It turns out that cheezburger-crazed LOLcats were just the beginning. Now, the kitty stranglehold on the Web is spreading. The iPad is threatening the dominance of the scratching post as the most favored feline plaything and hangout. Tablet apps intended not just for cat owners, but for cats themselves, have been cropping up in disturbing amounts. We sifted through all the catnip to bring you the eight cat iPad apps most worth knowing about.
Video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET
Original iPad Game for Cats
A pioneer in multitouch gaming for feline tablet users, the original iPad Game for Cats occupies your kitty with lasers and animated mice to chase around the screen. The game has proven successful across all kitty demographics (as this video demonstrates), from lions and tigers to more exotic ethnic minority breeds.
Paint for Cats
Following the success of the original iPad Game for Cats, which arguably focused on developing paw-eye coordination, it became clear more should be done to encourage cats' artistic abilities. Fortunately, the same studio--Hiccup--released Paint for Cats. Now even the most alienated of tabbies have an outlet for personal expression.
While Lolcats may not have been in the room when the military and Al Gore created the Internet, they have come to own it. The next step toward the day when catz haz wurld dominashun leads directly through the iPad. Multiple apps like LOLcats (free) work on the iPad and help make every day a Caturday.
Friskies Games for Cats
Friskies was the first to recognize the iPad's potential for direct marketing to cats via gaming. The cat cuisine leader released three free games for the feline market earlier this year. All well and good, but will the association between cat food and gaming become the gateway to a new feline obesity epidemic?
Snoobo the Elephant
The free Kitty Quotes is a decidedly low-tech app with one purpose--to deliver ridiculously cute, snarky, and silly cat-related quotes to your iPhone or iPad for no good reason.
A couple of our favorites:
"Dogs have owners, cats have staff."
"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"
Homo sapiens are advised to resist this clear plot to advance the LOLcat invasion beyond the digital world and into the human brain.
The clearly insane developers of Cat Piano claim the 99-cent app for iPhone or iPad is just like having a "sack of angry cats in your pocket." Playing the multitouch keys elicits a rhapsody of meows and other cat sounds that's obviously either terrific or terrible, depending on whether or not your childhood kitty was declawed.
Pet First Aid
It's not all fun and games on the iPad for cats. Pet First Aid (iPhone version shown) is a very serious app with a very serious price as far as cat apps go ($3.99) that provides all the information needed to help keep kitty in tip-top shape. It also tracks vaccinations, age, weight, and more for each pet. Note: Literate, English-reading human owner may be required.
Laser Catz isn't actually designed for kitties, but it is a game featuring cats that shoot lasers from their heads. Or, for those whose eyes are open to what's been going on around our digital world, it's pure prophecy. Consider your gameplay time to be training for a terrible but inevitable future.