cat on table with 'Stray' logo

Annapurna Interactive/YouTube

PlayStation’s Stray is engrossing cats—as well as humans

There are dozens of videos and photos of cats engaging with the game.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 20, 2022   Updated on Jul 20, 2022, 1:14 pm CDT

Stray, the new PlayStation video game from Annapurna Interactive, has a premise catered just for the internet: You get to play as a literal cat. And while Stray sparked plenty of interest when it was first announced two years ago, it’s already turning into a cross-species hit.

Set in a cyberpunk world largely inhabited by robots, Stray has much to offer with its normal cat protagonist; while proficient as a cat, it’s not a cat enhanced by magical or technological means. Amid all of the trials and tribulations that the protagonist—based on a real cat named Murtaugh—has to go through are the many joys of being able to do regular cat things. You can knock things down, scratch a couch, rub against a robot or cat, and curl up anywhere for a little cat nap. Hell, there’s a button whose only function is to make the cat meow.

In the days leading up to and immediately after Stray’s release, the ability to play as a cat turned out to be a major draw.

But what might be an even better endorsement for Stray, apart from the rave reviews and videos of gameplay is that actual cats are really into Stray. They’re so into Stray that they’re even attempting to engage with the cat on players’ TV screens.

Some cats might just stare at the game.

Others are hitting and scratching their owners’ TVs to interact with the cats in Stray.

Art can even imitate life.

In the days leading up to the launch, the @CatsWatchStray Twitter account popped up, which retweets photos and videos of cats (and the occasional dog) completely engrossed in watching Stray or otherwise confused. And while it might end up resulting in some scratched TVs, it’s probably safe to say that Stray wasted no time in winning over its key feline demographic.

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*First Published: Jul 20, 2022, 1:13 pm CDT