The iPad is a device that can be used by almost everyone, regardless of their age or technological savvy. But here’s something you may not have seen coming — iPad apps that are specifically made for cats.
Purina’s Friskies division will introduce four new iPad apps over the next few weeks that claim to entertain cats of all kinds, using touch screen mini-games that allows felines to swipe away at on-screen objects such as cat food and fish. These games will be offered free of charge, and will be introduced for Android devices as well.
The four games are “Here, Kitty Kitty,” “Cat Fishing,” “Tasty Treasure Hunt” and “Party Mix-Up.” They will all have similar gameplay mechanics, requiring cats to swipe away at objects that appear on the screen. Once the objects have been hit, they’ll bounce accordingly, and new objects will follow. These “Games For Cats” apps even come with point counters and awards, so owners can track their progress once their pets have finished.
This is the latest in a line of pet-centric apps being released for the iPad, enabling owners of their beloved animals to treat them to a different form of entertainment. Last year, the app-maker Happy Apps released an app called iSqueek, which features a number of realistic squeak toys, digitally recreated for the iPad.
While the games are likely to be popular, the release of these apps raises an interesting question — is the iPad able to withstand pet use?
Cats may the biggest threat to an iPad screen. By pawing away at whatever appears on the screen, there’s the possibility that scratches will appear on it. Though Purina believes that the iPad touch screen is sturdy enough to withstand cat scratches, that’s still a pretty big risk to take. In addition, a pet could easily become agitated with what’s happening, depending on how they’re trained, and they may decide to get a little more physical with the device.
As far as dogs go, from what we’ve seen through iSqueek videos, the worst they do is lick the screen. Dog saliva is easy enough to clean off, but sanitary concerns could easily arise if other people use the same iPad.
Nevertheless, Friskies and Happy Apps have some interesting programs that expand their functionality for new users. Our best recommendation is to start off slowly with said apps, keeping a close eye on your pet until they get used to what’s happening. From there, see how they react – and don’t be afraid to play along.
On a side note, pet owners looking for a different kind of app to celebrate their love of animals might want to check out an upcoming release from Purina. The company is working on games designed for humans called "Wonderland Quest I" and "Wonderland Quest II," which feature cat-related adventures. That might be safer than letting a cat run loose on your touch screen.