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Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray, and I love it

If all our pets had a game of the year, this would be it

a photo of a cat looking at the screen as a person plays stray Photo: Polygon
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Internet trends come and go, but pet videos are here to stay.

And finally, video games have a chance to bask in the light of internet pet virality, thanks to Stray, a daring adventure where you explore the world as a ginger cat. The premise is oh so cute, and the feline protagonist has demonstrably captured the hearts of a lot of people in its intended human target audience. But Stray fans also want it to be clear that their furry companions are into the game as well. Social media has seen a small flood of people posting videos and photos of their cats and dogs reacting to Stray.

In Stray, you play as a cat looking for their family in a futuristic dystopia. The game has loads of cat-inspired features and gameplay: You can press a button on your PlayStation 5 controller to make your avatar meow. That sound and the cat graphics onscreen have piqued the interest of players’ real-life pets, leading to funny reaction videos of cats and dogs responding to gameplay. The videos all follow the same format, more or less, with clips of animals pawing at the screen, or just watching the game intently.

Cats aren’t the only pets having fun with the game. Many people are posting videos of their dogs’ excited reactions to Stray as well. (One dog almost breaks the television screen, it’s so excited.)

Whether it’s goofs on cats playing video games or earnest jokes from cat shelters, the game has just inspired some top-notch pets posts.

The pet interest speaks to the high-caliber work being produced by BlueTwelve Studio, if a game can be both about, and of interest to cats. The posting trend has the air of those TikTok trends where people play sounds to their pets to see how they react. It’s an absolutely endearing twist on gaming that shows us maybe we’ve been excluding our pets from our video games a little too long.

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