He Builds A Machine To Allow His Cat To Hunt For Food.

Cats are predators and have physical characteristics that make them very skilled hunters. Of course, we find it hard to imagine cats – especially domestic cats – going hunting: we are used to seeing them, and treating them, as pets. They don’t need to go get their food because we serve it to them in handy little bowls. But cats are predators and, even if we sometimes forget it, they remind us of it by bringing us some “gifts”. They play with balls hidden in the house, chase lizards in the garden, and climb trees to disturb the birds. Ben Millam, aware of the nature of his animal, rediscover his hunting instincts.


image credit: Ben Millam/Youtube

Ben is certainly not lacking in creativity and ingenuity: he has built an incredible machine to allow his cat, named Monkey, to hunt for food. He trained him to look for plastic balls hidden in the house and throw them into this machine. Whenever Monkey finds a ball, he brings it to the machine and places it in a blue bowl. When the machine recognizes the balls, it activates the dispenser, filling a side bowl with food.


image credit: Ben Millam/Youtube

Monkey was first subjected to ” clicker training “, that is, training based on positive reinforcement: each time the cat performed the desired action, he received a reward. It took time and patience for Monkey to assimilate the whole mechanism and understand its function, but Ben is satisfied that he was able to complete his “experiment”.


image credit: Ben Millam/Youtube

Where did this idea come from? Ben had come up with a read about why cats always explore the same areas: They do it to examine their territory and it’s a form of hunting. The man, therefore, asked himself “and if the cat, on patrol, found its prey?”. According to Ben, this could be a reward that would lead the cat to a happier and more fulfilled life, even if he lives indoors. Instead of filling his bowl with kibble, canned food, or other food, Ben hides the balls around the house and the cat immediately goes hunting, ready to get a meal on his own. This allows him to be active, to move, to search, and to feed his hunting spirit. What do you think of this invention

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