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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.

Pocket Pond--Android, iPhone, iPad (Free)
I've yet to meet a cat that doesn't like fish, whether chowing down on it or simply stalking the fishbowl. Pocket Pond provides a digital form of the latter, letting your real fish get some much needed respite from your cat's hungry eyes. The gentle ripples of the water will lull your kitty into a trance, or you can add fish or buzzing dragonflies to drive her into attack mode. This app isn't just for cats, either: You can raise, feed, and play with the koi in the pond. You can also decorate your pond to make it attractive to your cat, visit other's ponds, and fish for new koi as well.

Catch the Mouse--iPad, iPhone ($1)
The title says it all: Catch the Mouse for iOS features a snuffling, squeaking mouse that bounces around the screen, taunting kitties to bat at it. The game keeps track of how many times your cat catches the mouse, and you can choose different colors for the background and the creature. That's about the extent of the features, though. Surprisingly, none of my four testers responded much to this game, other than twitching their heads at the motion.

Cat Playground--Android ($2.55)
Cat Playground for Android rolls multiple mini games into one app, and you can choose among four levels. Catch a Mouse features a roving mouse that squeaks when it appears on screen, while Laser Chase features a simple red dot. Whack a Mouse offers a kitty-friendly variation on the traditional Whack-a-Mole game (my cat testers weren't tempted much by this one). And last but not least is Go Fishing, with a swimming fish that gives splashing-sound feedback whenever a paw hits the screen. Of them all, the fish received the most approving meows from the cat gallery.

Laser Chase--Android (Free)
The problem with laser pointers isn't that cats don't love them. It's that you get bored with moving it around after about....oh, a minute and a half. This free app for Android could be the answer to your problem. Laser Chase offers a dancing red dot with movement specifically designed using physics to entertain your cat for minutes on end (hopefully more than two). Kitty will score ten points every time he catches the dot.


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