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
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When Laura Fritz's felines play with her iPad, her fat cat loses the urge to eat, her scaredy-cat loses his fear and her youngest just loses interest.

If you've had enough time to play with the tablet you got for the holidays, try turning the device over to your tech-savvy cat. Every cat app, no matter the maker, has something for felines to electronically track, stalk or hunt, such as 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, a professor at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

"The motion in most apps is jerky and quick, much like an insect," she said, adding that any sound component would quickly be eclipsed by the draw of movement.

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

Maxie and Brutus work together on the app "Paint for Cats," chasing a mouse and leaving a trail of splattered paint where they have pawed, rubbed, jumped or made other marks with their movements. Many cat owners see the results as art worthy of sharing on social media, so 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 called "Game for Cats" and 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" also taps into the fish theme for Android and Apple devices.

Some people worry about damage to the devices, but claws won't hurt the screen, said Fuller, who ran many tests. But nobody has tested for teeth, and Karen Rittmuller of Salem, Massachusetts, found a problem with a bite.

Rittmuller tried to get her calico cat Pixel to live up to her high-tech name, so she downloaded "Game for Cats," but 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.

When the SPCA Los Angeles received a couple of used tablets two years ago, the shelter decided to see if any of their homeless cats were hiding inner artists.

Two of them, dubbed Pawblo Picasso and Frida Catlo, created abstract art that looked like fuzzy circles, and the organization turned it into sellable notecards.

Those trading up to a newer model tablet should consider donating used devices to shelters, said Ana Bustilloz, spokeswoman for the organization. People give food, kitty litter and blankets, but many don't think of animal shelters when it comes to tech equipment, she said.

Back at the Fritz house, the cats work out their problems with the tablet. The 21-pound Brutus is only motivated by food and refuses to exercise, so "Paint for Cats" gets him to move, Fritz said.

"Maxie is scared of everything that moves. But when he's painting, he becomes a different cat ... and really gets into it," she said.

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

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/got-cat-there-s-app/

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


COMMENTS (39)
  • Jadeaoly2015
    1/13/2015 - 01:23 p.m.

    I have a cat, and he loves to play around. I bet that if I downloaded this game, he would love to mess around with the game. Hopefully it works!

  • TrinityARainbow
    1/13/2015 - 05:36 p.m.

    I find that my cat loves this app and, since my cat doesn't exercise, it helps her lose wieght easily. This app is a weight saver.(for cats)

  • MEdgar-Sti
    1/14/2015 - 10:25 a.m.

    i think this invention is cool and all like when you get home and you see your cat play with your ipad. but that also means that humans are getting lazier and lazier to play with their pets. so i think the petes should only play with the ipad like 30 mins only . its pretty sad that cats have electronics then most humans

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    1/14/2015 - 01:27 p.m.

    I actually think that this is pretty neat. Whenever my cat was younger, I actually downloaded an app on my phone that allowed my cat to try and catch fish. He really liked it and seemed to become more playful afterwards.

  • Calebe-OBr
    1/14/2015 - 01:51 p.m.

    I think that tablet-based apps are better for cats than desktop based programs, because on the tablet their claws don't hurt the screen and their is better games that gets cats active on the tablet. If I had a cat, I would never let it play with my tablet, but after reading this article, it changed my whole prospective about cats. I wonder if the cat would need a lot of training to use a tablet. As technology goes on, there will be more games for cats, and maybe even a tablet that's meant for cats. But right now, we have to use what we have.

  • Calebe-OBr
    1/14/2015 - 01:52 p.m.

    I think that tablet-based apps are better for cats than desktop based programs, because on the tablet their claws don't hurt the screen and their is better games that gets cats active on the tablet. If I had a cat, I would never let it play with my tablet, but after reading this article, it changed my whole prospective about cats. I wonder if the cat would need a lot of training to use a tablet. As technology goes on, there will be more games for cats, and maybe even a tablet that's meant for cats. But right now, we have to use what we have.

  • AmandaM-1
    1/14/2015 - 07:33 p.m.

    From kids to adults to even cats technology is taking over! People have been creating apps for your furry friend to entertain themselves on. Some of the popular ones use ice or fish as the cats prey and it will chase the digital animal for hours. One app that I personally think sounds fun is called paint for cats. It will leave a paw print or paint splatter where the kitten has clawed, touched or bit. These apps won't only entertain the cats, but whoever is watching. I have a dog and just the smallest things can entertain her but having a cat sounds like lots of work! The apps for cats are a good way to keep your cat happy for at least an hour.

  • waylon12
    1/15/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    Tech-savvy cat. Now that's what i call cool. I love the idea about using your tablet, but what about cat nails they could break the tablet. It is still really awesome. Cats, cats, cats got to love them.

  • Kandie_Kane_299
    1/15/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    I think that it is a cool idea to make an app for cats. If I had a tablet, i would get one of these apps.

  • ShaniaWentz-Ste
    1/19/2015 - 09:53 p.m.

    I find this article not only interesting, but also strange and adorable. Cats and pets of the such get into curtains, furniture, cabinets, and things they shouldn't. Having an app on your tablet is the perfect way to keep them entertained and busy. And even though this app is geared towards cats, I feel that dogs would be able to use this app as well.

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