Filling the ‘Pet Void’: There’s an app for that

Neko Atsume, which means “kitty collector” in Japanese, is all the fun of owning cats without any of the actual work. (Jason Pettis/Flickr)

Do you miss playing with your pets while you are away at school? Here are two mobile apps that’ll make being away from them a little more tolerable.

Neko Atsume – Free  

Neko Atsume, which means “kitty collector” in Japanese, is all the fun of owning cats without any of the actual work. Developed by Hit Point and available for iOS and Android with over 10 million downloads, you’ll soon realize why this game is so (adorably) addictive.

The main goal of this app is to try and take pictures of all the cats that can wander into your backyard. You can use game points to buy different toys and treats to attract them to your yard. In return, they leave you more points in the form of silver or gold fish so you can purchase even better products to draw them in.

There are currently 56 cats to collect, 20 of them are considered “rare” cats and are usually based off of fictional and non-fictional famous people - names such as Lady MeowMeow and Joe DiMeowgio. But don’t worry if you happen to collect them all; the app is constantly being updated with new cats to collect.

Neko Atsume is a cute, interactive app for people of all ages and a must-have for cat lovers.

Abyssrium - Free

While beautiful and mesmerizing, owning exotic fish can be an expensive and labor-intensive hobby. But thanks to Abyssrium, you can be front and center in your own personal aquarium. Created by IDLE idea factory and available for iOS and Android, this recently developed app is drawing in more and more players with its gorgeous graphics and calming atmosphere.

In Abyssrium, you start off as a freshly made “lonely coralite,” a single rock formation that only wishes to have more friends. By tapping on lonely coralite, you gain points or “vitality” to either buy fish or coral to expand your environment. There are many ways to gain more vitality points without having to use actual money, though just be prepared to sit through plenty of ads to get them.

The more things you purchase, the more vitality points you get, and the faster you can bigger and better items. From the smallest clownfish to blue whales, your aquarium will be thriving in no time. There are also hidden fish that can only be acquired through certain quests so make sure to keep an eye out for those.

Overall, Abyssrium is not only a visually gorgeous game, but also a relaxing app that’s all the fun of going to an aquarium without having to leave your dorm.

Anna Marini is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus at the Waterbury campus. She can be reached via email at