Ready Player Meow: Cats in the Gaming World | Dr. Elsey's
Animated blue cat waving in front of a small house with a red roof.

Ready Player Meow: Cats in the Gaming World

Cats have played an integral part in our culture for generations. So it’s no surprise that they have shown up in every form of media, from folklore to feature film and everything in between. We‘re exploring the relationship between cats and video game culture with a curated collection of our favorites featuring appearances from our furry friends. While this list only scratches the surface, below are our top choices for those who not only love their cats but also love to game.

Orange cat in metropolitan street with a robot in the background.

Most Realistic Game With Cats: Stray

For cat lovers who are fans of dystopian cyberpunk futures, you can’t do much better than Stray. The game sees you taking on the role of a feline protagonist in which you will jump, scratch and catnap your way through the game’s roughly 5-hour-long campaign to find your way home. Critically acclaimed for its attention to detail in cat behavior, physics and nature, you can really tell this game was created by a group of dedicated cat enthusiasts. Stray is a good pick if you love puzzles and robots and appreciate a homeward-bound story.

Our Rating: 9/10 Toe Beans

Release Date: 2022

Available on: PC, Mac, PlayStation & Xbox

Large tan cat with cape followed by three kittens in a grassy field.

Cutest Game With Cats: Mineko’s Night Market

Mineko’s Night Market is influenced by farming and crafting games such as Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley. It’s nods to those beloved franchises and celebration of Japanese culture that makes this a surprisingly fun and cozy experience. In this game you will take up the role of Mineko, who has just moved to a new village with her father. Craft, fish, mine and more as you save countless cats from shady agents on your search for the legendary sun cat, Nikko. If you want to pet all the cats, Minkeko’s Night Market is a solid choice.

Our Rating: 7/10 Toe Beans

Release Date: 2022

Available on: PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox & Nintendo

Blue cat in gray sweater standing in front of a small home in betwen apple trees.

Most Fun Game With Cats: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing has been a fan-favorite for years. During the lockdown of 2020, it saw a meteoric rise to fame as it attracted longtime fans as well as non-traditional gamers to the newest entry in the series, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This game features a wide variety of animal villagers, including multiple cat characters. These villagers join you on your island, as you terraform the land, catch bugs, fish and shake every, single, tree. If you are into interior decorating, collecting all the things and paying back massive amounts of debt, you can’t go wrong with Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Our Rating: 10/10 Toe Beans

Release Date: 2020

Available on: Nintendo

Excited samurai cats holding up treats.

Most Challenging Game With Cats: Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter has seen a strong fan base since its initial release in 2004, with over a dozen games in the timeline and multiple spin-offs. Within Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll hunt monsters alongside your trusty palico, a bipedal cat-like creature capable of human speech. You can also explore with a dog-like creature called a palamute, but this is a cat blog. You’ll fight many monsters in this game, earning crafting materials to upgrade your armor and weapons to take on even stronger monsters. If you like a serious challenge and the idea of chasing giant monsters around scenic locales, this game is worth checking out.

Our Rating: 8/10 Toe Beans

Release Date: 2021

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Xbox & Nintendo

Cream colored cat in a turquoise boat sailing on the water with a human guide.

Saddest Game With A Cat: Spiritfarer

Another game released in 2020 to much quieter fanfare but has since developed a significant cult following is Spiritfarer. This cozy indie management game sees you taking on the role of Stella, who has become the new Spiritfarer, a spirit guide in an ocean-like purgatory. You and your loyal companion, Daffodil the cat, embark on an emotional journey across an uncharted sea, helping spirits come to terms with their lives and pass on through the Everdoor. If you like crafting, fishing, cooking and a good cry with your gaming, you’re sure to love Spiritfarer. 

Our Rating: 10/10 Toe Beans

Release Date: 2020

Available on: PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo & Mobile

We can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for cats and gaming. Have additional recommendations for the cat gaming community? Find us on Instagram and join the conversation!