Cats Like Tablet Games, Too

Developers are making feline-specific gaming apps

It's common knowledge by now that the intuitive design of tablets has opened up gaming to everyone from infants to the elderly, but there's one group using tablet gaming apps that may still surprise you: cats.

There's even an "Animals Playing on iPads Compilation" video on YouTube mostly featuring cats (with over 2 millions views), and, as Kill Screen reports, developers like Martine Carlsen are developing apps specifically designed for our feline friends. Carlsen decided to try her hand at developing apps for cats after her own cats—Sonny and Cher—were disinterested with the cat gaming apps then available via the app store. Her first cat gaming app was called "Catch The Mouse," a game featuring a tiny virtual mouse moving across the screen while making "real mousey sounds."

Her website now lists a host of cat gaming apps, including a gaming suite app that includes fly, goldfish, butterfly and spider "Catch" games in addition to the original "Catch The Mouse," as well as paw painting and cat music apps.

As Carlsen noted in her interview with Kill Screen, "The design of the game has to appeal to humans to ‘persuade’ them to purchase it, and it has to appeal to the cat to be a success. One without the other is not enough."

And, like humans, cats have preferences about which games they like. "Some cats will gladly attack everything that moves on the iPad screen, while others are more picky about even the most lifelike (virtual) mouse," she explained. "I try to make games with catch objects that appeal to as many cats as possible, but you can’t please everybody (or every cat). It’s like buying an expensive toy for your kid; they take out the toy and play with the box instead. You never know!"

Cats and tablet gaming are a perfect fit. Felines are naturally playful, using their paws to attack and play with objects around them. And, according to Kill Screen, "the touch screen on a tablet is just as sensitive to the pads on their feet as it is to human fingertips." So while cat gaming is only in its infancy, don't expect it to go away any time soon.