The Modern Cat – Cat Apps

By Elisa Black-Taylor

This is going to be a very entertaining topic. You know how life is changing faster and faster. You can get left behind in the internet revolution. Is it time to consider new ways to entertain our cat? Providing an outlet for a cat’s natural desire to stalk and hunt is a good way of keeping her physically and mentally healthy. The beauty of cat apps is that they are interactive and they keep going. All you have to do is relinquish your iPad to your cat! That…might be difficult especially the new Retina Screen model (at June 2012).

The Modern Cat 2012

The Modern Cat 2012

I was driving home last night when I heard on a talk show about cat apps for iPads, iPhones and Android phones. These cat apps feature games such as Catfishing, Party Mix-Up and Tasty Treasure Hunt and were developed by Friskies® , a division of Nestlé Purina. The Huffington Post did an article back in May 2011, so the games have been around awhile and are free to download but their number is expanding as they are proving to be pretty successful.

I’ve often wondered what’s next in cat entertainment. Now I know. Soon cats everywhere will be demanding their own electronic gadgets so they can play their favorite games. One person who has cat apps on his iPad says, “I touch my iPad, the cat comes running over and waits for me to put her game on for her.”. Another says, “I now have to keep my iPad in a drawer or cupboard because my 2 cats won’t leave it alone.”.

This is really a good concept. It’s said the device screens are resistant to scratches. I’d definitely recommend a screen cover just to be on the safe side because I don’t think the iPad was built with the domestic cat in mind – well it not initially. The local pet store might soon be stocking computer games for cats. The iPads and smartphones are interactive, meaning the fish or whatever is on the screen will react to the slightest touch made by the cats paw.

Here’s a cute YouTube video showing a cat at play on an iPad.

(Note: over time embedded videos that are legal can fail to function because the creator of the video leaves YouTube)

It does make me wonder if and when additional games will be offered for sale. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this in the future. Video games for our electronic devices are very popular. They act as baby sitters on long car rides. Now they can entertain our cats while we’re away. All of the cats I’ve watched on the YouTube videos seem very enthusiastic about chasing digital fish.

Personally, I’d stick to the free apps. Your cat’s not going to care how much a game cost. The entertainment factor is all you have to worry about with these.

Examples of popular cat app games are:

  • Catch The Mouse Cat Game –By Martine Carlsen
  • Game for Cats — By Nate Murray. You can get this bundle of cat games from iTunes. Some are free and there is a very cheap fee of $1.99 to ‘top up’ and upgrade the cat app. You can see more on this at the App Store.

Friskies also has an app available called Call-A-Cat and they have a page on cat apps: Just Google “Friskies Call-A-Cat app” and find your device for this free download. Then whenever you want to call your cat for food or whatever, just play the pre-recorded can opener/bell/kitten meowing/bird chirping and your cat will rush to your side out of curiosity. Hopefully. Many who downloaded this app said their cats were only fooled by the “canned” sounds the first time they were played. Others said their cat hid under the bed. I have an LG Android phone and Google Play Store said my device isn’t incompatible for this particular app.

Have any of you tried these new forms of cat entertainment? I’m just curious. Would you download them for your cat, or is this just a little too strange. I can see it now. Perhaps iPad will come up with a special iPad made solely for cats. Perhaps a side pocket for a bit of catnip…


P.S. There is one slightly distasteful aspect to this new development. Are some of these cats in the videos declawed? I think I need to mention that because I am sure it will cross someone’s mind.

P.P.S. Thank you DW for finding the picture of the modern cat. I have presumed that it is in the public domain. Wrong? Tell Michael!

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The Modern Cat – Cat Apps — 6 Comments

  1. I think it’s a sad sad world when cats need electronic entertainment, it’s un-natural and for all we know it may be unhealthy for them too in more than the obvious way that it doesn’t give them much physical exercise.
    What is wrong with good old fashioned games with a ball, a long string, even a bit of screwed up paper, with those the fun you can have with your cat is endless and the quality time spent with him priceless.
    The thought of cats already many denied their freedom in unsafe places, some as Elisa said having had their claws taken from them too, having to rely on electronic games intead of real life games with their family fills me with horror as to the future health and happiness of many cats.
    Are they to be as many children are now, sitting playing electronic games on their own instead of having quality family fun?
    I do hope not.

  2. I guess it is a form of what people call “progress” which day by day distances us more from what is natural. The same is happening to us.

  3. Mine are going to stick to the Turbo Scratcher. I’ve read that cats need to physically catch what they chase or it messes with their mind. This holds true with laser toys as well as an ipad. Just don’t tell Furby about this…

    • Yes, I have heard that laser pointer toys are ultimately unsuccessful because the cat can never catch the prey. This may result in the cat being turned off eventually and becoming bored with the toy. This is very good point and an important one as it goes to the heart of the question as to whether the cat app is a good toy or not.

      It is probably true that most cat toys end up in a cupboard like children’s toys.

  4. Our cats have their very own toy box with their favourite toys in which are homemade catnip rodents. The lid is folded over and both cats can open it and often do and extract a mouse or a rat to have a good old kick at. We have red and orange balls around, mostly where they hide them under the furniture lol and if a game with them is what they fancy, they hook out a ball and start rolling it around and if we can, we drop everything to have fun and games.Cats don’t have a long attention span so a few minutes of attention now and again surely isn’t too much for them to ask us for.
    Indoor cats especially need to have chasing and catching their prey games, I can well imagine the eventual frustration and giving up of the cats trying unsuccessfully to catch moving prey on a screen.
    What I can’t understand is why people get cats (or children or dogs come to that) if they aren’t prepared to spend quality time with them.
    Progress comes at a high price to the shared enjoyment of people and their children and their pets.

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