Ideas Wanted: iPad Apps for Cats

Friskies has put out a call to LA's brightest tech smarties.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Patrick Hoesly via Flickr
    A 9-month-old Siamese kitten bats at an iPad, across the screen of which dances a pink cartoon mouse. Friskies is calling on LA's brightest to create apps specially designed for the iPad owner's whiskered-faced friends.

    If you've ever owned a pet and a screen that transmits images or information, you know that the two frequently interact.

    Kittens paw at on-screen car chases and dogs frequently run behind the television to see where the wild ponies went. So it made slightly whimsical sense that when tablets came along and grew in mega-popularity, so would engagements for our furry companions.

    Friskies is working on just this, and it is throwing the net -- or, um, comfy cat bed blanket -- wide, at least here in Los Angeles. The Nestle Purina Company has organized a Games for Cats Hackathon for Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 in Venice.

    The deal? It's a "brain-pixelating weekend" for the "LA Tech and Creative community."

    The brain-pixelating bit is this: Several hours will be developed on new ways to entertain felines via technology such as iPads and phones and the devices we seem to always have near or on us. Our cats are often near or on us, too, so it makes sense that the two would sometimes come face-to-whiskered-face.

    There's a fee to participate -- $20 -- but there's a substantial Grand Prize: $15,000. That would buy a whole bunch of sticks with little stuffed felt-cloth mouses dangling from them, believe it.

    This isn't the only time Southern California and cat-tempting games have made news in recent days: The penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach have been making the viral video rounds.

    The aquatic birds, it turns out, like computer games, too.

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