Next time you see someone playing games on an iPad, it may be a dog or a cat. Animal game apps are the hottest new thing for tablet computers, and developers claim these games entertain and challenge pets physically and mentally. They can even entertain pets when they’re home alone. 

  • For example, You versus Cat, which is being called “the first dual-species game." You sit at one end of your iPad, trying to score a goal by flicking a ball on the screen while you cat tries to deflect your shots from the other side. So far, the score is humans, 20 million points – cats, 30 million. And this app is free. 

  • There’s also Paint for Cats. The $2 app allows a cat to chase a mouse across the screen and every time they jump, or swipe their paw, it leaves a swoosh, or paw print and gradually creates a multicolored graphic that can be printed out and framed. 

So what about dogs? Experts say that dogs tend to be less interested in onscreen movement, and more interested in sounds. 

  • So, there’s iSqueek. For $2, you can turn your phone or tablet into a squeaky toy where different balls and toys appear onscreen. And when you press the picture, it makes a noise. Trainers have even taught dogs to nose the pictures themselves by slathering the screen with peanut butter.  

  • There’s also Dog Teaser SoundBox. When you shake your phone or tap a button, the app emits sounds to get your dog’s attention, including jangling keys, squeaky balloons, and meowing cats. And it’s free. 

And for dogs, cats and horses: There’s Pet Acoustics, which plays mellow music designed to be soothing to animals and can help dogs relax so they can sleep. The only problem is, now we have to share our iPads with our kids AND our pets.