Much like cats and the internet, another feline phenomenon of the 21st century is the budding connection between gamers and cats.
It’s hard to say whether this was due to the internet cat craze but the fact remains: A lot of gamers seem to also have cats. Cats are often the most prevalent pets being discussed in gaming boards and forums. Memes of cats playing with controllers or swiping screens during play are abundant. (There is even a dedicated webcomic to a literal gamer cat!)
Why is this? Is there a deep psychological reason? A type of metaphysical connection between cats and gamer identify? Or maybe, it’s something a lot simpler and practical.
In this post, we’ll cover a little bit of each and how the unique and lovable nature of cats endears itself to the video game subculture.
#1. Cats are low maintenance.
Let’s start with something practical: cats are arguably more low-maintenance than dogs. A well-trained and well-treated cat doesn’t need walks outside. They use their litter box to near perfection. Their natural tendency towards self-grooming means bathtime is more of a unique occasion than a regular routine.
For a gamer, pets like that are a massive boon. It means more time to play and less time cleaning up. All the while, they still have something cute and fluffy to cuddle during their salty moments.
#2. A cat’s independent streak is something gamers relate to.
The idea that cats have a sass and independent personality of their own is something a lot of gamers can relate to. Sure it might lead to some frustrating moments of getting cats off the keyboard or playing with wires. But maybe to solve this dilemma, perhaps give them a fun cat toy they can occupy themselves with.
But ultimately, it reflects the kind of personality that characterizes gamers themselves. They don’t always fit in. They tend to be introverts (much like cats). Plus, while they can get along with others, they still maintain some degree of freedom outside other people’s influence.
#3. Cats help to further de-stress.
As hinted in #1, having a cat around helps manage stress, which is something that players can have a lot of even while they are playing. Sometimes a match can get too competitive or a puzzle gets too vexing.
With a cat around, gamers essentially get an additional dose of de-stressing that compliments the hobby they enjoy. They are also a big help for players who need some form of lighter, interpersonal interaction. Unlike foul-tempered opponents or teammates, cats don’t talk back or argue if you simply handle them right.
The seemingly unlikely connection between gaming and cat-ownership is starting to grow evident. It has reached a point that even game developers and programmers are part of the deal. There are also more than a handful of independent game studios who have cats as their office mascots.
Then again, why shouldn’t this be the case? Both cats and gamer culture share very strong common points of interest. Their low maintenance needs, independent streak and soothing presence are all wondrous compliments to the lifestyle of many players.