How to Bring Out Your Cat's Inner Gamer on the iPad

With its scratch resistant surface and faster refresh rates enabling cats to see images clearly, numerous cats have quickly discovered that playing on the iPad is more rewarding and fun than playing with conventional cat toys or scrunched up paper balls. In fact, the iPad so enticing for many an average feline that you might just be lucky to get your iPad back from kitty if you ever let her get started! Bringing out your cat's inner gamer requires only a little patience, a few apt apps and a sense of humor about feline usage of technology.

Steps

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    Before starting, check the condition of your cat's paws. If they're dirty or wet, clean and dry them before playing on the iPad. And be sure to remove anything that might be stuck in the paws, such as a tiny stone or piece of bark, as these could damage the screen (besides which, such grooming ensures that your cat is in good health).
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    Let your cat sit next to or with you as you use the iPad. Allow her to watch the screen to familiarize herself with the movements, colors and action on the screen.
    • If you have more than one cat, don't hesitate to show them all at once. It's possible they'll be equally interested.
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    Allow her to investigate further by sniffing, walking over, sitting on and pawing at the iPad. Be sure to do this somewhere safe so that the iPad doesn't drop anywhere. Sitting on the floor with your cat or on a sofa or bed are just some safe, flat spots that are also comfortable. Be aware that once she starts playing with the iPad, she is likely to try to push her paws under the iPad to try to find any item that runs off screen, so some flipping or movement of the iPad should be expected. And don't play at the top of the stairs or one iPad in pieces might be found at the bottom of the stairs later.
    • It's recommended that you're not charging or using the cord for the iPad when your cat plays with it.
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    If your cat shows an interest in the iPad, let her watch and even paw moving items such as a movie, music program or a video. Better still, play a human game on the iPad to see how she reacts. Indeed, some human games are lapped up by cats, such as Magic Piano and Koi Pond.
    • Show her a photo of herself or of another cat. She might find this really amusing or even try to "attack" the other cat.
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    Download an app made just for cats. There are plenty to choose from and kitty will probably be the best ultimate judge of which work, so it's a good idea to start with the free ones before choosing paid ones. Some choices include:
    • Game for cats - chase a mouse or a laser dot (free but with a later in-app level purchase)
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    • Purina Friskies' Games for Cats - obviously made to promote their cat products but the games are free
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    • Cat piano Jr. - this creates meow sounds on the piano keyboard at the pitch of each key; the cat walks on it to produce noise (free)
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    • Dog translator (free)
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    • App for cats (free)
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    • Cat toy (free)
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    • Paint for cats - creates a picture from paws that can be shared on Facebook if you wish (paid)
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    • Catch the mouse (paid)
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    Stay with your cat as she plays on the iPad. The interaction time is good for both of you and you should monitor her interaction at all times anyway. After all, should she accidentally log herself into your Facebook account, the results could be meow-o-rific for her but incomprehensible for your friends.
    • You may be forced to hide from your cat when you want to use the iPad undisturbed. This is a small price to pay for kitty contentment.
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    Try to tempt your cat away from the iPad with an "ordinary" toy. It's probable that your cat won't even notice, as she'll be so engrossed in the iPad game. This will confirm for you that she's really enjoying the iPad game.
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    Take photos or videos of your cat playing on the iPad. This is a great photo or video opportunity, so have the camera ready at all times. There are plenty of cats playing iPad videos uploaded by proud owners and there are even competitions on occasion, so you might want to share your offerings too.
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    Put the iPad away safely after play. Even if it's not switched on, you've now just indicated clearly that this is a cat toy and she'll be curious any time of the day or night, whether or not you're present.

Tips

  • Not all cats are iPad primed. In fact, some cats are totally disinterested. If your cat appears this way, try again another time or simply accept that the iPad and your cat aren't a happening thing.
  • If you have an older cat who doesn't play much, you may be surprised at how excited the iPad makes her. This can be an excellent method for re-energizing an elderly cat in the safety of the home environment.
  • This is an excellent way to help keep an indoor cat fit through exercise.
  • Dogs and iPads aren't so compatible. You could try but don't be the least bit surprised if Fido shows a total lack of curiosity and tugs at you to come outside for a ball game and run.[1]

Warnings

  • Pouncing on the iPad could result in unwanted app purchases, such as an upgrade that suddenly appears during the game. Purr-fect says puss but it may be something you want to keep a close eye on.
  • Don't leave a cat and an iPad unattended. Remove the iPad when you think your cat has had long enough playing.
  • Scratch-resistance only goes so far. Stop her if she starts chewing or biting the iPad. And while the glass has scratch-resistance, the same cannot be said for the plastic components of the iPad. Still, cat owners are proud of scratches and bites on anything they own…
  • Always keep the iPad somewhere flat, where it can't fall from the cat's exuberance while playing. The floor is the best possible place.
  • Never let a cat touch something you plan on touching. They step in and around their own feces in a box.

Things You'll Need

  • iPad
  • Apps for cats (not humans)

Article Info

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