Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee – I wonder if (insert your cat’s name here) is happy living his/her life as an indoor cat?”
That is exactly the question that Ben Millam asked himself when considering his cat, Monkey. Ben knows a thing or two about domesticated felines and figured out an ingenious way to make Monkey’s indoor cat experience a little more fulfilling: by making him hunt. Essentially what Ben does is hide several plastic balls around his house that have a tiny RFID chip in them.
When Monkey finds one of the balls, he takes it to to a special machine that has an RFID reader that scans the ball and dispenses food.
(image via Ben Millam)
According to Ben, “So instead of feeding my cat, I hide these balls around the house… 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: moving about, being curious, and poking their noses around in the hopes of upsetting potential prey and finding a meal. 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.”