The saying goes if you want the best seat in the house, you’ll have to remove the cat. And now it seems if you want to use your smartphone, you’ll have to wait in line behind the cat too.
A new range of apps acts as a combination of cat toy and camera, allowing your moggy to take what are known as selfies while keeping them entertained for hours.
The apps work by showing moving lasers or bouncing spots when you place your smartphone on the floor. Satisfying their inbuilt hunting instincts, cats naturally try to catch the beam of light. And, when they do hit the spot, it acts as a shutter press and the phone takes your cat’s photo.
The snappily named Snapcat was the first such app to be launched onto the market. Developed last month as part of the EyeEm Photo Hack event in Germany, it uses a red dot imposed over a black background to catch your cat’s attention. When your feline’s paw touches it, the app automatically snaps an image, capturing your cat mid-pounce.
Cat lovers can then choose from a number of filters and effects from the popular photo-editing site Aviary, before sharing their moggy’s work on social networking sites including EyeEm, Facebook and Twitter.
With the slogan “Photos of Cats. By Cats,” Snapcat is available for Android phones and tablet.
But, unique as it may seem, Snapcat is not without competition. An Apple version of the concept has been released just this week. Called Cat Selfie, it has been developed especially for iPhones and iPads.
Costing just 69p to buy from the tech giant’s App Store, Cat Selfie uses a ‘flaming laser’ on the screen instead of a dot. The images your cat manages to snap are then stored in the iPhones Photo Roll so you can share them with your social networks.
Developers suggest changing the phone’s setting to optimum brightness to make the most of Cat Selfie, making sure your cat spots the moving laser.
The new apps have certainly led to amusement among tech forum users. One said: “That’s just what we need – technology that will make your narcissistic cat even more full of itself.” And another added: “Half of the internet is pictures of cats… now the balance has tipped if they can do selfies.”
But, the feedback on the Android app has been mixed so far, suggesting the concept may need a little more work. Some users say the app regularly crashes while others who have downloaded it add that the camera doesn’t always trigger, even when their cat hits the target, meaning the phone sometimes goes into sleep mode before their feline has a chance to take a self portrait.
Now, if our cats can just figure out how to post their images onto Facebook or Twitter after they have taken them, they probably won’t need us at all. Well, at least until their next feeding time.