Cat Lady is a card game where you play as, you guessed it, cat ladies! During the game, you will be collecting cats, feeding cats, and making sure your cats are happy. You do this by selecting either a row or column of cards from a 3×3 grid of cards each turn. However, you cannot choose the row or column that was selected by the player before you. The grid of cards include cats, cat food, toys, and other cat-related items. The main way to score in the game is by collecting cats and feeding them. Just like in real life, these cats are picky and will only eat certain types of food. You must make sure you have the correct food to feed your cats by the end of the game or you will lose points for each unfed cat.
Besides feeding cats, you will also be collecting items to make your cats happy. These items include toys, costumes, and catnip. Each of these items scores points in a different way. For example, you lose points if you only have one catnip (I guess the cats are unhappy if there’s not enough catnip to go around), but you gain points for each fed cat you have if you get at least two catnip . The player with the most points at the end of the game wins and claims the title of the one true Cat Lady.
Player count: 2 to 4 players
Playing time: 30 minutes
Why Cat Lady is a peaceful game:
The theme of Cat Lady strikes me as playful and amusing. I find the idea of people competing to have the most cats and the happiest cats to be fun and silly. This brings a lightness to the game which sets the overall mood of the players. I also enjoy the thematic touches that are added to some of the cards. For example, there is one cat named Cow that you can feed any number of food to keep getting points (I think Cow eats a little too much).
I feel like the gameplay of Cat Lady complements the theme well. It is light and playful, not something to be taken seriously. Most turns you are getting good stuff, which feels satisfying. Occasionally, you will get an extra cat you may or may not be able to feed, but then there is the joy of trying to get that one last piece of food. In the games I’ve played, I’ve found the competition to be indirect. Players are focusing on what they need and not on messing other players up.
The artwork is also fun and wholesome. It is done in a simple, yet very charming style that I find calming to look at. I like how all of the cats have a light smile on their face. Moreover, many of the cats have adorable names such as Sir Cuddleface and Pablo Picatso.
Not so peaceful qualities:
There is just one type of card in the game that could lead to a little “take that.” The “spray bottle” card lets you block the next player from taking a certain row or column of cards. I haven’t found it to lead to aggressive games, but I wanted to point it out. Most players just use it to unblock a row or column of cards that they need.
Goodness of fit:
Cat Lady is a light complexity game that would be a great addition to any cat lover’s home. It’s an easy game to teach because thematically it makes sense: you get cats, you feed cats, and you play with cats. As a result, it works well for those new to hobby board games.
What is your favorite cat- or animal-themed tabletop game? Let me know in the comments below!
This post is part of my peaceful game series where I discuss tabletop games that I believe have a noteworthy amount of peaceful qualities. Click here to read my previous entry in this series: The Isle of Cats.