Cats on the internet are so yesteryear.

They had their moment on the interwebs with their bow tie mustaches, piano-playing skills, swatting paws and the 50% of Instagram storage space that they occupy. It’s over now.

But not really.

iPet Companion introduces a new way to try make cats on the internet fun for everyone with their interactive web app. Although iPet Companion was released back in 2011, people were a little too caught up in blogs about cats that look like Hitler to notice. As the web runs short of new ideas for cat Tumblrs, now is the time for this kitty to pounce.

ipetiPC allows people to control cat toys in various shelters in real time. By clicking and holding one of the toy buttons, a machine moves the toy around and attracts a cat’s attention. The cat begins to play with the toy and the user feels a sense of instant gratification. Or, in my case, the user pisses off his wife’s cats that he ignores.

The concept is pretty novel and has tons of potential. Imagine how much money pet lovers would shell out to feed an animal or control a robotic hand that pet the animal. Properly monetizing this idea could help sustain shelters for years to come.

The app has a long way to go to transition out the novelty phase, though. The interface is dated. The controls are difficult to use. The user cannot click and drag the viewport to move the camera around. Rather, it is only possible to click the various arrows to redirect the camera.

By the time I figured out how to use the controls, the cat lost interest and decided to stare out the window rather than play with the toys I was controlling (as seen in the top picture). Shortly thereafter, I was kicked out of the room so the next person in the queue could have a turn.

Currently, iPet Companion is available in twelve shelters with three more on the way. For more information on how to use iPC, see their How It Works page.

(h/t to Kiffin Smith for introducing us to iPet Companion)