A French start-up develops the first connected litter box for cats to monitor their health

In early 2020, Caremitou promises to revolutionize the relationship between healthcare professionals, cat owners and the felines themselves. This patented medical product, awarded a CES Innovation Award in the United States in 2020, will make it possible to observe the behavior of your animal on a daily basis and thus act and react more effectively. Another objective: to limit the stress of all parties. Philippe Daurenjou, CEO of the start-up Novandsat, at the initiative of this project, tells us more.

Mr. Daurenjou, what is the genesis of Caremitou?

I have the experience of 30 years of in vitro diagnostics in the human and veterinary sectors. I have also worked for 25 years with veterinary schools, while being an animal owner myself. I am passionate about them. Thanks to numerous discussions with veterinarians, some of whom have become friends, we have imagined digital tools, digitization and information transfer devices in order to collect analyzes to be as close as possible to the patient.

Furthermore, the most important thing in an analysis is the preparation of a sample. In fact, what would be needed as recurrent data in order to have a better diagnosis and better information on the physiological and biological behavior of the animal? Better synthesis depends on the recurrence of information about the animal’s weight, temperature or urine analysis.

Are you not afraid of an overload of information to manage?

The goal is that it is not anxiety-provoking, at the same time for the veterinarian, the cat and the owner. The idea is to warn the owner of the slightest anomaly detected during the analyzes. On the different physical and biological values, it will be possible to achieve personalized medicine. At each consultation and depending on the cat’s diseases or not, the veterinarian will be able to set his own threshold on Caremitou, and thus allow a better analysis of the animal’s state of health.

Is this a translation, for animals, of telemedicine that we can see with humans?

We will not be in telemedicine, but rather in telemonitoring. Veterinarians will be able to keep an eye on the cat. From what I could see, when you ask an animal to urinate, it is excessively complicated and it is even more so for a cat. Harvesting takes place through cystosynthesis. That is to say, it is taken directly from the cat’s bladder under anesthesia. Caremitou allows a urine sample and a very simple analysis.

If this need had been clearly identified by health professionals, was it the case by pet owners?

We have been doing workshops over the past 18 months. We work with practitioners and owners who have helped us to conceive Caremitou and its design. They gave their opinion on the ergonomics of the mobile application. They were involved in order to find out more about the product and what they expected. This should not generate stress for them, nor for the animal. It should also reassure them to have a monthly report.

You talk about stress. Was this also a finding that led to the creation of this product?

Today, out of 14 million cats in France, 60% are stressed and do not consult because of this feeling. Sometimes vets even detect false diabetes because of this stress.

Concretely, how does Caremitou work?

It is an e-health toilet. We have kept something elegant, in order to evoke a confinement for the cat, who will feel comfortable and safe there. The latter will attend his Caremitou nursing home as he frequents a classic. The owner will be attentive, for example, if his cat goes to his toilet 10 times in an hour and he is not urinating. That he therefore has no weight loss. It will be the meaning of something abnormal.

Round trips captured by technology?

Yes, this is the second point of the product. We have weight sensors that will check the presence of the animal and its weight. From the moment when the values fixed in advance by the veterinarian or the owner himself are exceeded, then the latter will have the possibility of interchanging the bins. The second, perforated at its base, has an artificial litter. This tray will allow urine to pass, which will be collected as a veterinary medical product (PMV). This product will be flashed and sent to the vet. The owner of the animal can carry out these analyzes as many times as he sees fit. Once a year, or for a period of time if their cat is undergoing treatment, for example.

Does this product also want to strengthen the relationship between the cat owner and the vet?

Vets need to create flow in their clinic, to have a better relationship with the client and to be seen for advice. This product helps to create and strengthen this bond. This will make the cat owner an actor in monitoring the health status of his animal. Sometimes we also avoid unfounded visits …

A product for dogs to come …

From the reflection phase to the realization phase, how long did this project take you?

The creation of the company took 24 months. Then, we worked on theses, we exchanged a lot. The prototype was developed in 18 months. We also presented a model in 2018. This year, we will present cosmetic devices. The market launch is scheduled for the end of the first quarter of 2020. In terms of quality, we have been working for 18 months with the Toulouse veterinary school. This earned us a publication at ACVIM in the United States. This shows that we are in a scientific and medical notion. We received the CES Innovation Award 2020.

To read also: A hyper protective puppy with his blind sister since their birth in deplorable conditions (video)

What will the price be?

The price will be unveiled in early 2020, because we still have to discuss it with the purchasing center and the veterinarians.

What follow-up is planned for Caremitou?

After the product is released in 2020, we are currently working on the mobile device for dogs or cats that do not use the litter box. We will also develop new parameters for the veterinarian.

Exactly, can we imagine quickly seeing this product be suitable for dogs?

Yes, it will be used in the same way, but during the walk, at the discretion of the dog. Please note that none of our products are disposable. The veterinary medicinal product is cleanable with water, as are its granules. </p

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