App: Neko Atsume

Available: Apple, Android

Cost: Free

Description: The simplest and most straightforward explanation of this app would be as follows: cats. Just cats.

This app is a single-player video game that allows users to purchase toys and treats and then place them into a virtual cat room.

Three cats enjoying the virtual cat room within Neko Atsume. Photo credit: Kellie Plumhof

Then users must wait—in other words, close the app—and check back later to see if any cats have come to visit them. Users can check back at anytime, and if they’re lucky, they may spot a cat or two playing.

If a cat has played with a toy or eaten food, then they will leave behind a virtual fish, which can then be used to buy more toys or food.

In the shop beds, treats and toys can be purchased for the virtual cat room. Photo credit: Kellie Plumhof


Cats that have visited the virtual cat room will be stored in an album and can be viewed at anytime.

Pros: It’s a very easy-to-use app. It doesn’t require a lot of time or attention in order to enjoy. So, if you had a Tamagotchi in the past that you couldn’t seem to keep alive, fear not because these cats are self-sustaining.

Cons: The only con of this game would be that there isn’t a lot to do, so if you’re someone who enjoys interactive and fast-paced games, then this isn’t the app for you.

Overall: While this app may have a silly, whimsical feeling, it can prove to be a great stress reliever and serve as a temporary distraction from the responsibilities of life.

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