Bring “cat-sharing” to the sharing economy: never worry about feeding a pet while you’re on vacation again! This pet tube system enables “timeshare pet ownership,” and works for dogs, cats, and (especially) snakes.


Pet ownership can be rewarding, but it can requires substantial work on the part of the pet owner.

The Issue:

Sometimes, people’s lives would be more compatible with a “timeshare” of a pet: taking care of it for a few hours a day, rather than 24/7. However, this arrangement is incompatible with most living situations.


The idea is to enable “partial ownership” of a pet by connecting the homes of the various owners via a tube network (like the pneumatic tubes that some banks still use, the tube transport system from the TV show Futurama, or a hamster “habitrail”). One proposed system for apartment-dwellers is shown in Fig. 1A.

Fig. 1: A) This pet-share tube connects various apartments in the same building. B) To opt in/out of pet stewardship, the tube access door in each apartment can be opened or closed. A person leaving for a vacation can close the access port before they leave (ideally after confirming that the pet is not currently hiding in their apartment).

With this tube system system, the pet can now wander between all eligible apartments at its leisure.

Most small pets would be compatible with this system, especially ones that are already used to traveling through tunnels / burrows (e.g. dachshunds, hamsters, snakes).

The system would work best in an apartment building, but it could also work in a suburban neighborhood (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: A pet-share tunnel between houses would also be possible, although weatherproofing it and keeping it from getting oven-hot in the direct sunlight might be non-trivial.

Details to be worked out:

Vertical travel through the tubes may require some consideration (perhaps a corkscrew / spiral staircase?). The pneumatic-tube method of conveying objects will clearly not work (most pets cannot tolerate an environment of zero atmospheric pressure).

PROS: Opens up a completely new style of responsible pet ownership.

CONS: Owners might have pets who are individually great, but have an unacceptable predator-prey relationship when allowed to mingle as a result of this tube system (e.g. cat + bird, goat + wolf + cabbage).