When it comes to the best cat games, there are a wealth of opportunities to either explore the world as a four-legged friend or collect a whole brood of kittens of your own. If you thought that Stray was the only kitty game out there, but boy were you wrong; we've tracked down 10 of the most pawfect cat games for you to give a whirl.
Games where you can play as a cute and cuddly cat are just getting more popular, with Little Kitty, Big City due out sometime this year, so you can expect this list to grow as more contenders get added to the rankings. For now though, here are the best cat games out there for you to leap into, whether you're looking for Nintendo DS classics to more recent offerings.
10. Nintendogs + Cats
It's a decade-old 3DS launch title - and cats will never forgive Nintendo for giving them second billing in the title - but Nintendogs + Cats is still one of the best cat games ever made. Its adorable recreation of three kitten breeds (standard, oriental, and longhair) give you your choice of fuzzy pals to befriend, and if you play with 3D enabled it really does feel like you're staring through a little window into their home. Unfortunately, you can't teach the kittens tricks or take them out on the town like you can with their puppy counterparts, but they will sneak off and bring you gifts every now and then to show you that they really do care. None of the gift possibilities are dead birds or mice, but it's OK to sacrifice realism every now and then.
9. Catlateral Damage
Developer: Manekoware, Fire Hose Games
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
If you're into the idea of playing as a cat, you're eventually going to want to start knocking things off the table. That's the whole idea in Catlateral Damage: leap around procedurally generated environments in search of the most breakable stuff, then break it. Occasionally a special event will pop up where you can chase and catch a mouse or something like that, but ultimately it's all about that sweet destructive satisfaction. Catlateral Damage is good fun to play as a standard flat-screen experience, but it's even better if you play in virtual reality with full motion controls for an even more immersive asshole cat experience.
8. Gravity Rush
Developer: Team Gravity
Platform(s): PS4 (Remastered), PS Vita
What the heck is a game about a girl who can control gravity doing on a list of the best cat games? I'm so glad you asked, because the answer is a two-parter: one, she gets all of her powers from a mysterious space cat whose coat is the color of the cosmos, and who is your constant companion in the game; and two, you may not play as a cat, but you do play as a Kat. Seriously though, the bond between Kat and Dusty is a key part of Gravity Rush's story, and it never gets old watching Dusty wander around whenever you stand idle for more than a few seconds. Gravity Rush was clearly made by people with a deep and abiding love for cats in their hearts.
7. Gato Roboto
Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch
What if Samus Aran was a cat, but still did pretty much all the same stuff? Then you would be playing Gato Roboto, a retro sidescroller that pairs its unabashed Metroid-inspired action with stylishly lo-fi pixel art and music. Intrepid ship's cat Kiki must continue her human's mission (since she's kind of the reason he's trapped on his ship) by curling up in a suit of power armor and blasting through caverns full of hostile creatures - but she'll also need to pop out now and then to make the most of her feline agility and smaller profile. Gato Roboto is a brief and minimalist Metroid-style experience, perfect for when you need a little more cat action in your life.
6. Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector
Developer: Hit Point Co.
Platform(s): Android, iOS
No list of the best cat games would be complete without the definitive kitty collecting game on mobile devices. Neko Atsume is a supremely simple experience: you set out toys, treats, and furniture in your yard and wait for cats to show up and help themselves. That's it! The joy is in "collecting" all of the different varieties of cat that roam through your neighborhood, then using the gifts they leave behind to purchase even more cat-luring goodies, expanding and renovating your home to make it more cat-attractive, and so on. There are even special rare cats that you'll need to create just the right circumstances to see. Neko Atsume is the kind of game that becomes a part of your daily routine, and who wouldn't want to have more cute cartoon cats in their routine?
5. Night in the Woods
Developer: Infinite Fall
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS
Night in the Woods is about coming home, finding it has changed, not being sure how to feel about that, and - this is most important for our purposes of laying out the best cat games - a game where you play as a cartoon cat. I mean, sure, everybody's some kind of anthropomorphic animal in this world, and nobody ever makes a big deal about it. The last thing Night in the Woods wants to do is lay out a deep lore backstory for why everybody's animals in this crumbling rust belt town. However, it does feel very true that Mae - a deeply conflicted character who occasionally indulges in breaking stuff for the sake of breaking stuff - should be rendered as a cat.
4. The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
What good is recreating a digital version of yourself and giving them the perfect home if your cat isn't there to barf on the floor? The base version of The Sims 4 sadly doesn't include options to add pets to families, but as the name suggests, The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs expansion is all over it. You start off by creating your furred friend with a character creation suite with options and flexibility that rival its Sim counterpart, then you add them to your family and feel your heart swell. You can't control your pets directly, which is especially realistic for cats, but there are a bunch of ways for your Sims to care for and otherwise interact with them. You can even open up your own veterinary clinic as a business if you just can't get enough digital animal pals.
3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
While we're talking about collecting cats, we have to address the true endgame of one of the most popular games of the last few years: assembling an island of nothing but cat villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sure, there are plenty of other species of villagers to meet, and they're all perfectly good too… but cats. Plus, is it any coincidence that Raymond, the most sought-after villager in the entire New Horizon community, is himself a cat? I think not. Engineering the perfect setting for a bunch of ingrates who lounge around on all of the furniture like they own the place is also an incredibly realistic cat owner experience.
2. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Never before has the Mario franchise been this deeply invested in all things feline, and perhaps it never will be again. But for this one game, Mario and friends truly become the cat. Well, it's actually more like two games: the original action of Super Mario 3D World introduced Cat Mario, giving that most heroic plumber the ability to scratch, climb walls, and dive through the air with the grace of a cat chasing after another cat. But that's just a cat-petizer to the all-encompassing felinity of Bowser's Fury, a brand new open-world adventure that unfolds in a strange corner of Super Mario's world where everything except Bowser is some kind of cat. The Goombas, the shines, the trees, the architecture, the, well, cats.
Developer: BlueTwelve Studio
Platform(s): PS4, PS5, PC
How could we not put the game where you play as a cat as our number one? Not only does Stray let you push things off ledges, walk through paint and leave little pawprint trails, and scratch trees until your claws are content, but there's a beautiful story underneath its furry coat. This game will make you laugh, cry, and purr, and if you're playing with the PS5 DualSense, your controller will purr along with you. Placing Stray as our number one cat game just makes sense, and we hope you get a chance to step into the furry feet of its protagonist soon. It's worth it, trust us.
More of a woofer? Check out our picks of the best dog games next.