Until I got a kitten I assumed all that was needed to keep them entertained was a ball of wool and a scratching post. I quickly realised kittens actually get bored at much the same rate as a toddler, so I started asking around the toddler/cat community for ideas on how to keep my furball of fun mentally stimulated for longer than a minute.
‘Have you tried an ipad?’ was a popular question. Feeling very modern and optimistic I gave ‘cat games’ a search on my tablet, and sure enough there were loads! From dancing lasers to peaceful fish to scuttling mice- whatever your cat is into there’s a category of fun waiting to be clicked.
I tried a fair few of the games out on my kitten to check out the hits and misses. The most successful seemed to be ones where an object moves from one end of the screen to the other, whilst loud noises, meows and quick spinning objects were clear fails.
Apps for cat skills
The runner up was ‘Game for Cats’ which includes a glowing laser dot which moves around the screen waiting for your cat to pounce on it or smack it with a well-timed paw. The game tracks your cats score against others in battles so you can see how fast your cat’s reactions are and watch their skills developing over time. This feature makes the game enjoyable for both the restless cat and their competitive owner.
Paws for thought
For the sentimental amongst us there’s ‘Paint for Cats’ which combines a mouse chase with splattery paw prints that you can save to your social media channels and camera roll. You can even print your little furball’s work of art and put it on your fridge! The rainbow mouse was also a hit, especially as it squeaks each time it comes under attack. The only issue I had is that my cat got slightly confused by all the paint splatters and wasn’t sure whether to concentrate on these or the darting rainbow mouse. A cat who can multi task is likely to be a bit more successful at the painting rather than just producing a few uninspiring smudges!
Catch of the day
The overall winner appeared to be the ‘Go-Cat Cat Fishing’, perhaps because of its simple, bright graphics, which make it easy for your cat to focus on catching the darting fish without any unnecessary distractions. There’s also three levels to really test your cats catching abilities so the more he catches the more fish appear on the screen and the greater the challenge. This was probably the simplest of all the apps and perfect if you want something that your cat can play with by himself with no owner interaction or supervision.
Keep your cat appy
My only advice when letting your cat near your expensive tablet is to get a plastic screen cover, just in case they get a little too into the game and the claws come out! Other than this it’s very unlikely they will do it or themselves any damage so relax, sit back, get a cup of tea and let them indulge their cat instincts to their heart’s content.
By Claire Bowden
Claire is a cat lover and social media expert at Liverpool web design agency EdgeThreeSixty.