September is for…Cats!?!

I was listening to some wonderful librarians talk about their favorite games, and I was struck by how many of the games they mentioned were cat themed. So we made an awesome list of our favorite cat games. As Matthew Stephenson says in our last review: “Cats are fuzzy, warm, and cute. They are also harbingers of destruction that use miniature scalpels to wreak havoc.” What is not to love? Enjoy!


Board Game: Calico

• Designer: Kevin Russ
• Publisher: Flatout Gams
• 1-4 players
• 30-45 min
• 10+

Cat pieces and patchwork patterns in cheerful colors make this game calming and cute. You win points by placing patches in the optimal layout to score for a patch’s color, or pattern or both. The player interaction is light and not at all combative, and the changeable cat “goals” make the game pretty replayable for such an easy to learn game. Calico has circulated well at my branch. Patrons are attracted to the artwork and the game is light to mid-weight, perfect for after-work gaming time, and, for a bonus, it works well with two players. Altogether, a very enjoyable little game.


Board Game: Cat Lady

• Designer: Josh Wood
• Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
• 2-4 players
• 30 min
• 8+

A relatively quick and rules-light card drafting game where players collect cards, 3 at a time, from a grid of 9 cards. Players earn points by collecting catnip, cat toys, and cats. Players need to be mindful that they’re also collecting enough food for their cats.


Card Game: Here, Kitty, Kitty.

• Designer: Kris McCardel Ware
• Publisher: Fireside Games
• 3-6 players
• 30 min
• 10+

Card game where players compete to collect the most cards in their house. Players take turns playing cards that either entice cats to their house or lure cats away from one of their opponents. There are a variety of different ways to score points that encourage different strategies and ways to play.


Card Game: Space Cats Fight Fascism

• Designer: Brian Van Sklyke
• Publisher: TESA Collective
• 2-4 players
• 45-60 min
• 13+

A cooperative, card game where 2-4 players take on the roles of space cats trying to liberate the galaxy from the autocratic Rat Pack. Each cat has its own unique ability, and players use cards to unlock new abilities and liberate planets. This game can be challenging, but there are difficulty settings, so don’t be afraid to consider those.


Print-and-Play Micro-RPG: Library Cats

• Designer: Xander Ready
• Publisher: itch.io
• 3+ players
• 15-60 min
• 7+
• Available: https://shardsofblue.itch.io/library-cats

Library Cats is a print-and-play where players are different kinds of cats inhabiting a magical library. Based on the popular mechanics of Lasers & Feelings, this is an easy RPG to pick up and learn. To play, just roll some 6-sided dice to determine your cats’ characteristics- such as breed, accessories, and special abilities; decide the positive and negative qualities of your library as a group; and roll the dice again to determine what threatens the tranquility of the library. Will a dragon try to steal a book from the restricted section? Or a horde of rats begin turning everything into mushrooms? This is one of the most popular games we keep on the floor in the teen area at the public library where I work.


TTRPG: 9 Lives to Valhalla

• Designer: Kali Lawrie and Dan Phipps
• Publisher: Gem Room Games
• 3+ players
• 30-60 min
• 13+
• Available: https://gemroomgames.itch.io/9-lives-to-valhalla-sneak-peek

“Nine times you will cast a wake of blood and carnage upon the blighted earth. Nine lives to Valhalla!” In Nine Lives to Valhalla, players build Death Metal Viking Cat characters while game masters take on the mantle of Death, leading their party in an over the top brawl through a post-apocalyptic world where man and dogs rule no longer. Players must prove themselves in glorious battle before their nine lives are claimed- seeking fortune, revenge on their nemesis, or the death of a worthy foe. To keep the stakes high and the story moving, each time the dice are rolled, something must die. But each time your character dies, they die gloriously. The game book includes numerous details such as special items, NPC descriptions, and foes but it is up to the GM and players to craft the story in this theatrical, roleplay-heavy game.


TTRPG: The Cat is the Dungeon Meowster

• Designer: Jordan Palmer
• Publisher: itch.io
• 2+ players and 1 cat
• 15-60 min
• 8+
• Available: https://tabletop.itch.io/the-cat-is-the-dungeon-master 

While this might be difficult to play in most libraries, no list of cat-themed ttrpgs would be complete without The Cat is the Dungeon Meowster by Jordan Palmer. If you have a cat who likes to insert themselves into your games, turn them into your game master! No prior preparation is required, instead game play is divided into four stages. Throughout each stage you roll dice to determine the quest, perils, and victories. The success of players’ actions in these role-playing scenarios is determined by how your Dungeon Meowster reacts to challenges the players make for the cat in real life- staring contests, sitting in a box, playing with toys, etc. If they purr or allow you to pet them, it’s a success! If they ignore you or run away, it’s a failure. This is a silly, social game for sessions when you don’t feel like committing to a longer campaign.


TTRPG: Cat (Revised and Expanded)

• Designer: John Wick
• Publisher: John Wick Presents
• 3-6 players
• 1-2 hours
• 12+
• Available: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/92647/Cat-Revised–Expanded

Players make cats who defend their human caretakers from the monsters all around them in a hidden world only the cats can see. Horror elements would have to be scaled to the age group. Setting the game in a mythical and magical version of the library’s neighborhood could be a great way to establish setting quickly.


TTRPG: Mew-tants!

• Designer: Aled Lawlor
• Publisher: Anima Press
• 3+ players
• 30-60 min
• 7+
• Available: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/317015/MewTants-DIGITAL-EDITION?manufacturers_id=17207

Mew-tants! is a rules-light TTRPG where everyone plays as a cat- with superpowers! Special abilities are pulled from the pinnacle of internet memes and include laser eyes (self explanatory), vantablack (ability to disappear), long cat (streachiness), and more. Game masters can roll from a table to make up game scenarios such as a clan of ninja-cats planning to carry out a Kibble heist or a little kitten creating Were-cats to use as soldiers but a pre-written scenario is also included to play right away. The game includes NSFW language in the original text but a “family friendly” version is available to download in order to include younger players.


Video Game: Catlateral Damage Remeowstered.

• Designer/Programmer: Chris Chung
• Publisher: Manekoware
• Single player
• 30 min
• 10+
Available on: Steam, itch.io, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 / 5, Xbox One / Series X|S 

Cats are fuzzy, warm, and cute. They are also harbingers of destruction that use miniature scalpels to wreak havoc. Catlateral Damage is designed as a love letter to the purrs, the claws, and the inquisitive behavior of our beloved felines. The simple premise of this game is “be a cat, break stuff.” Using a first-person perspective, this house cat simulator allows players to swat, scratch, and destroy as many of your human’s possessions within a time limit. There’s no lessons to be learned here, other than giving you the joys and freedoms of being a cat without the hairballs.


Want to write something for our blog? Drop us a line: GameRT@ala.org.

One comment

  1. On the one hand, I’m kind of amazed that there are so many cat games out there! On the other hand, there are some more cat games I can think of that I’m surprised didn’t make the list.

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