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Smart cat flap temporarily locks your kitty out if it detects it’s holding prey

While our cats may just think we are terrible, hairless hunters, their ‘gifts’ of a chewed up mouse are not always welcome. 

To help prevent this messy occurrence, an entrepreneur has created a smart cat flap that will lock your kitty out the house temporarily while they are holding their prey.  

Martin Rosinski, 37, was sick of being woken by his adorable serial killer Jinx, who would drag in rodents at night and meow loudly to alert her sleeping owners.

In June 2021, the app technical director modified his microchip cat flap by installing a camera and artificial intelligence (AI) technology that detects the presence of prey.

If prey is recognised, the cat flap is temporarily locked and a notification is sent to the owner’s phone along with a video of the attempted entry. 

He now hopes to turn his prototype, named OnlyCat, into a marketable product by next year.

Martin said: ‘[Jinx] goes outside on her adventures which include spotting and bringing animals, both mice and birds, into the house unfortunately.

‘After having had the cat flap installed for a year, we have 42 video clips of her attempting to bring various bits of prey in – some dead, some alive and some somewhere in between.’

Martin Rosinski, 37, was sick of being woken by his adorable serial killer Jinx (pictured), who would drag in rodents at night and meow loudly to alert her sleeping owners

In June 2021, Martin modified his microchip cat flap by installing a camera and AI technology that detects the presence of prey

If prey is detected, the cat flap is temporarily locked and a notification is sent to the owner's phone along with a video of the attempted entry

In June 2021, Martin modified his microchip cat flap by installing a camera and AI technology that detects the presence of prey. If prey is recognised, the cat flap is temporarily locked and a notification is sent to the owner’s phone along with a video of the attempted entry

Martin said: 'After having had the cat flap installed for a year, we have 42 video clips of her attempting to bring various bits of prey in - some dead, some alive and some somewhere in between.' Pictured: OnlyCat camera view of Jinx trying to bring a mouse into the house

Martin said: ‘After having had the cat flap installed for a year, we have 42 video clips of her attempting to bring various bits of prey in – some dead, some alive and some somewhere in between.’ Pictured: OnlyCat camera view of Jinx trying to bring a mouse into the house

Jinx, who originally belonged to neighbours, decided to move in with Martin and his wife Michelle Bowyer (pictured) in December 2020.  After a couple of months, the 12-year-old domestic short hair started demonstrating her gratitude for her new home by proudly delivering an array of furry and feathered presents

Jinx, who originally belonged to neighbours, decided to move in with Martin and his wife Michelle Bowyer (pictured) in December 2020.  After a couple of months, the 12-year-old domestic short hair started demonstrating her gratitude for her new home by proudly delivering an array of furry and feathered presents

HOW DOES THE CAT FLAP WORK? 

The OnlyCat cat flap is fitted with a camera that uses advanced AI technology to detect the presence of prey in a cat’s jaws. 

It can recognise mice, birds, rabbits, rats, squirrels and other animals large enough to be seen by the camera. 

Within a fraction of a second of the cat attempting to pass through with a victim, OnlyCat temporarily locks the cat flap.

It then sends a short video clip of the cat’s transit to the owner’s phone using the home Wi-Fi network.

This allows an owner to keep tabs on their tabby, as well as have peace of mind knowing their carpet it safe.

‘Two months ago I think something clicked and she realised “I can’t bring these home, it’s just not going to work”.

‘She still catches them outside but she’s learned that there’s no point even trying to bring them home, which is a relief.’

Jinx, who originally belonged to neighbours, decided to move in with Martin and his wife Michelle Bowyer in December 2020.

After a couple of months, the 12-year-old domestic short hair started demonstrating her gratitude for her new home by proudly delivering an array of furry and feathered presents.

Martin, from Ponteland, Northumberland, said: ‘The first time I was working at home, I heard Michelle making a commotion because Jinx had come in with a mouse and dumped it on the carpet in front of her as a thank you.

‘That’s their way of expressing love, you can’t tell her off, so we thanked her a lot for it and took it away from her.

‘Then this started happening more and more often to the point where we would be woken up at 2am as Jinx would miaow loudly and announce ‘hey I have a gift’.

‘If we didn’t get to her fast enough she would decide to eat it herself, which would involve piles of mouse parts being smeared into the carpet.’

When the cat started appearing with a squirming catch in her mouth up to four times a night, Martin knew he had to do something.

‘It got to a point where this was happening at 2am, then again at 4am on many nights and we’d not get any sleep having to deal with this,’ he said.

‘Being both by hobby and by profession really into software and electronics and making stuff I figured I had the skill-set and the tools needed to have a go at fixing this problem.

‘I modified my cat flap by installing a camera and software that would analyse the image from the camera and make a decision whether it’s an empty mouth or a mouth that contains a gift.’

If the cat is holding a piece of prey, the cat flap will temporarily lock and send a notification to his phone with a video of the delivery attempt.

Jinx likes spending a lot of time during the day snuggled up on the sofa , but at night time her hunting instincts kick in and she refuses to be kept inside

Jinx likes spending a lot of time during the day snuggled up on the sofa , but at night time her hunting instincts kick in and she refuses to be kept inside

When Jinx started appearing with a squirming catch in her mouth up to four times a night, Martin knew he had to do something, and created the OnlyCat cat flap

When Jinx started appearing with a squirming catch in her mouth up to four times a night, Martin knew he had to do something, and created the OnlyCat cat flap

Engineering company Transmission Dynamics are now looking to commercialise the OnlyCat product that could help other cat owners, and hope to have it on the market next year

Engineering company Transmission Dynamics are now looking to commercialise the OnlyCat product that could help other cat owners, and hope to have it on the market next year

Martin and his 33-year-old web developer partner Michelle now receive video clips throughout the day of naughty Jinx trying to drag home her victims. The notification also allows them to go outside to try and rescue the animal from Jinx's clutches if possible

Martin and his 33-year-old web developer partner Michelle now receive video clips throughout the day of naughty Jinx trying to drag home her victims. The notification also allows them to go outside to try and rescue the animal from Jinx’s clutches if possible

Martin and his 33-year-old web developer partner Michelle now receive video clips throughout the day of naughty Jinx trying to drag home her victims.

‘We had a feeling of connection to our cat where we get a little video clip of her face as she leaves or enters the house when we’re at home or not,’ he said.

The notification also allows them to go outside to try and rescue the animal from Jinx’s clutches if possible.

Martin added: ‘It’s stopped Jinx bringing in 40 mice and two birds in one year in our house.

‘We absolutely love everything about Jinx as a cat but there was one major cause of anxiety associated with her.

‘Having that completely solved leaves only the good bits of her relationship with Jinx. 

‘I won’t miss the interrupted sleep and scrubbing blood from the carpets.’

Engineering company Transmission Dynamics are now looking to commercialise the product that could help other cat owners.

They are looking to crowdfund the project and get the OnlyCat cat flap on the market by April 2023.

Playing with your cat and feeding them meat-rich foods can deter them from hunting wildlife, scientists say

Domestic cats with outdoor access can represent a major threat to local wildlife, including birds, small mammals, amphibians and fish.

Researchers from Exeter, however, have demonstrated that there are some simple strategies that can help temper our kitties’ murderous impulses.

These include ensuring that cats get all the micronutrients they need from their human-provided diet, so that they are not driven to seek extra food.

It is also important to ensure cats lead enriched lives and have opportunities to explore their natural hunting impulses through play with toys.

Read more here 

Fed up with kitty bringing home 'little presents'? Playing with your cat (like with a feather wand, pictured) and feeding them meat-rich foods can deter them from hunting wildlife

Fed up with kitty bringing home ‘little presents’? Playing with your cat (like with a feather wand, pictured) and feeding them meat-rich foods can deter them from hunting wildlife

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk