Does this make me a crazy cat person? The seven stages of Neko Atsume addiction

It’s finally happened, I’ve become the crazy cat lady I never wanted to be. I watched people post pictures of adorable cats on Twitter for months wondering why anyone would want to play a game written completely in Japanese. In October, everything changed when the developer Hit-Point released an English update to Neko Atsume. That’s when it all started.


The first stage

I started seeing photos of adorable illustrated cats on Twitter stuck in paper bags and sitting in pots and wondered if my talented friends were drawing them. They said no, that it is a game is called Neko Atsume (Kitty Collector in English) and all you do is take photos of cats. Mobile games can be plagued with time-sensitive energy refi lls or paywalls, but considering Neko Atsume was free-to-play, I figured this would be a refreshing change. I downloaded the app.


The second stage

I bought my first goodie, a Rubber Ball (Red), from the shop by exchanging fish and placed it in my yard. The next time I opened the app to check my yard, Snowball had arrived and was gleefully playing. It was adorable. As I bought more goodies, more and more cats showed up, leaving behind fish to show their gratitude for my kindness. These cats are adorable. I need more.


The third stage

I finally had enough gold fish. I could do it, I could buy the yard expansion. More space means more cats and more cuteness. Immediately after buying the yard expansion, the game informed me that I had unlocked the ability to remodel. Original, zen, rustic, modern, western, it might not seem like much, but to me this was decorating heaven. I can play The Sims while also playing with adorable cats? Jackpot.


The fourth stage

What is happening? Who is this chubby kitty in yard? I snap a picture. Tubbs, the cat’s name is Tubbs. There’s a chubby cat sitting in my yard eating all of my Frisky Bitz and I’m not even mad because Tubbs is too cute for me to care. A little bit of googling leads me to a list of all the rare cats that can show up. I have to collect them all.


The fifth stage

Billy the Kitten, Ramses the Great, Conductor Whiskers, Joe DiMeowgio, I’ve collected them all, but I need more. Many of the rares still evade me, but I need to get more gold fish to buy the themed items that will attract them. I’m obsessively checking my yard to make sure I’m not missing any rare cats. They’re so delightfully adorable. Cats wearing hats, how could I possibly be upset?


The sixth stage

What the heck Mr. Meowgi! How have you been to my yard 10 times and I haven’t caught a glimpse of you yet! You fickle feline! You callous kitten! You tacky tabby! Oh wait, you’re here. You left me a memento.


The seventh stage

This is my life now. Eat. Sleep. Cats. Repeat. My life is consumed by cat collecting. I’m okay with this. A friend asks me what I’m playing and I reply with cold, dead, tired eyes “Neko Atsume, you collect cats.” The cycle begins again.

The seven stages of Neko Atsume addiction