iPads are not just for humans — the Regina Humane Society is utilizing tech toys to help its sheltered cats tap into their kitty instincts.
The Regina Humane Society launched its iPads for Cats program in late 2016.
"It's a new program for us, but it's certainly not a new program for cats," said Lisa Koch, executive director of the Regina Humane Society.
"Owned cats around the world have apps that they play with on their owners [iPads], and it's something that we've adopted here at the Humane Society for cats who don't have families to make the environment that they're living in more stimulating for them mentally."
There are several interactive play programs specifically designed for cats. There are programs that have fish, insects or mice that move, make sounds, and disappear while the cat tries to play with it and capture its prey.
"Cats love to hunt and stalk things, and what these programs do is they give the cats the opportunity to do that on the iPads," Koch said.
'A shelter is not a home, but we try our very, very best to make it as much like a home as possible.'
- Lisa Koch, executive director of the Regina Humane Society
Koch said these programs are meant to keep cats active and stimulate them mentally. It also helps cats to interact with other cats, since many cats play at once.
Like any interactive game for humans, the cat games change to become more complicated as the cat conquers different levels of the game.
Koch said the shelter is always looking for volunteers, and this is just one more way people can get involved.
Jesse Livingstone had his first day volunteering, and helped a cat to play with the iPad program.
"They always stare at it super intensely, it's really cute," he said.
Cats in need of shelter
Koch said the organization received 550 more cats in 2016 than previous years — for a total of 2,916.
There are approximately 120 cats in shelter with the Regina Humane Society at its various satellite locations and adoption centres, or in foster care.
"A shelter is not a home, but we try our very, very best to make it as much like a home as possible," said Koch.
"This is just another way, another tool in our toolbox that allows us to keep our animals healthy and happy while they're awaiting their special someone who's going to take them home forever."