Cats and tabletop gaming, what’s not to love? Our furry feline friends have provided the theme for many games over the years and I’m here to share seven of them with you today, from single-player logic games to party games, dexterity games to memory games, there’s something here for all the family. There are, of course, dozens of other cat-themed games out there, but these are a few of my favorites.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links.
Number of Players: 1
Recommended Age: 8+
Cat Crimes is a single-player logic game where players attempt to solve 40 different “crimes” committed by a houseful of cats. In each scenario, you are given a number of clues that will help you determine which of the six cats is responsible, and the difficulty of these scenarios ranges from beginner to expert. The crimes include who spilled a mug of coffee, who broke the plant pot, who ate the bird, and other typical feline shenanigans.
In the box, you will find a game board, six cat tokens (with stands), six crime tokens, and 40 challenge cards. There is also an instruction booklet that includes biographies of the six cats, a legend for understanding the game board, and a guide to interpreting the clues.
To play a scenario, the player takes a card and places the matching crime token over the corresponding symbol on the game board. They then read the clues on the card and position the cats around the game board/room so that all the criteria on the card are met. Some cats are noted as being upstairs sleeping, which means those cats are not used in this scenario. Cats may be noted as sitting across from something, sitting next to something, sitting to the left or right of something, or sitting in front of something, and precise definitions of all these terms are included in the instruction book. The clues may also state that none of the cats were in a specific spot, for example, no cat was sitting in front of the fishbowl.
When the player is satisfied that they have all the cats in the correct places to satisfy every clue and figure out who is the culprit, they may flip over the card to reveal the correct layout of cats around the game board.
Cat Crimes is an incredibly fun cat-themed game that will test your powers of deduction and really get you using your brain. While aimed at kids, adults will also thoroughly enjoy solving these puzzles.
Cats and Kittens: A Memory Game
Number of Players: 1 or more
Recommended Age: 4+
Cats and Kittens is a simple cat-themed game that can be used to play a variety of memory games. The deck features 50 cards and 25 breeds of cats, each breed getting one card featuring an adult cat and another with a kitten. The cards themselves are much thicker and higher quality than traditional playing cards – they certainly would not bend easily – and the box is well sized with no wasted space and no plastic either.
The art is a realistic watercolor style that depicts the different breeds in detail. My son is a devoted cat lover and loves looking through the cards to memorize different breeds. A booklet is included that provides a short paragraph of information about each breed with some information about its coloring, ancestry, personality, and breeding.
The deck can be used to play any game that involves matching pairs. We used it for traditional memory games like Concentration and Old Maid. While these aren’t exactly modern games, they’re still a lot of fun to play and grandparents will no doubt love playing a game they remember from their childhood with their grandchildren.
Number of Players: 1
Recommended Age: 10+
Cat Stax is another single-player logic game but with a completely different them to Cat Crimes. Instead of testing your powers of deduction, here you’ll be working on your sense of spacial awareness and – to a lesser extent – your dexterity.
This cat-themed game comes with 12 plastic cats and 48 challenge cards with challenges starting at the beginner level and progressing through intermediate, advanced, and expert. There are also solution cards that show one possible correct answer, although there are usually several possible correct solutions for each challenge. It is packaged in a travel case that keeps all the components neatly stored together, although I would have preferred to see a more secure lid because the current one comes off very easily – especially if it was bumped around in a bag.
I also wish some of the cats were a little better designed because with a few of them it’s hard to tell if the space between their front and back legs is a space to be filled in or not – a better walking pose with the legs more spread out to fill in that space would help.
Each challenge card shows you which cat pieces you’ll need, the number of layers you’ll need to include, and a printed grid. The challenge is to place all the plastic cats onto the grid so that no parts overhang the edges. As you progress, additional layers are required so you may have a design with two, three, or even four layers of cats positioned on top of one another. The cats are oddly shaped and don’t have completely smooth sides so actually getting them to sit on top of each other can be tricky – adding an additional level of difficulty.
Cat Stax is a deceptively tricky game that will provide everyone with a challenge. I found that I could just about manage the Advanced level challenges given plenty of time, but the Expert level ones have so far proved beyond my capabilities! That being said, special awareness has always been one of my weakest skills, so I’m hopeful that regular practice with games like this might help me to improve.
A dog-themed variant of this game is also available under the name Dog Pile, and you can even buy a
Number of Players: 2-6
Recommended Age: 6+
From the same publisher and artist as Cats and Kittens, Cat Bingo is another simple cat-themed game that the whole family can play. The game contains a playing board, 12 large bingo cards, 64 cat tokens in a cat-print canvas bag, and over 200 cardboard counters.
The game itself is very simple. One person acts as the bingo caller and has the large playing board in front of them along with the bag of cat tokens. All other players (up to 12) have a bingo card in front of them and a number of counters. The caller reaches into the bag and pulls out one token at a time, reading out the cat breed it shows and showing the token to the players. The caller then places the token onto the correct space on the board and any player who has that breed on their bingo card places a counter on top of it. The first player to either cover their entire bingo card in counters or fill a straight line either horizontally or vertically (you’ll need to decide on the win criteria before starting a game) is the winner.
The cat artwork in Cat Bingo is the same as in Cats and Kittens – where the same breeds are included, the same images are used – but with nearly 40 extra breeds here, there are far more cats to learn about making this an amazing game for cat lovers. Again, a booklet is included with short descriptions of the cats but these are often shorter than those in the Cats and Kittens game and the breeds in both games have slightly different descriptions here.
Other animal-themed bingo games are available from the same publisher including dogs, monkeys, birds, bugs, and dinosaurs, along with a new Australia’s Deadly Animals version. Some non-animal variants are also available including a Scary Bingo filled with cartoon monsters, Royal Bingo featuring the world’s royal families, and Wonder Women – filled with inspiring women from throughout history.
The Cat Game
Number of Players: 3 and up
Recommended Age: 16+ (for some adult-themed card content, if these are removed by parents, I would estimate 10+)
The Cat Game is a hilarious drawing game that my son received last Christmas. In this game, players use photo cut-outs of cats in various poses to try to have their teammates guess what they are trying to draw. The game contains two drawing boards, two dry-erase markers, 18 die-cut cats, and 150 cards. Players either play against one another individually or in teams.
The drawing team takes a card from the deck and decides what of the three things written on it they will attempt to draw. Each card has three possibilities in three categories:
- fLICKs (movies)
- PURRsons and PURRfessions (celebrities, famous characters, jobs)
- CAT-tivities (various activities and activities such as playing pinball, glassblowing, bullfighting, and protesting)
Once they have decided and told the others what category they have chosen, they must choose at least one die-cut cat to include then use the drawing board to draw a picture so that the other players can guess what was written on their card. The boards include a white cardboard base with a clear sheet over the top. The cats go under the sheet and you draw on top, so the cats don’t get any pen marks on them even if you draw right over the top of them.
The rules for The Cat Game can be made as strict or as relaxed as your group wants and the game length can also be adjusted, making this ideal for family gatherings, groups of teens or college students, and even kids messing around together. Do be sure to go through the deck first and remove anything untoward if letting kids play however, as there are numerous R rated films included along with some more adults activities like skinny dipping, beer pong, and even “getting a colonoscopy” which could result in some highly inappropriate drawings! You could easily substitute in your own card ideas with more family-friendly activities and films if you wanted to play with a group of kids.
Number of Players: 2-6
Recommended Age: 6+
Cat Tower is a cat-themed game I reviewed several years ago and that our family still plays regularly. In Cat Tower, players have to stack folded cardboard cats on top of one another without knocking down the tower.
As well as the simple dexterity element of this game, there’s also an element of chance that comes from rolling a die. The die tells you how many cats to stack, which way up your cats must go, and if you need to place any special cards or perform additional actions such as getting another player to place your cat on the tower for you and receive any of your forfeits or forcing them to skip their turn.
Cat Tower might be the cutest cat-themed game in this bunch and its compact size make it ideal for taking with you on vacation, assuming you can find a copy.
Number of Players: 2 – 8
Recommended Age: 6+
Kittin is a cat-themed game that I reviewed in full earlier this year when it was seeking funding on Kickstarter. That campaign is now over (having raised more than eight times its goal) and the game is now available to pre-order.
Kittin is slightly similar to Cat Stax, but with a twist and an added time-based element. Rather than trying to figure out how to place or stack your cat pieces as you do in Cat Stax, in Kittin, you are shown how they need to be stacked and must race against your opponents to be the first to successfully stack your cat pieces correctly, without them collapsing.
The game is fast, frantic, and fun. It can be played in literally just a few minutes and explained even faster, making it ideal as a quick casual game between longer ones during a games night, or at family gatherings.
GeekMom received copies of these games (barring The Cat Game) for review purposes.