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Seven apps for playful cats

Jasmine France | May 28, 2013
Bring your cat toys into the digital age with a few feline-friendly mobile apps.

Cats basically rule the world. Or at least they're next in line, as they already run the Internet. Given the high status that our furry feline friends hold in this digital era, it stands to reason that a whole segment of mobile apps is dedicated to their entertainment. Don't think we're kidding: You can find games for cats that feature everything from digital mice and fish to dancing laser dots. Discover what your kitty craves in the seven selections below, and be sure to check out the videos of the apps being tested on real cats.

Game for Cats--iPad (Free)
Game for Cats is a free app for the iPad that plays off of a cat's natural instinct to chase small things. The basic version includes a glowing laser dot that dances around the screen, tempting your kitty to smack it with her paws. You can upgrade from a laser to a mouse with an in-app purchase ($2), which currently includes a "chase a butterfly" level as a bonus. The game also keeps track of scores, so you can see how your cat stacks up against others in battle. My test subjects responded with suspicion initially, but couldn't resist the draw of the laser dot.

Crazy Cat--Android (Free)
Not that cats need any prodding to act (randomly and entirely) nuts, but if you really want to push their buttons, Crazy Cat for Android does the trick. This free (but ad-supported) app features a variety of cute critters for your furry friend to chase, including scurrying mice and hopping bugs. The faster the creature is moving when your cat hits it, the higher the score. What better way to test those....cat-like reflexes? As with most cat games, Crazy Cat works best on the wider screen of a tablet. And if you have a Bluetooth enabled phone as well, you can even control the motion of the critters, making this game fun for both you and your pet.

Paint for Cats--iPad ($2)
Want to unearth your kitty's inner Picasso? Paint for Cats let's you do just that. This unique iPad app combines chase-a-mouse gameplay with splatters of paint, so not only does your cat get to have some fun, but you get funky splatter art as a bonus. Once your feline is finished batting the rainbow-colored mouse around the screen, you have the option to save and share the finished piece to your photo album, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and even print it. My test subject went wild over the mouse, no doubt because he heard a satisfying squeak after each attack. The paintings are simplistic, but it's fun to have a little keepsake from your cat's playtime. The downside: It's much too easy for overly enthusiastic players to pause the game!

 

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