There are way too many cats and kittens languishing in shelters all over the United States. Some are adopted. Many aren't.
What if you could play with those kittens, relieve their boredom, and improve their chances of getting adopted -- without ever leaving home?
A program called iPet Companion does exactly that!
With a click of the mouse, you can sit at your computer and play with adorable kittens at several shelters nationwide, including the Humane Society of North Pinellas.
Director of Development at the Humane Society of North Pinellas, Twila Cole, showed us how it works.
If the program is busy, you queue up and wait your turn. Then with a click of the paw, you get two minutes of playtime, manipulating three separate toys to tempt tiny paws.
Cole says iPet Companion is a huge hit, and has definitely led to more adoptions.
"A man will come in with his telephone and say my wife, daughter, girlfriend sent me a picture of this cat, and I'm supposed to adopt it," said Cole.
Even if that particular cat is gone, or isn't a fit, they'll find one that is.
The man who invented iPet Companion says he's not surprised by its success.
"It's a connection that technology has been able to do in a way that has never been done before," explained Scott Harris.
He says the technology was actually something his company invented for business and industry, but when they tried it at their local humane society in Idaho, it was an immediate hit.
"Within 45 minutes we had people in England playing with kittens available for adoption in Idaho," added Harris.
Since coming on line in 2012, more than two million cat lovers from 170 countries have played with kittens thousands of miles away, including those at The Humane Society of North Pinellas. Cole says their list reads like a world atlas, "Zimbabwe. Australia. Iceland. Romania. We have had reports from 93 countries around the world that have logged in and played with our cats."
Most importantly, playing with kittens often turns into taking one home.
"It's all about finding homes for our pets, and that's what it does," Cole told FOX 13.
Right now, there are 13 shelters in the country using the iPet companion, including one in Jacksonville, where kids in an isolation ward at a hospital are able to interact with kittens at their local humane society.
Cole says they’d love to that with one of the children’s hospitals in Tampa Bay.
Click here to play with the kittens at The Humane Society of North Pinellas.
Click here to learn more about iPet Companion.