How to play Neko Atsume (JAPANESE VERSION)

Related posts:
Japanese guides: Neko Atsume walkthrough (This post lists all cats, profiles, and items cats play with)
English guides: Neko Atsume walkthrough / How to play Neko Atsume

10.30.2015 – There’s an English version now! (You don’t need this post anymore! Haha)

If you have any more questions for me, please feel free to leave a comment! I’ll do my best to help you. (Because of some comments I received, I should clarify that I’m in no way affiliated with the developer and only translated bits and pieces of the game!) Also, if you can, please take screencaps if you have a question with text or something! It’ll be easier for me to understand what you’re talking about.

How do I download Neko Atsume from the iOS App Store?

I was able to download Neko Atsume from the North American App Store. Be sure to search for the game in its Japanese title, ねこあつめ. Just in case, here’s the link to the game.

If the game isn’t available in your country’s App Store, then here is the link to the game from the Japanese App Store. Follow the tutorial from this post to download games from the Japanese App Store.

How do I download Neko Atsume for Android devices?

Neko Atsume is now available in the North American store of Google Play! You can download it here.

If it’s still not available in your region’s store, then here is the link to Neko Atsume in the Japanese store. Follow this guide to download Japanese games with a VPN.

You can still download the game’s APK file, but if you update your game with the updated APK file instead of legitimately updating it through the Google Play store, it will overwrite your game, and you will lose your cats.

How do I play Neko Atsume?

If you don’t know any Japanese, don’t fret! This game is super easy to get through even without knowing the language.

When you start the game, a tutorial will start. Just tap on the arrows to move forward. The game won’t let you purchase items freely until you finish the tutorial, so just keep tapping the arrows.

To get cats to come visit you, you need to leave out food and some toys for them to play. Tap the bowl of food to refill, or if you want to exchange your food for something more high quality, then go to “goods” and pick the food you want to replace with the existing one. Food will run out eventually, so check every few hours to refill the food. (If you extend your house, be sure to put food in the other half of your house, too.) You will want to check the app occasionally anyway to you can catch some cats to log into their profiles. If you miss a cat, they’ll show up as a silhouette in their profile until you’re able to see them in action.

The same goes for the toys you leave for cats to play; just click on “goods” and pick some items to leave out. Some items are large and can only be placed in the middle. (With version 1.3, they’ve updated the items with “S” and “L” icons to indicate which items are small and large respectively.)

For reference, here is a screencap of an extended garden (with the default theme) to show you where food bowls and items are located. The location of food bowls and items WILL change if you change your theme.


When cats visit, you can tap on them to view their profile. You can take pictures of them as well, which go into their album.

How often do I need to refill the food?

There are six different types of food with varying times to completely consume.

Value crisps (default): every eight hours
High quality crisps: every six hours
Canned cat food: every three hours
Canned bonito: every three hours (needs to be confirmed)
High quality canned tuna: every three hours
Sashimi: every three hours

Canned cat food, canned bonito, high quality canned tuna, and sashimi require gold sardines to purchase.

What does the menu say?

The layout of the menu has changed with version 1.3. “Cats” and “Etc” have sub-menus.




Notebook: Where cats’ profiles are stored
Album: Lists your “free” album and album belonging to all cats. More details below
Treasures: Where you can view all the treasures from cats who have visited frequently. You can also view them from the cats’ profiles under “notebook”

Shopping: Where you can buy new food and goods for your cats

Goods: Where you can view and leave out your purchased food and goods

Camera: Where you can take pictures of your cats or of the entire scenery (“さつえい” actually means “photography.”)

Garden: Click here to return to your garden

Sardines: Where you can view and collect the sardines cats have left you as thanks for the food and goods. When you have fish ready to be collected, there will be a little speech bubble at the bottom of your garden that you can tap as a shortcut.

Settings: Where you can adjust the volume of the background music and sound effects. As of version 1.2, when you’ve started the app, you can also change the volume by tapping on the cog in the bottom right-hand corner.

News: Has links to leave a review, to make a tweet about the game, and to other games from the same developer.  “あいことば” (the daily password) is located here on the board held by a cat.



Help: The entire tutorial (in Japanese) on how to play Neko Atsume
Info: The first link is where you enter the “あいことば” word under “news”. (More details about “あいことば” below.) The middle link is for you to send any problems/complaints to their support team. The third link has commonly asked questions (in Japanese) and will redirect you to your browser. (“つうしん” actually means “communication.”
Remodel: Where you can remodel your house/garden. You can purchase different models for quite a bit of gold sardines. Once you’ve purchased some, tap here to remodel. This option only appears after you’ve expanded your house. If you haven’t, this option appears as a paw print on the menu.

What does the cat’s profile say?


1. The name of the cat (You can also rename the cat by tapping on this box)
2. Personality
3. Attack strength
4. Number of times visited
5. Physical characteristic(s)
6. Top three played-with goods
7. Album (I go into detail later on the album’s functions)
8. Treasure (Tap on the treasure to see its description)

How do I change the names of cats?


Tap the box at the very top, enter in your desired name, and hit “決定”. To cancel, hit “やめる”.

Do the cats’ “fighting strength” mean anything?

I’m not 100% sure about this, but I heard that a stronger cat will push a weaker cat out of the way if it wants to play with the same item.

How do I get rare cats to visit my garden?

Many cats will be more likely to come if there are specific items out. Rare cats will only come when one or two specific items are out. You can view what I have here for more details, but here’s the list of rare cats and the items that attract them:

Tatejima-san: Baseball
Nagagutsu-san: Mr. Mouse
Prince-san: High quality cushion
Nabeneko-san: Earthen pot
Nekomata-san: Chirimen zabuton, kotatsu
Koikoi-san: Deluxe house
Yamaneko-san: Athletic Tower EX
Ekichou-san: Deluxe locamotive, here-and-there rail
Manzoku-san: Any food that isn’t value crisps
Osamurai-san: Sakura zabuton, high quality log
Amesho-san: High quality hammock
Bistro-san: Stove, glass flower vase
Maromayu-san: Mari ball
Sphinx-san: Pyramid tent
Cafe-san: Deluxe cafe

If you have higher quality food out that’s not the default food, more cats (and rare cats!) will be more likely to visit.

If you have a special item out but a rare cat hasn’t visited yet, just be patient!

How do I buy items?

When you collect enough sardines (the currency in this game), you can click on “shopping” in the menu. You can’t buy non-food items more than once, so those items will be marked with “買” so that you don’t have to worry about having doubles.

You can also exchange gold fish for normal fish or vice versa if you need to.

Where do I exchange normal sardines for gold sardines?


It’s also located in the shopping menu, after all the food items. Trade 10 gold sardines for 250 regular sardines, or trade 500 regular sardines for 10 gold sardines.

How do I buy sardines with real money?


When you open up the Shopping menu, you’ll see the option to buy sardines with real money at the top.


It’ll list the prices each bundle will cost. (Prices might vary in different countries.)

What are the names of the items?

Here is a table with the items and their names. (New items will be added to the end of the table because I didn’t think this through before making this table… and it takes me forever to edit this, haha…)

Version 1.4.5 items start from the deluxe locomotive.

Zabuton: a flat cushion used for sitting or kneeling on the floor

Neko chigura: A type of cat house made of straw. Click here for more info!

Goza: A type of straw mat typically seen on top of tatami

Chikuwa: Tube-shaped food made of fish paste. Commonly seen in dishes like oden and hot pot. Click here for more info!

Nodategasa: A type of Japanese parasol

Momiji: Japanese maple tree

Cat macaron: For anyone curious, it’s an actual merchandise.

Dorayaki: A Japanese confection that’s kind of like two pancakes filled with red beans. More info here.

Value crisps High quality crisps Canned cat food
Canned bonito High quality canned tuna Sashimi
Baseball Rubber ball (red) Rubber ball (yellow)
Rubber ball (blue) Ping pong ball Soccer ball
Mari ball Mochi-like ball Ball of yarn
Cake box Cardboard box (small) Cardboard box (medium)
Cardboard car Deluxe house Zabuton (purple)
Zabuton (yellow) Zabuton (green) Chirimen zabuton
Sakura zabuton Cushion (beige) Cushion (pink)
Cushion (brown) Cushion (yellow) Cushion (green)
Thick cooling mat Lumpy cushion Sheep cushion
Sakura mochi cushion Dome cushion Neko chigura
High quality cushion Beanbag Big cushion
Hammock (yellow) Hammock (peach) Hammock (goza)
High quality hammock Warm sock Pom pom sock
Two-tiered tower Three-tiered tower Athletic tower
Athletic tower EX Modern tower Tunnel (I-type)
Tunnel (U-type) Tunnel (T-type) 3D tunnel
Carp banner tunnel Chikuwa tunnel Holstein tunnel
Green foxtail Feather Furball
Mr. Mouse Mr. Dragonfly Knitted plush (mouse)
Knitted plush (fish) Knitted plush (rabbit) Automatic buzzer
Butterfly toy Here-and-there rail Kotatsu
Electric carpet (small) Electric carpet (large) Stove
Panel heater Fan heater Paper bag
Vinyl bag Horizontal scratching post Vertical scratching post
High quality log Fruit basket Earthen pot
Vase Plum vase Flowerpot
Bucket (blue) Bucket (red) Bucket (yellow)
07-04-watermelon-ball-neko-atsume 16-02-deluxe-cafe-neko-atsume
Fishbowl  Watermelon ball Deluxe cafe
24-02-very-cool-aluminum-plate-neko-atsume 24-03-natural-marble-plate-neko-atsume 24-04-large-cooling-mat-neko-atsume
Very cool aluminum plate  Natural marble plate Large cooling mat
33-02-natural-tent-neko-atsume 33-03-red-modern-tent-neko-atsume 33-04-blizzard-tent-neko-atsume
Natural tent  Red modern tent Blizzard tent
33-05-pyramid-tent-neko-atsume 35-02-nodategasa-neko-atsume 35-03-beach-parasol-neko-atsume
Pyramid tent Nodategasa Beach parasol
71-glass-flower-vase-neko-atsume 11-02-ball-of-yarn-neko-atsume 20-03-momiji-zabuton-neko-atsume
Glass flower vase Capsule ball Momiji zabuton
23-04-orange-cube-neko-atsume 23-05-navy-cube-neko-atsume 23-06-tiramisu-cube-neko-atsume
Orange cube Navy cube Tiramisu cube
23-07-dice-cube-neko-atsume 27-02-black-dome-cushion-neko-atsume 27-04-burr-cushion-neko-atsume
Dice cube Black dome cushion Burr cushion
39-03-vase-bureau-neko-atsume 46-02-silver-grass-neko-atsume 48-05-knitted-plush-mackerel-neko-atsume
Vase bureau Silver grass Knitted plush (mackerel)
56-02-fluffy-fallen-leaves-neko-atsume 72-tub-neko-atsume 73-cat-macaron-pink-neko-atsume
Fluffy fallen leaves Tub Cat macaron (pink)
74-cat-macaron-green-neko-atsume 75-cat-dorayaki-neko-atsume 16-03-deluxe-locomotive-neko-atsume
Cat macaron (green) Cat dorayaki Deluxe locamotive

How do I take/rearrange/delete pictures?

The layout and features of the album has kind of changed as of version 1.3!

→ The album’s new layout


When you tap on “album,” you’ll see this long list of cats, along with numbers. Each one is a specific cat’s album, showing how many images are in each album. You can keep a maximum of eighteen images in an album, so if you see “5/18,” it means you have five images out of the max of eighteen in that particular album.

The very first option is the “free” album, where you can keep a collection of all/any cat you wish. It can hold a maximum of 48 images.

→ How to take a picture of one cat

Tap on the camera in the menu. Tap on the desired cat, drag the viewfinder around if you want to adjust, and tap the camera icon to take the picture.


The image will go into that specific cat’s album automatically. You can tap on this button to move the image to another cat’s album or to the “free” album.

→ How to take a picture of your entire garden

If you want to take a picture of the entire garden without the little fish icons in the bottom, tap on the icon with the hills at the top. (Once you’ve expanded your house, there will be an icon with two hills, which will take a picture of the extended portion of your house, too.) Tap on the camera icon, and the picture will be saved directly to your phone. To go back to taking pictures of cats, click on the cat icon at the top next to the hills icon.

→ How to rearrange pictures in your albums

Tap once on your desired picture to select it. After that, you can drag the picture around to the spot you want to move it.

→ How to delete pictures

There are now two ways to delete pictures.

The old way: Tap once on your desired picture to select it. Hold it for a few seconds, and an option to delete will appear. Tap “はい” to confirm or “いいえ” to decline.


The new way: Tap once on your desired picture to select it. Tap “さくじょ” at the top to delete a picture. Tap “はい” to confirm or “いいえ” to decline.

→ How to move pictures to another album


Tap once on your desired picture to select it, and tap “いどう.” It will pull up the list of all the cat albums, including the “free” album. Choose the album where you want to move your picture.

→ How to make a picture the default picture for a cat’s profile

Tap once on your desired photo to select it. Tap it once again to see “best shot” labeled on the photo. The image with the label “best shot” will be used on that cat’s profile.

→ How to add additional pages to an album


When viewing your album, tap this icon to add additional pages.


It will tell you that it will cost ten gold sardines to add an additional page. Tap “はい” to confirm or “いええ” to cancel.

Note that you have a max of eight pages in all cat albums and sixteen pages for the “free” album.

→ How to zoom in and out


Pinch two corners of the viewfinder to zoom in and out of the photo. Take the picture as usual.

How do I get regular/gold sardines?

Cats who are done leeching off you will give you fish as thanks. Most will give you regular fish, but sometimes they’re not stingy and will give you gold ones! I’m not sure what determines the amount of fish they give you, but I think the longer they stay, the more they give (as is the case with Manzoku-san, who will leave immediately once you refill the food, but he’ll give you 20-30 regular fish if you let him have his fill). Rarer cats usually will give you more fish than regular cats, too.

You can also purchase gold sardines with “real life” money, which can be found at the top after you’ve tapped on “shopping”.

Sometimes you can get a few extra gold fish from “あいことば” as stated below as well.

If you’re in a hurry to get lots of sardines, Manzoku-san and Koikoi-san tend to give more sardines and are easier to attract than other rare cats.

The screen faded to black, and a cat walked across the screen. What’s happening?

When a cat has visited several times, there is a chance that it will give you a treasure. These treasures will be added to a cat’s profile, along with a small description.

When the cat walks across your screen, it will wait in the middle. Tap it to receive the treasure, and your game will resume.

I believe the number of times a cat must visit before you receive a treasure is random because I’ve seen varying numbers being reported.

What do “treasures” do?

Nothing really… They’re proof that you’ve become friends with that cat! I put “treasure” in quotes because it’s probably treasures to cats but not to us… Like a cicada shell…

Anyway, it’s just something to look forward to if you want to complete every cats’ profile.

How do I expand my garden?


When you tap on “shopping,” scroll all the way to the end to find this preview that costs… 180 gold sardines! It’s expensive, but it will expand your garden/house so that you can set out more items for more cats to visit. Remember to set out food on both sides of your garden!

If you’re having trouble getting gold sardines but don’t want to resort using real life money, you can exchange 500 regular sardines for 10 gold sardines under “shopping” or enter the daily “あいことば” like I stated below and pray that you can get some gold fish. It’ll take a few days to get to 180 gold sardines, but it’ll happen!

Also, you can only expand your house once.

How to I remodel my garden?

You have to expand your garden first before themes are unlocked. After you’ve expanded your garden, the paw print located on the bottom left-hand corner of your menu will change into an icon with a house, labeled as “もようがえ.”

Remodeling is expensive and will cost 280 gold sardines for each remodel, but you will receive a coupon (right after expanding your garden) for half off of your first remodel. Once you’ve purchased a model, you can switch themes any time by going to “もようがえ.”

A translation of the themes in the order they’re listed:
– Default
– Pond and alcove
– Wood deck
– Modern style

Note that each time you change your theme, your items will go back into your inventory, as the locations to place items change with each theme. Your food is safe, though, in case you’re using expensive food!

What is “あいことば”?


“あいことば” means password. If you tap on “news” on the menu, you’ll see a cat with a sign that says “今日のあいことば” (today’s password). By entering the daily password, you can get some free fish! You can do this once daily as the password changes everyday. (I think it changes at midnight JST). The amount and type of fish vary daily, and sometimes you can even get both regular and gold fish at once.

I’ve been told that iOS and Android versions of the game have different ways of getting the daily fish from the password, so I’m going to list the different methods! These methods are for version 1.3.

→ あいことば for iOS devices

Simply tap on the board with the あいことば. It will automatically redirect you to “つうしん.”


Tap on the first option (“あいことば入力”), and you will get your daily fish, with no need to type anything in.

→ あいことば for Android devices

For Android users, the password is published daily on reddit here. There’s also a IFTTT recipe that can send you the password to your phone using Pushbullet. Thanks Phermaportus for telling me about this!

I know some people were looking forward to practicing writing Japanese characters, so I’ve left the original ways to get the password below.

Remember the word listed on the board labeled “今日のあいことば.” Go back to the menu and tap “つうしん” (the icon to the right of “news”).


Tap on the top link to enter the password.


Type in the password. Tap “決定” to confirm or “やめる” to cancel. (If anyone is curious, this word is one of the 36 seasonal terms that means “clear and bright” and starts around the beginning of April. Bringing back nightmares from writing business letters in Japanese…)


After confirming, you’ll get some free fish!

The password is in Japanese, so you’ll need a Japanese keyboard to input the word or need to be able to copy/paste the word from elsewhere.

→ What if I don’t know Japanese, or what if I don’t have a Japanese keyboard installed?

You can use Google Translate! There are two ways you can use the Google Translate app: by handwriting characters via the scribble option or by using the camera/OCR option.

→  Using the scribble option with Google Translate 

This works on both the mobile and app versions of Google Translate!


Tap here to switch from keyboard input to handwritten input.


Handwrite the characters and hope that Google Translate won’t mistake the characters for another word. (Sorry, my penmanship on touch screens is so atrocious!) You can then copy the word from here and paste it back into Neko Atsume.

→  Using the camera option with Google Translate 

The Google Translate app now has an OCR function! I still prefer the scribble option over the camera/OCR option because the camera option has failed me too many times.


First, take a screencap of your Neko Atsume game with the daily password.


Tap here to use the camera/OCR function.


Make sure you have the translation set to “Japanese – English” and tap “import” to choose your recent screencap.


Highlight (by swiping with your finger) the daily password to get a read of the characters and its translation. You can then copy the characters and paste it back into your game.

But as you can see here, the app failed to read the word… I had seen some people mention using Google Translate’s camera app, so I thought I should add it here as well in case anyone is having trouble with the scribble option.

There’s a comment below that suggests using a separate OCR app for Android devices, so please check it out if the Google Translate isn’t working for you!

What’s this list that appears after entering the daily password?


A new feature with version 1.3, the daily password now comes with a stamp card! When you’ve filled in five passwords, you’ll get a present! I don’t know if the present will change each time, but I got canned cat food for my first present.

If you miss a day, your stamp card won’t reset! You will continue to receive stamps from where you left off.

Is there a way to stop Manzoku-san from eating my expensive food?

Yes! If you’ve expanded your house, you can place your expensive food in the left half of your house. The lazy bastard won’t walk all the way inside the house, so your food is safe there. (I’ve heard he can still appear in the left half of the house, but only with the big cushion.)

Just make sure that your expensive food is located on the half of your garden with the food bowl located toward the top of the screen. For example, with the default theme of your garden, you would need to put your expensive food on the left half. With the pond and alcove theme, you would need to put your expensive food on the right half of your garden.

Thanks to everyone who gave me a heads-up about this tip!

My garden has absolutely no cats, or cats won’t visit the other side of my garden. What’s wrong?

The only thing that will keep cats from visiting is the lack of food. Check your game occasionally to make sure your food bowls aren’t empty. If you’ve expanded your garden/house, don’t forget to put food in BOTH halves.

Once you’ve refilled your food bowls, cats won’t visit immediately. Leave your game alone for maybe a few minutes and check again.

If you see a message that pops up on your new half of the house (which Google Translate translates as “rice is not grounded”), it means you didn’t put food out!

If I leave my app open for long periods of time, will cats still visit?

No. You need to either leave your game idle or force-close your game. Check back once in a while to check to see if you’ve gotten any new cats. It seems like this game was designed to not require a lot of attention, so constantly checking it every other minute won’t reflect any big changes.


What’s this cat doing, sitting on my menu?

He’s just advertising for other apps!


If you tap on the cat, it’ll say, “Do you want to see the flyer (cat)-san is holding?” Tap “はい” to see a link to another app or tap “いいえ” to decline. The cat doesn’t always appear on top of your menu, and sometimes the link to another app won’t generate, so don’t worry if you don’t see an ad.

Can you transfer data between iOS and Android?

As of right now, no.

But I’ve been able to save my game data by backing up my phone to my computer (and I have iOS). I’ve wiped my phone to factory setting several times (because I abuse my phone a lot, haha), and I’ve had no problems with Neko Atsume after restoring a backup I’ve saved. I’m assuming the same method will work for Android.

What does the support ID do?


If you tap on Settings, you’ll see where to adjust the volume of the BGM and sound effects. Underneath it is a support ID.

This is used when you are sending an inquiry to the developers about any problems with the game. It’ll ask you to leave your support ID so they can communicate with you.

If you tap on your support ID, it’ll explain this in Japanese.

Can my cats get fleas?

The first time I got this question, I thought it was a troll and deleted the question. Surprisingly, this question has been asked several times after that, and it has even been Googled several times, too!

The answer is NO.

On the same note, just because the cats have cute little buttholes drawn, doesn’t mean they’ll poop all over your garden. It’s just not part of this game, haha.

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3 Responses to How to play Neko Atsume (JAPANESE VERSION)

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