Posted by & filed under Marketing Musings.

OK – I thought an iPad for my 11 year old niece was a bit much, but Holy Hairballs Batman, an app for cats?! Yes, Friskies has developed a line of tablet-optimized gaming apps for cats. Soon to be available for iPad and Android, these Games for Cats feature shapes, movements and colors that are meant to appeal specifically to kitties’ senses.The apps invite felines to engage with the tablet’s touch screen and bob for digital fish, paw at moving treats and more.

My first thought while I watched the video was what if your cat isn’t declawed, but Friskies claims that the iPad and Android screens are sturdy enough to withstand scratches from cats’ claws. Right…

Games include “Cat Fishing,” “Tasty Treasure Hunt” and “Party Mix-up.” Friskies has also developed an iPhone app called “Here Kitty Kitty” that calls cats with sounds like a tin can opening, a food bag rustling, a bird chirping, and more.

From a marketing standpoint, is this genius or ludicrous? Sure, we spend a lot of money on our pets – $48 billion to be exact in 2010 – and cats rank second in pets per household at 86 million (surpassed by fresh water fish), but is a Friskies app going to make you stop buying generic cat food for your favorite feline and switch brands? And once your cat learns to turn your iPad on, how long before it hacks your bank account to buy luxury kitty condos online? Wonder if these Friskies marketing execs have ever read Animal Farm?

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