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Pets Develop Apps-titude Print E-mail

You can’t say brand and marketing managers at Friskies, a unit of Nestle Purina Pet Care Company, weren’t thorough in their research leading to the launch of its successful iPad game app called Cat Fishing. It’s been downloaded more than half a million times. As a result, the company released several other games. But not before running its concepts by an elite focus group of specialists. Six cats. App designer Eric Sutherland calls the experts “gamer’ cats, and claims they have become “completely obsessed” with the games.

And good at them, too. Another Friskies app – “You vs. Cat” – is what Sutherland calls “the first dual species game.” Cats are pitted against humans who try to flick a ball across the screen as cats try to deflect it. Points are given to people if they get past the feline defense. Cats score when they reject a shot. The current leader board on the Friskies website has cats ahead 2.7 million points to 2.3 million.

Friskies Pet Cap - Cat Fishing

"The iTunes store carries at least a dozen pet specific apps that dogs and cats can play with..."

Kittywood: Feline Videos Climb To Cinematic Heights Print E-mail

It started in 1965 when new Super 8mm motion picture cameras made it easy to capture the quirky behavior of household felines on film. Camcorders in the 1980s made it even easier for pet owners to chronicle their cats’ antics and send the tapes to America’s Funniest Home Videos. Since then the Internet and YouTube have propelled cat videos to new levels of popularity and artsy sophistication.

Last year, Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, one of the country’s more renowned modern art museums took up the whimsical suggestion of a summer intern to put out a call for cat videos, and offer a prize for the best one. Entries overwhelmed the organizers. Ten thousand people packed the Walker’s garden and patio grounds one August evening to watch the inaugural Internet Cat Video Festival that featured 84 minutes of cat videos projected on a 20-foot screen. This year Walker put the show on the road and screened it at 27 venues around the country – usually at bars, but also in museums and even a castle in Ireland.

Photo credit: Callista Bond

"The Internet and YouTube have propelled cat videos to new levels of popularity and artsy sophistication."

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