I bet we have all seen at least videos of cats playing mobile games meant for cats. I realised I had never really tried if my cat would be into them, so I dived into this experiment by downloading the first promising looking app.
I used to volunteer at a cat shelter where we had a pad, which was used to show some cats bird videos. Some of them were very intrigued by them, but every time I tried showing one to Ismo from my TV, he just rushed to the window, thinking the bird chirping came from outside. Which makes sense, why would there be a bird inside? So that’s why I was quite doubtful he would get the joy of gaming.
I would like to take a moment to offer some background information about my cat, just to be scientific. Ismo is a four-year-old ginger cat. He was found outside alone eating trash which is probably why he is quite shy and can get pretty stressed out about new situations. At the same time, he is also a very curious young man so sometimes he takes his time warming up to new things and situation.
So I tried to see if Ismo would be into gaming. I downloaded an app to my phone called Cat Toy, which to my surprise had six different games, all of which had a thing crawling across the street, a ball of light, bugs and so on. You can also adjust the pace of the crawling too.
When I started this experiment, his highness had just woken up from his nap, so that’s one of the many reasons he was just staring at my phone’s screen, not impressed at all. But then he did get intrigued by the thing moving around, clearly meant to resemble a laser. He even managed to smash it with his paw, I was so proud! Doing so, my phone buzzed, which seemed to alarm him.
He seemed to have trouble with the concept also, he kept staring off the screen. And when I tried the one with the bugs, he tried to sniff the screen and moved my phone, trying to see where those little crawlers were heading on to.
At one point, he just looked at me and meowed, probably asking ”what is it that you want from me, human?” Poor thing.
There was not any sound with the games, that could have added on the interest. Then again, Ismo is not the brightest of the bunch, so I’m pretty sure he would’ve gotten even more confused about the sounds, not realizing where they were coming from.
Maybe my phone screen was not large enough? Should I get a tablet just so that my furry child can play properly? Ok, I won’t do that. I did try to show a Youtube video on my TV that had animated fish swimming around. And he was a lot more interested in that. So cats like bigger screens, or at least my cat does. Which makes sense, cat TV is a term used for a cat staring out of the window. Ismo too is very used to having that kind of “TV” in his daily life.
I probably might try apps for my cat every now and then, but I’ll focus on using the traditional toys for him. Trying out new ways to play can be fun for both the owner and the pet, it’s fun to see how a pet reacts to a new toy or a new way of playing. One of the biggest pros to playing with your cat is that you can strengthen your bond by engaging in a playtime. And of course, the cat gets to fulfill the predator instincts they have.
Just showing a phone or a tablet screen to your cat can be fun every now and then, to see a pet doing something we humans do – play with our gadgets – but it definitely won’t match up to actual playing with actual cat toys.
So all in all, for Ismo, the apps for cat games? No thanks, not a hit. For some cats? Maybe? Every now and then, at least.
Pictures: The featured image is from unsplash.com, the first picture is from pixabay.com, the screenshot and the second picture are taken by the author