PawsLikeMe, the free online platform that matches adoptable dogs with new families, is working on adding cats to its offerings.
The website, which launched in fall of 2015, uses a scientifically proven algorithm to help people find dogs that will be a good fit for their personality and lifestyle. Now, PawsLikeMe is looking to expand its matchmaking capabilities to include cats.
Elizabeth Holmes, CEP of PawsLikeMe told iHeartCats:
“When I ran a rescue group, it became obvious that most adopters knew very little about selecting the right pet, and it really wasn’t their fault.”
“Sources on personality and behavior focus on breed, size, age, color and other factors that are really quite archaic and irrelevant today – at least when it comes to compatibility.
Even breed enthusiasts will recognize that every single dog or cat has a unique and individual personality. Plus, over 90 percent of the dogs and cats that we worked with were mixed breed.
I knew there was an obvious need for adopters to get meaningful guidance when selecting a pet, so it was just a matter of figuring out how to offer that advice in a simple and engaging format. That’s when the personality quiz was born: a complex algorithm that bottles 30+ years of experience from our team into a simple questionnaire that can steer people in the right direction, and have a huge impact on the ultimate success of any canine-to-human or feline-to-human relationship.”
They will be using the same development pattern with their cat personality-matching quiz as they did with their dog one because it was so successful. Holmes told us their canine-to-human algorithm has over a 90 percent accuracy rate and they wanted the same for their feline test.
To do this, they have already collected the “logic” for the matching and know they need to beta test the algorithms. Holmes explained how this will work:
We will use the same method we used for dogs. We created a Beta site that combined both the human and pet personality tests into one quiz. Then we asked 3000 pet owners, across 3 beta testing phases, to take the test for their own dog.
We had approximately 1000 pet parents for each beta phase. After the questionnaire, we presented them with information about their dog’s personality across our four quadrants: energy, focus, confidence and independence, and we showed them how compatible they were with their dog.
The parent then had to assess the accuracy of those results through scoring and written feedback.
After each testing phase, the number of total questions were reduced from 55 in trial 1 to 25 in trial 3. Score weighting per question and quadrant was also adjusted according to results. Using this method we saw accuracy increase with each revision, from 72 percent to 85 percent and then 91 percent.
Their “match-making” service for canines has helped with over 60,000 referrals to shelter dogs. They can’t say for sure how many of these ended up adopting, since once the referral is given, the shelter or rescue “takes it from there,” Holmes said:
“Our hope is that we are veering more people towards pet adoption vs buying and hopefully reducing the number of pets that are euthanized every year due to a lack of adoptive homes,” she said.
The Next Step
In order to add their feline matchmaking services to start helping save cats’ lives, PawsLikeMe has launched an Indiegogo campaign to aid in the expansion of its platform and to support the development of the first people and feline compatibility assessment.
In addition, the money will provide PawsLikeMe shelter kiosks to their partners. Each of the kiosks costs $500 and serves two purposes: to match adopters to pets inside the shelter, and to offer owners who are surrendering their pet an alternative through the PawsLikeMe rehoming program.
“We hope to raise our $15,000 goal so we can add cats,” Holmes said, “But even if we don’t, there will be a shelter kiosk given to a shelter for every $500 we raise!”