Cats is a great all-rounder apart from anything else, and it caters to those who love simple gameplay, while also appealing to gamers who need lots of special features to keep them interested. Of course, the top prizes involved in the game are seriously impressive too, and while Cats doesn't have a progressive jackpot, it does offer some great winning potential to those lucky enough to hit the top combos.
The history of Cats slot
Cats started life like so many other hugely successful online slots did - as a staple of land-based casinos. Originally launched into US casinos, it was an instant hit and soon became a favourite of American gamblers, due to its attractive design, fun gameplay and huge winning potential. Like many other popular casino slots, it was turned into an online slots game to allow fans to play from the comfort of their own homes. The online version has all the exciting features and thrilling gameplay of the original, and, even better, as it's online, you can try it at many sites for free, to see whether it's for you or not.
Launching the Cats slots game
When you launch the game, the first thing you'll notice is its colourful appearance. It's got a fantastic, slightly retro feel to it that will delight fans of classic casino slots. While the slots game does have numerous sound effects, these only play during active gameplay, when the reels are spinning, so it's certainly not one of those games that bombards you with noise and flashing lights as soon as you open it.
This slots game has a fairly standard layout, and is a five-reel game. There are three active symbols per reel, meaning 15 symbols are visible at any given time. The background of the game is a stunning picture of the African savanna at, presumably, sunset. The symbols are set against a plain black background, which really helps them stand out. There are a total of 30 paylines in the game and these are clearly indicated by the coloured tabs on either side of the gaming screen. Unlike lots of other slots, you can't view the paylines by clicking on these tabs, however. If you want to see the paylines clearly highlighted, you will need to change the number of active paylines by using the paylines buttons at the bottom left of the screen. This lights up all the payline patterns in bright colours, making them easy to see.
The game controls are at the bottom of the screen and the help button can be located on the bottom right of the playing area.
Getting started with Cats slots game
The first thing you will need to do is set your preferred bet size. You will notice there is a maximum of 30 paylines, but you don't have to bet on all of these every spin. The minimum number of lines you can play with is just one, which is perfect for anyone wanting to dip their toe into the game before placing bigger bets. In order to cycle through the different payline options, simply click on the plus or minus buttons on either side of the payline display. This is located at the bottom left of the gaming screen. If you're starting with a bet line of 1, click the plus button to add more lines. The number of active paylines rises in varying increments. You can bet on the following number of lines: 1, 3, 5, 9, 15 or 30. As you can see, there are plenty of options here to satisfy everyone from brand new players wanting to place the smallest possible bets to high rollers looking for potentially huge payouts.
Decide how many lines you want to play, and then move on to the next option, which is the line bet. This is the amount you want to bet on each payline. For example, if you choose to play just one payline with a line bet of £2, your total bet will be £2. If you choose to play three lines with a line bet of £1, your total bet will be £3. As you will notice, your total bet amount is displayed at the bottom centre of the screen, alongside the line bet display. This makes it easy to keep an eye on how much you are betting with each spin. Cycle through the line bet sizes and paylines to find a total bet amount you are happy with and then you can get started. Once you're happy with your total bet, you can hit the spin button and start playing.
Playing Cats slots game
Once you have followed the instructions above and have set up your preferred bet size, you can start playing. It's simple to get going - just click on the spin button and watch the reels whir into motion.
Auto spin feature
This handy feature lets you set up a pre-determined number of spins, meaning you can sit back, watch the reels spin and the prizes (hopefully) pile in. If you want to use this feature instead of pressing the spin button each time you want to play, all you need to do is click on the auto spin button. You'll then be asked to choose how many spins you want to set up. Choose how many spins you want to trigger and hit the spin button. The game will continue to spin the reels until all your spins have been used up. If you change your mind partway through the auto spin feature, you can stop it at any time by clicking the stop button. If you trigger a bonus feature, the auto spin feature will stop automatically.
Cats sound effects
Cats is silent on launch, which will be good news to anyone who hates being assaulted with loud music and sound effects as soon as they open a game. The first sound effect you'll hear is when you hit spin and start up the game. The music is perhaps not what you'd expect from such a huge online slots game. It's fairly traditional casino slots machine music, and has an almost 80s feel to it. Whether this is a throwback to the game's casino roots, who knows, but it's sure to stir up feelings of nostalgia in anyone who has frequented casinos in the past. The electronic chiming music is short but sweet, and ends abruptly as the reels come to a halt. If the sound effects are not to your taste or you prefer to play in silence, you can turn off the sound by clicking on the speaker symbol at the bottom of the gaming screen.
As well as the retro slots music, you'll hear other sound effects as you play. Wins are heralded by a variety of jingles and sound effects, with bigger wins getting more dramatic music. You'll hear a lot of big cat roars as you play Cats, as these accompany wins in both the main game and the bonus game.
In case you haven't guessed already, the game is very heavy on big cats and these magnificent animals grace the highest paying symbols. You even hear them roaring in the game's sound effects when you land a winning combo. The game's standard symbols are as follows, in order from lowest to highest paying: Jack, Queen, King, Ace, cheetah, leopard, tiger, lion and panther. There are also several special symbols that will be covered shortly.
The symbols are as bright, colourful and appealing as the rest of the game. The playing card symbols are bright green, purple, blue and red and are simply presented on a dark background. The most attractive symbols, however, are the big cats themselves. The level of detail is incredible and the game's developers have done a great job of making these regal animals appear as striking and imposing as in real life. The big cats are all placed on a different coloured background, really making them stand out from the reels.
Double cat symbols
One of the most exciting features of Cats is the innovative split symbols. While some other online slots do feature split symbols, Cats was one of the earliest and remains one of the best-known for this feature. You will notice as you spin the reels that some of the big cat symbols appear slightly different. Instead of having a picture of a single tiger, lion, panther etc, they have two identical big cats, one in front of the other. These symbols can really help you rack up big wins, so keep an eye out for them and hope that you see a lot of them! Whenever you see one of these split symbols, it counts as two symbols, not just one. This means you only need a minimum of two matching symbols on an active payline to scoop a win. For example, if the first reel shows a black panther (regular symbol) and the second reel shows a split black panther symbol, and both of these symbols are on an active payline, you will scoop the relevant prize for three black panthers, despite only actually landing two matching symbols on an active payline.
Of course, when you begin to realise the possibilities this feature presents, things become even more exciting. If you take a look at the game's paytable, you will notice that payouts for the big cat symbols start at three symbols and go all the way up to 10. How can this be possible if there are only five reels? Easy - because you can land split symbols on all five reels! While this might not happen very often, it is certainly possible and should keep the game extra exciting for you. There are huge prizes possible if you land multiple matching big cat symbols across all the reels. For example, while three black panther symbols on an active payline scoops you 10 coins, landing 10 across the paylines will net you a cool 2,500 coins.
As already mentioned, the biggest payouts come as a result of combos involving multiple split symbols. The lowest prize in the game is provided by the Jack, Queen and King - three of each of these will land you five coins. All three of these lowest paying symbols have the same payouts. You can win a maximum of 100 coins if you're lucky enough to land five matching Jacks, Queens or Kings across an active payline. The Ace pays out slightly higher: 8, 20 or 200 coins for 3, 4 or 5 symbols respectively.
Next come the big cats. The cheetah, leopard and tiger are the lowest paying of the big animals, and will land you 10 coins if you hit three matching symbols on an active line. These symbols all pay out identically. You can, however, win up to 1,000 coins if you're lucky enough to land 10 cheetahs, leopards or tigers across the five reels on an active line. Of course, to achieve this, you would need to have five split symbol cheetahs, leopards or tigers. The next highest paying symbol is the stunning lion, although it again has a top payout of 1,000 coins. The top paying big cat symbol is the mighty black panther, which pays out 10 coins for 3 symbols, 30 coins for 4 symbols, and on and on until you get to a whopping 2,500 coins for 10 panthers across all five reels.
Cats special symbols
While the split symbols are probably the star attraction, Cats really spoils players with yet more special symbols to keep things exciting.
The paw print symbol is the game's scatter and triggers the free games feature, as well as landing you various payouts. You'll need four or more paw prints to land a prize - four paw prints anywhere across the reels will land you two times your total bet. Five paw prints anywhere across the reels will trigger the free spins feature - you'll get five thrilling free spins for this. Finally, landing six paw prints anywhere across the reels will see you rewarded with a generous 10 free spins. If you're wondering how it's possible to land six paw prints across five reels, you will be delighted to learn this is because the paw prints can also appear as split symbols. This gives you lots more chances to trigger the free spins feature and win some seriously huge payouts.
The game's other special symbol is the wild. This is easy to spot as it's the striking purple and gold Cats logo against a shiny metallic background. The wild symbol appears fairly regularly throughout the base game and in the free spins feature, meaning it has great winning potential. It substitutes all other game symbols except for the scatter or double scatter. Even better, it counts as two when it substitutes any of the big cat symbols! As you might imagine, this gives you a lot more chances to win, as it's effectively becoming two symbols every time it substitutes a big cat.
Free spins feature in Cats
As explained above, the free spins feature is triggered when you land five or more paw print symbols across the reels. These special scatter symbols do not need to appear on adjacent reels or along any active paylines or in any particular position. They can appear anywhere on the reels and you will be rewarded with a prize, providing you have four or more showing on the reels. To trigger five free spins, you will need to land five paw prints anywhere across the reels. The symbols can be any combination of standard or split symbol scatters, as the split symbols are worth two regular symbols.
If you trigger the free spins feature, the sound effects will soon let you know something exciting is happening, as will the roar of the big cats featured in the game. You'll be taken to another screen that looks slightly different to the base game, but the symbols are, in fact, all the same. The payouts are the same in the free game session as in the base game. You can hit the spin button if you want to hurry things along, or you can let the game run automatically if you want to sit back and enjoy the excitement for as long as possible.
While some players might like more special features in a slots game, the split symbol feature effectively doubles the number of potential symbols with every spin, meaning Cats is capable of delivering huge payouts from time to time. It's also a highly enjoyable game with a retro feel that is easy to pick up, and it will appeal to seasoned and novice gamers.
Which other IGT games are worth a look?
This firm is one of the world's biggest and best-loved game developers, so you're sure to find all kinds of games you love in the back catalogue. There are no other games exactly like Cats, but if you enjoy quality design and exciting gameplay, here are a few of the company's most popular online slots:
Cleopatra Mega Jackpots
From the moment you launch this game, it's clear it's a big deal. From the dramatic Egyptian movie-score music to the intricate and brightly coloured symbols, this game is a feast for the senses from the very start. One of the Mega Jackpots series of games - there are several, all offering genuinely life-changing sums of money as their top prizes. Cleopatra offers huge prize-winning potential even if you don't come close to landing the jackpot. There are three different ways in which you can scoop the game's top prize. As it's a progressive, the total amount changes every day, but it's frequently in the millions and tends to be won every few months. In order to land the world famous jackpot, you will need to do one of the following:
First way: you need to land five Mega Jackpots symbols along the centre payline, with any bet size and in the base game. This can happen on any spin at any time.
Second way: you need to land five Mega Jackpots symbols along the centre payline during any one of your free spins during the free spins feature. Again, this can happen during any spin at any time.
Third way: you can receive a second chance, behind-the-scenes drawing after a game. This feature is triggered at random and can happen at any bet level, although your odds of winning this feature do increase if you are betting larger amounts.
Siberian Storm Dual Play
This exciting slots game is a sequel to the much-loved Siberian Storm and sticks with the big cat theme of Cats. Admirers of big cats will surely love this thrilling and innovate game. Upon launching Siberian Storm Dual Play, you will immediately notice that there are two sets of reels rather than just one. One set of reels sits on top of the other, and both share one single centre reel with an incredible 10 symbols. Players can choose whether to bet on one set, or both sets of reels, with each spin. It's fun to switch between both options and see which you prefer if you're new to the game. However, as the big selling point of the game is the special dual reels, you really should try at least a few spins with both sets of reels activated. If you do decide to play with both sets, you will enjoy an incredible 2,880 ways to win, which, as you'll realise, is a mammoth number for a slots game by any developer. To get started, all you need to do is select your bet size, choose how you would like to play, and hit the spin button to start the reels. Wilds can appear in Siberian Storm Dual Play just like they do in the original version of the game. If you choose to play with both reel sets, you could wind up with an incredible 10 wilds on the special centre reel, as it's made up part of both sets.
If you're a fan of this firm’s innovative and exciting Multiway Xtra feature, you'll be delighted to discover that this feature also makes its way into Siberian Storm Dual Play. It's possible to build winning combinations left to right as usual, but also from right to left and even right in the middle of reels. All you need is to land three or more identical symbols on an active payline.
As if all that wasn't enough, you'll also be able to land free spins in this exciting game. These are triggered - whether you play one or two sets of reels - whenever you land five or more scatters in any position across the reels. Even better, the free spins feature can be retriggered, making it possible to build up some truly impressive prizes.
Like most popular slots, Crown of Egypt has five spinning reels. Unlike most games, however, it has an incredible 1,024 win ways, hundreds more than most slots. While there are plenty of Egyptian themed slots online these days, this one stands out because of its fantastic design and fun special features. Set against a backdrop of hieroglyphics, the game features numerous Egyptian themed symbols, along with the standard playing card symbols making up the lower paying icons.
You'll be hoping to land the Crown of Egypt wild symbol, as this replaces all other standard symbols in the game. It can appear on the second, third, fourth and fifth reels during any spin. The game also has a scatter, and this is what triggers the famous free spins feature. Two or more scatters on the middle reel will launch the free spins. You can win a maximum of 20 free spins in the base game, giving you plenty of chances to land a big prize. If you want to ramp up the excitement in the base game, choose to play with the Multiway Xtra feature activated. This doubles your stake, but gives you many, many more chances to win and certainly adds extra thrills to the game.
IGT stands for International Gaming Technology, and the mega brand is simply one of the most successful names in the online casino business. The company originally started out back in 1975, so is also one of the oldest names in the gaming industry. The firm was founded by a man named William Redd and was at first called A-1 Supply. A few years after it was founded, it changed its name to Sircoma. Fast-forward a few more years to 1981, and it moved closer to its current name, rebranding once more as International Gaming Technology. With headquarters in Las Vegas - in those days and still today one of the casino capitals of the world - International Gaming Technology made its name designing, manufacturing and supplying a large variety of popular slot machines to the Nevada casinos.
International Gaming Technology enjoyed huge success early on, thanks to its innovative video poker machines, which were a hit with casino goers. The firm went public in 1981 and the board soon purchased other gaming and technology brands to strengthen the company's market share. International Gaming Technology quickly became a market leader with its inventive rewards systems for players. Today, the company is credited by many casino industry insiders and experts as revolutionising the casino gaming industry over the years. Many of the firm's earlier innovations and strategies are still widespread within online and land-based casinos all over the globe.
International Gaming Technology was finally listed on NASDAQ in the 80s and it continued to launch a wide variety of innovative and exciting games and new technologies to cement its place at the top of the gaming market. The firm started producing microprocessor spinning reel games and it holds the distinction of developing and releasing the first ever progressive jackpot slots machine - a huge boost for the gaming industry. Offering a then unbelievable $1 million jackpot, the firm made headlines all over the world. Not long after this huge development, the company expanded its business into Australia to take advantage of the lucrative market down under. It then opened a regional office in Australia and soon became a heavy hitter in the local casino market.
After being listed on the NYSE in the early 1990s, International Gaming Technology launched IGT Europe to strengthen its foothold in the European market. As well as moving into Europe, the firm expanded into territories including South Africa and Argentina. During the rest of the 90s, the firm went from strength to strength, launching hit after hit and becoming the toast of the casino industry. The biggest success during this period was the creation and release of the huge Wheel of Fortune, still one of the all-time biggest and most successful slots ever. Originally launched in 1996, the game has gone through several incarnations and remains a huge part of the casino landscape over 20 years later. Despite the huge growth in the industry and the thousands and thousands of slots released before and since, Wheel of Fortune is still one of the most played slots of all time by casino goers.
In 1998, International Gaming Technology made two important acquisitions, buying Sodak Gaming and Barcrest Gaming. Barcrest in particular is very well known in the online gaming industry today, and produces the incredibly successful Rainbow Riches series of slots. These are some of the most played online games and they are available at countless casinos all over the world. Acquiring two such successful firms opened up yet more markets to the company and the firm continued to grow, buying out Acres Gaming in 2003. IGT then moved into the large Canadian market, establishing IGT Canada in the process to smooth its entry into the country.
The year of 2005 saw the company's 25th anniversary, and the firm continued to acquire rivals and other gaming companies as it moved into more new markets. Russia and Mexico were soon added to the list of countries the company was present in. In 2009, a new president was appointed in the form of Patty S Hart, and IGT released the brand new sbX tier one package.
In an industry as competitive as online gaming, the company has gone from strength to strength and has outlived - and certainly out-performed - many of its competitors. The firm celebrated a significant milestone in 2010 when it manufactured its two millionth machine. In recent years, it has continued to be a big hitter in both land-based casino and online gaming, and it was part of a huge merger in 2014, when it was acquired by Italian giant, Gtech. Gtech paid $6.4 billion, and IGT kept the name it has made so famous all over the world.
Other IGT games
The company is present in thousands of casinos all over the world - both land-based and online. Anyone who has visited more than a handful of casinos will no doubt be familiar with some of the company's biggest and most successful titles, including Sale of the Century, The Price is Right, Siberian Storm, The Dating Game, Hexbreaker, Wheel of Fortune, Cleopatra, White Orchid, Black Widow and, of course, Cats.
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|Features:||Wild Symbol Scatter Symbol Free Spins Medium volatility 5 Reels|
|Min Bet (all lines covered):||0.3|
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