Got a cat? Theres an app for that
Got a cat? Theres an app for that A cat named Maxine playing "Game for Cats" on an iPad (AP photos)
Got a cat? Theres an app for that
Lexile: 680L

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Laura Fritz's cats will play with her iPad. When they do, something happens. Her fat feline loses the urge to eat. Her scaredy-cat loses his fear. And her youngest just loses interest.

Every cat computer app, no matter the maker, has something for felines to electronically track, stalk or hunt. They often are mice, bugs or laser dots.

"Cats are attracted to things that move. And that is the 'magic' for most of the apps," said Dr. Bonnie Beaver. She is the executive director of the AmericanCollege of Veterinary Behaviorists.

"The motion in most apps is jerky and quick. Much like an insect," she said.

Every cat is different. But if they're like two of Fritz's, they will love pawing the screen to catch critters. That breaks anxious Maxie out of his shell. And gives hefty Mr. Brutus a way to exercise, said Fritz. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. But cats also may be like her youngest, Pansy Rose, who couldn't care less.

Maxie and Brutus work together on the app "Paint for Cats." They chase a mouse and leave a trail of splattered paint. That is where they have pawed, rubbed, jumped or made other marks with their movements. Many cat owners see the results as art. The owners like to share it on social media. The app allows people to email the creations.

It is among three popular apps created by T.J. Fuller and Nate Murray's Los Angeles company Hiccup. The company also features a mouse-chasing game. It's called "Game for Cats." And there's a monster-crushing game dubbed "Catzilla."

There are several cat apps on the market. "Pocket Pond" for Android tablets allows cats to follow fish or dragonflies with their paws. Friskies' "Cat Fishing" taps into the fish theme for Android and Apple devices.

Some people worry about damage to the devices. Claws won't hurt the screen, said Fuller. But nobody has tested for teeth.

Karen Rittmuller lives in Salem, Massachusetts. She found a problem with a bite. She downloaded "Game for Cats." Her pet will only stalk, pounce and bite the iPad. So she took it away.

"I did not want the device ruined or her hurt from biting too hard," Rittmuller said.

Even cats at shelters are joining the tech trend. The SPCA Los Angeles received a couple of used tablets two years ago. So the shelter decided to see if any of their homeless cats were budding artists.

Two of them, dubbed Pawblo Picasso and Frida Catlo, created what looked like fuzzy circles. The SPCA turned the "art" into sellable notecards.

Critical thinking challenge: Why are tablet-based apps better for cats that desktop-based programs?

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Why are tablet-based apps better for cats that desktop-based programs?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • dontahpST
    1/13/2015 - 10:34 a.m.

    Cats playing ipads is awesome thats what I think. Follow the dot is cool. Thier are cat games because so they have something to do. Than other than playing with a yarn ball.

  • gabrielzST
    1/13/2015 - 10:34 a.m.

    This is awesome now my cat can play more and everyone in the family will laugh a little. And its a good way for my cat to loose some weight because he only has two toys and I think he thinks they are fack. Now since they move on the screen it looks like there real im totaly buying 'paint for cats' I'll have fun my cat will have fun!

  • baspro80
    1/13/2015 - 11:35 a.m.

    Cats need that exercise especially Tabby's even the orange Tabby's. Cats will become fat or in other words not average size. Cats need to eat but if they are obese they need to loose weight and this is perfect for cats. If you play with your cats daily they won't be much make sure your cat is not to thin. Cats can pass away from being obese.

  • CamrynSchornak-Pet
    1/13/2015 - 01:17 p.m.

    learned: i learned that there US a app for cats and it does work because they will paw Arty it.
    convection: i have 2 cats at home and they would really love that app.
    opinion: i think it is stupid. they will paw at it and scratch the screen. i wouldn't do that app

  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    1/13/2015 - 08:03 p.m.

    Those cat games really do change the cats. But what if the cats lose on a game and then they don't know what to press when they're supposed to press do again or run again or something like that? Anyways, I think that owners have to stay with the cat when it plays the device because something might happen to it or it could be broken. I would do that if my own cat was playing my electronic device. But at least thank goodness claws won't hurt the screen. And plus, I think that the cat that Karen Rittmuller's cat is kind of tough to handle with because it keeps hurting the screen by pouncing on it or biting it. But maybe some people and cats do like those cat games. ( But Catzilla kind of sounds crazy and unusual.)

  • KeandreF-Sym
    1/14/2015 - 02:06 p.m.

    They should make more apps for cats then they wont be fat the cats can be fit. So all the cats can be healthy.

  • ariannav-Opi
    1/15/2015 - 02:25 p.m.

    I honestly think its a bad idea because you of course don't want your device ruined now do you?!?!

  • ariannav-Opi
    1/15/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    I think cat need to be healthy and fit too, but if it brakes your phone you wont be happy also maybe they should use something else.

  • tybreland
    1/15/2015 - 08:52 p.m.

    They should make more apps for cats so that they wont get fat or lazy. A bad thing about letting your cat play with your iPad or tablet is that really what the world is coming to. You letting your cat play with a tablet.It should be with nature outside not playing on the tablet.

    • gmancuso-man
      1/22/2015 - 09:51 p.m.

      I agree totally that you should have real cats toys like balls for them to Chase.

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