won’t appreciate this sort of gift, whereas a more eccentric pet lover who loves to spoil is sure to enjoy this type of present.
Collar and leash sets can make a wonderful gift, but only if you’re confident about the pet’s size. The same goes for pet beds. There are few things worse than getting a beautiful pet bed that’s way too small.
Toys are a fail-safe holiday gift idea for pets, but not so much for the owners, unless it’s something they’ve mentioned specifically. Gourmet pet treats from a bakery or home-baked treats for cats or dogs also make a delicious gift!