Lost a furry friend? PetMatch helps grieving pet owners find lookalikes to adopt

PetMatch app

Still reeling from the loss of your beloved tiger cat Meow Man? Are you considering extreme alternatives like taxidermy and cloning, so that your furry friend stays with you forever? Leave the stuffing of dead animals to Norman Bates. Go download PetMatch to find a new adorable, adoptable friend that looks just like your old one.

Then you can call him Meow Man the Second.

The app uses a complex machine vision algorithm to help you find a new cat or dog that looks similar to the one you have lost. All you have to do is upload a good picture of your pet to the app and PetMatch will find matches with similar characteristics in your area. The app analyzes the geometry of your pet’s face, taking the distance between its eyes, nose, mouth, and other features like coat and eye color into account. After a second or two, PetMatch shows you the results.

For those of you searching for a Grumpy Cat or Lil Bub look-alike, PetMatch has got you covered. Searches for both of these iconic cats turned up some pretty decent results. Of course, no cat can compete with Grumpy’s scowl or Lil Bub’s cute poky tongue.

You can use any picture of your pet, but some images turn up better results than others. For example, if you use a picture of your cat in a strange pose, your PetMatch results might include a labrador and a parakeet instead of cats. The app is good at matching you with adoptable rabbits, but when you throw a picture of a human at it, the app doesn’t quite know what to do.

For those of you who were hoping to find a replacement girlfriend, sorry; PetMatch won’t be any help. I mean really, do I look like a dog to you? Wait. Don’t answer that. 

Superfish, the company that made PetMatch, has already raised $20 million for the app’s development and is hiring PhDs from MIT and Stanford faster than you can say woof. PetMatch may sound like some sort of absurd joke, but the PhDs behind the app and its funders think it’s a great idea. Not only does PetMatch help you skip right past all that grief nonsense, it lets you save a cute kitten or puppy in the process. All of the pet matches you see are ready to be adopted.

You can download PetMatch for free on iPhone.

(Image © Savvy Kay Photography via Shutterstock)


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