“Neko Atsume” is a Japanese virtual-pet app in which players attract felines to their yard with cat treats, toys and furniture. Credit: Hit-Point Co., Ltd.

If you are someone who cannot resist cute cartoon kitties, you would do well to avoid “Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector,” an adorable game from Japan available for iOS and Android mobile devices. As for me, it’s too late; I’m hopeless addicted.

The game, which is really more a virtual-pet simulator, is simple. Using a currency of silver and gold fish, you purchase toys, furniture and cat food to attract neighborhood felines to your yard. Happy cat visitors leave you fish and mementos and the cycle continues as you buy more expensive items and cuisine and attract rare cats such as Mr. Meowgi and Joe DiMeowgio. And though the game is free, you can use real money as a shortcut to golden-fish wealth.

It’s a diverting time-waster, one that rewards going away from the app and coming back every few hours to make sure the cats have ample food and entertainment. And it’s becoming popular on social media with users posting screenshots from the app of their furry visitors.

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