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Stray: Can You Pet The Cat?

In the short time since its release, "Stray" has been something of a revelation. The third-person adventure title developed by BlueTwelve Studio boasts an intriguing premise by putting the player in the fur of a stray cat in a cyberpunk environment. It has earned near-unanimous acclaim from critics for not just its adorable protagonist or originality, but because of its deeper themes regarding humanity and modern technology. "Stray" has also struck a chord with players, garnering enthusiastic user scores on Metacritic. On top of that, the game's critical success has equaled commercial success, with "Stray" racking up over 50,000 concurrent players on Steam in the days after release, shattering the previous record for concurrent players for an Annapurna Interactive game.

Given the game's effect on players, it will likely retain a place in gaming history. But, as with any game that involves adorable cats, the important question should always be this: Can you pet the cat, even if you're playing as a cat yourself?

You can SORT OF pet the cat!

Of course, any pet owner or cat lover who plays "Stray" is gonna immediately wonder if they can pet the cat. Unfortunately, the answer is mostly no. As noted by Alyse Stanley for The Washington Post, petting the adorable stray cat is not an option in "Stray." The player can, however, coax other sentient characters to stroke the precious backpack-wearing feline. As the titular stray cat, players can also snuggle up to other cute cats in the world.

The game seems to be creating a ton of opportunities for real-life cat owners to pet their own cats as well. According to an article by Shannon Connellan for Mashable, pressing the "meow" button has been known to attract the attention of actual cats in the vicinity of the game, mistakenly thinking that another of their kind is actually close by. Alyse Stanley likewise mentioned that her own cat — an orange cat named Cheeto — would meow back at the screen whenever she pressed the "meow" button on her gamepad, then would search the remainder of the residence.

So no, you can't quite pet the cat in "Stray." But you can touch noses and solicit pets as the cat! And if you have a cat yourself, it's likely they'll get close enough out of curiosity — which you can then use to your advantage for snuggle time.