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Nine Lives and Counting: A Short History of Cat-Themed Apps

Sarayah Wright
Sarayah Wright
4 min read
Posted on March 15, 2022
Nine Lives and Counting: A Short History of Cat-Themed Apps

When Grumpy Cat was first introduced to the internet via a subreddit group almost 10 years ago, no one could have predicted how defining a moment it would be. Memes were arguably still new and suddenly the internet is collectively fixating on a photo of a cat that more or less seemed not too pleased to be here. What started as thousands of upvotes on a small-ish now archived subreddit thread turned into millions of memes and gifs across the internet, article write-ups and later, an in-memoriam tweet from Grumpy’s family mournfully announcing his death to the world.  

Whether or not cats actually have nine lives is a question worth leaving to the philosophers. However, one can say that our feline friends do enjoy many lives across internet and media niches. From funny memes and animated classics to comical CGI musical films and Gotham’s very own Catwoman, the furry creature has inspired a lot of popular content. 

Take IsTom Games' Nyan Cat: Lost in Space for example. What began as a post on LiveJournal and Tumblr 11 years ago made its way across the internet as a Gif and silly video mashup featuring a vocaloid from Crypton Future Media before taking on the life of viral meme. 

Publishers should continue taking inventory of popular subcultures and niches happening in media as they can lead to a direct audience likely to engage in your app. As ridiculous as it sounds, cats are just that, especially across age groups. 

Just last month, Netflix premiered Cat Burglar, an interactive trivia toon aimed at adult audiences. There’s also Beastars, a super popular manga and anime series.  

And just a couple weeks ago, a Petaverse (a metaverse for pets) was announced! One game you can play in the Petaverse is DOGAMÍ, a play-to-earn mobile-first game. In DOGAMÍ, users can adopt 3D pets as NFTs, and raise them in AR (Augmented Reality).  

Here are some other cat and pet centric games popular on mobile:  

  • Outfit7’s My Talking Tom Friends has over 100 million downloads on the Google Play store, with related spinoff apps and concepts generating major installs globally across both major app stores.  
  • HIDEA’s Cats & Soup has over 10 million downloads and maintains high rank among users. In Cats & Soup, players can enjoy raising their cute pets while they help them make soup in a peaceful forest. The game has a lot of relaxing components as well, with a pretty fleshed out soundscape. The adorable game even has a TikTok. 
  • Games like Bingo Blitz and Cat Escape are riffs on tried-and-true gaming genres, using cats in both major and subtle ways to generate interest. None of these games are about cats per se, but they incorporate felines in ingenious ways to generate downloads and continued user interest. 

Unlike Animal Crossing, these previously mentioned games are more casual and relaxing in nature. The good news is that the possibilities are endless. 

All of this is to say whether you’re thinking big or small when it comes to your next game, it is often perhaps the silliest and simplest of things like memes or cute kittens that may spark inspiration.  

Interested in growing the user base of your next cat-themed app or monetizing your hit creation? Be sure to reach out to InMobi for all of your app-based needs:


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