Cat & mouse: Play with shelter kittens online - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cat & mouse: Play with shelter kittens online

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By News 8's Richard Allyn

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Cat lovers now have a new way to frolic with felines, through cyberspace: a web site where users can control in real time robotic toys and  interact with real-life shelter cats at the Oregon Humane Society.

"The cats love it." said Barbara Baugnon, spokeswoman for the Oregon Humane Society. "you can tell they are really in to it!"

You simply log on, click on the "Let's Play" paw and once it's *your turn, get two minutes of kitty play time, using computer controls to bring the toys to life.

You can even manipulate the web cam to scan the entire high-tech "Kitten Colony" playroom.

"We had people waiting in line for three hours to play with the cats,' said Baugnon. "Our web site traffic doubled in those first three days we first went live from 5000 to 10,000 a day."

This technology, called the iPet Companion,  is the brainchild of Apriori Control. The Boise, Idaho-based company developed the software and generously donated it to the Oregon Humane Society.

"In addition to just being really cool and fun technology, it is really helping with our adoptions - it has just been terrific," said Baugnon.

The Oregon Humane Society says since this new technology was launched on its web site, its cat and kitten adoptions have edged up by 14 percent and donations have increased 37 percent.

For a link, just go to



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