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When it comes to figuring out how your cat is feeling, certain observable behaviors can be helpful – kneading, eating grass, hitting things, throwing up, and so on. But their actual facial expressions are not always easy to decipher on their own.
So how do you know when your cat is sick or unhappy? An innovative new avenue is to use the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS), which was developed by veterinary experts from the University of Montréal, Canada.
“Depending on the cat’s snout, eyes, ears, whiskers or head position, you can tell whether or not a cat is in pain,” FGS co-founder Paulo Steagall told WIRED. Basically, you can analyze your cat’s individual characteristics to determine its mood.
Since mastering the FGS takes quite a bit of time and effort, Sylvester.ai – an artificial intelligence technology company focused on animal health – created an app called Table that does the hard part for you. As Nerdist reports, simply scan your cat’s face with your smartphone camera and Tablely will tell you how your cat is doing.
The app is especially useful for new owners who haven’t yet established the unofficial sixth sense that longtime cat parents sometimes have. “As a first-time cat owner, I had no idea whether or not I was taking proper care of my cat,” one Tablely user wrote in a review. “After a week of use, the app kept suggesting that he was unhappy, so I decided to take him to the vet and he was diagnosed with ear mites. The vet told me that most people don’t even realize that their cats have ear mites and that the cats usually suffer a lot. “
It is also helpful for people whose cats have chronic conditions, have recently had medical treatment, or are dealing with another known cause of ailment. You can monitor fluctuations in pain and determine when a visit to the vet might be necessary. Your cat will likely think that you will take more pictures of her.
Tablely is still in beta – if you’d like to try it out for yourself, you can do so here.