EXCITING CATS' SENSES: Friskies' research revealed that cats are most intrigued by the intricate movements of objects as they wiggle or spin across the screen.
Nestlé Purina PetCare’s cat food brand Friskies has launched a free series of iPad and Android tablet games for fun-loving felines.
The three web-based games - Cat Fishing, Tasty Treasures Hunt and Party Mix-Up - feature images of fish, or Friskies food or treats, which move around the screen for cats to interact with.
Cat owners anywhere in the world with an iPad or Android tablet device and access to the Internet can simply type in the link www.gamesforcats.comand the games will work immediately.
Ryan Gass, Assistant Brand Manager for Friskies in the United States, explained the idea behind them.
He said: “We are always looking for new ways to feed and excite cats’ senses, not only at meal times, but also at playtime. Mobile games and apps have been developed for cats in the past, but we are the first pet food company to do this.”
He continued: “Traditional toys work very well, but variety is important. This is a way for owners to use technology to play with their cats.
“We have tested the games extensively and the glass screen on the iPad or Android is strong enough to avoid any damage from the cats’ claws, although plastic film covers could be damaged if not removed.”
WEB-BASED GAMES: Cat Fishing is one of the three available games.
The Friskies games were developed in the United States using a feline focus group of different ages and breeds.
The aim was to find out what really appealed to cats; from their favourite colours and types of movement, to their general attitudes to game-play.
The behavioural research revealed that cats are most intrigued by the intricate movements of objects as they wiggle or spin across the screen.
It also demonstrated that the range of colours seen by a cat is much narrower than that seen by a human, so creating a strong contrast between the background and the playing pieces was very important.
Mr Gass described the positive reaction to the games so far and continued: “They have really resonated with cats and their owners.
“On our Facebook page, fans have been submitting videos of their own cats playing the game, while on YouTube, the original video has been viewed more than one million times.”
“We see gaming as the future”
Friskies’ Games for Cats were created using cutting-edge HTML programming that enables high quality animations to be developed more quickly than ever before.
It means that the games can be played directly from an Internet browser on the iPad or Android tablet without being downloaded from the iTunes app store, although this is also possible.
Traditional toys work very well, but variety is important. This is a way for owners to use technology to play with their cats. Ryan Gass, Assistant Brand Manager for Friskies in the United States
Mr Gass agreed there might be opportunities to develop the games further, and added: “Gaming is becoming extremely successful in the United States. We see it as the future."
Another mobile innovation now available from Friskies is the Call-A-Cat iPhone app, designed to make cats come running to their owners by mimicking sounds such as the rustling of a bag of Friskies cat food, or different bird calls.
And while dogs might not yet have their own iPad games to play, last month Nestlé Purina PetCare announced the launch of Petometer in the United States, a free mobile app designed to help maintain their fitness.
The Petometer app allows owners to not only track the date, time, distance and pace of walks, but also to retrieve their history. Owners can set reminders of when to take their dog out again and can easily access a list of recommended exercises for their pet.
All three Games for Cats, as well as the Call-A-Cat iPhone app, are now available globally for users to download from the iTunes app store.
The Petometer app is available to download from iTunes for users in the United States only.
Friskies' Games for Cats website
Nestlé Purina website
You Tube video of cats playing the games
Friskies' Facebook page
Nestlé’s free mobile apps place brands in more hands
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