This Japanese cat-ownership smartphone game is everything

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here!

Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section.



Owning a cat means coming home to a gift nearly every day. If it isn’t a half-eaten mouse then it’s a new scratch in the furniture, or a cardboard box now lined with fur. You learn over time that cats are both adorable and mischievous. They’re mysterious beings that do things on their own accord, embodying the unexpected. Neko Atsume, a Japanese pet cat sim, captures all of this feline theater perfectly. It has you adopt cats and buy them toys to nuzzle with and hide in. Then you leave them. Upon returning you find that they’ve aligned themselves in different rascally positions. Later, the cats adopt anthropomorphic roles as chefs, fishermen, samurai, mohawked pirates, more. To get started, consult this guide on how to play Neko Atsume. Follow it, and let all your cat dreams come true.

Perfect for: Cat Fanciers, Lonely Singles, Animal Lovers.

Playtime: Seven lifetimes.