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Neko Atsume game guide: How to collect all the cats!

Neko Atsume on iPhone with real cat sniffing it.
(Image credit: iMore)

Neko Atsume is a cat collector game. But, you don't get to pet or play with these little fur balls. All you can do is put out toys and food, and hope they grace your yard with their presence. So, what's the point in playing? I... don't really know. There is something addictive about figuring out which cats like which toys — and its always a wonderful surprise when you open the game and new cats are hanging out in your yard.

If you are new to Neko Atsume, or you're stuck trying to get one last rare cat or one last Momento, we've got a game guide that may help you out.

Expand your yard ASAP

(Image credit: iMore)

This is not an intensive iOS game, but your experience with it will be better if you have a good iPhone or iPad for gaming. At the minimum, your device needs to have iOS or iPadOS 9.0 or higher. Make sure you have a compatible device like the iPhone 13 or iPad Air 5

When you first start playing Neko Atsume, there are only five spots you can access. It is important to unlock the yard expansion so that you can increase that number to 10. The more spots you have, the more toys you can place. The more toys you place, the more cats you will attract. 

To earn the 140 gold fish needed for your yard expansion, you'll need to build up your goodies with as many gold-yielding toys as possible. There is no official list of toys that bring the most gold, but I've noticed that the following low-cost toys tend to yield higher silver and gold returns, depending on the cat (500 silver fish can be traded for 10 gold):

  • Zebra Grass Gadget (90 silver fish)
  • Green Cushion (100 silver fish)
  • Yellow Cushion (100 silver fish)
  • Thick Cooling pad (130 silver fish)
  • Nature Tent (170 silver fish)

Try to purchase these items early on in order to quickly generate as much gold as possible.

Different cats prefer different goodies, but with a well-rounded yard, you'll draw in the regulars without effort. Take a picture of them as you see them, so they are easier to identify in the future. Plus, your Catbook looks much better when each feline has a face.

Don't waste gold on expensive food, especially not at first. Frisky Bits, which costs 30 silver fish for a three-pack, generates more gold over time than the others. Stick with Frisky Bits and replenish your bowl every six hours.

Once you start focusing on collecting rare cats, you can experiment with fancier foods, but rare cats aren't picky eaters either, so don't squander expensive meals on them. It can sometimes be a way to entice them faster, but it's not a necessity.

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).