Most dogs are lucky enough to get a regular walk in the great outdoors, but cats are usually left at home. Looking like a giant hamster wheel, the Little Cat is an app-driven machine designed to give our feline friends some much-needed exercise – although whether they'd actually use it remains to be seen.
The Little Cat is far from the first exercise wheel for cats, but it looks like the most interactive one we've come across. Earlier devices like the One Fast Cat were just big felt hamster wheels that you'd almost have to physically put the cat on yourself. Considering how much trouble it can be to get a cat to use a scratching post rather than a nice new couch, we wouldn't have much faith that it would figure out how to use those wheels.
The Little Cat's biggest selling point is that it has a built-in incentive – an LED light that moves up the centre of the ring. As anyone who's ever flicked a laser pointer around on the floor knows, cats go nuts for those lights, and this might be the missing ingredient that gets their lazy butts onto the treadmill. In some of the videos it seems to work, but in others the cat is far more interested in the LED and looks visibly uncomfortable as soon as the floor starts to move under it.
Where other wheels are passive and only move when the cat starts running, the Little Cat can be set to move on its own at different speeds, like a treadmill. It's controlled through a smartphone app, letting users set the speed, move the LED around, watch the cat through a live camera feed and even record voice samples to play back when you're not home. The app also works like a fitness tracker, recording your pet's run data and apparently using that to develop a customized exercise plan.
Pet Ding, the company behind it, hasn't given any details on availability or pricing just yet, but the Little Cat is on display at CES this week. Check it out in action in the video below.
Source: Pet Ding