In the past two years, nearly 100,000 cat lovers from 120 countries have played with the cats in the Oregon Humane Society’s (OHS) robotic cat playroom.
Did they hop on a plane for their yearly fix of feline fun? Nope, cat fans from all over the world can sit at home and use their computers to control the whiz-bang fuzzy tails and spinning gew-gaws that engage the cats in a glass-walled room at the OHS shelter in north Portland. Of course, cats being cats, they only play when they are in the mood.
One word of caution: The robotic cat playroom can be addictive. The average interactive time per viewer is 15 minutes and 85% of people who visit the site, return to play again. But the playroom is more than just frivolous fun for humans, it also serves a valuable purpose for the shelter: It helps socialize the cats and reduce boredom. And it has increased cat adoptions at the OHS by 16%.