Neko Atsume - What the heck is this pig on my deck?
If you updated Neko Atsume today to get your hands on the new rare cats, you surely noticed the little pig sitting calmly on your deck.
Isn't it a cutie?
This little guy isn't a new animal companion to keep your cats company, but he does have his use... at least in the world of Neko Atsume.
The pig is known as a katori buta in Japanese, which in English translates to "mosquito pig". It's a common Japanese household item that has a special use: killing mosquitos.
Japanese-style houses often keep their doors and windows open during the summer, and mosquitos can be a real issue just like anywhere else. The ceramic katori buta helps deal with these pests via a special type of coiled incense you place inside the pig and burn to kill nearby mosquitos.
Neko Atsume is developed by a Japanese studio, which is why we see things like the distinctly-Eastern temari ball goodie item and the temporary katori buta for the summer. It's a cute cross-cultural addition to the game and makes the heat outside seem to make its way into the game.
You can get katori butas even if you're outside Japan via retailers like Amazon and most of them are cute as buttons, but their prices really vary. For instance this white glazed cherry blossom print pig and clover print sitting pig are about $60 while this miniature black pig is only $25.
So in case you forgot outdoors is swarming with mosquitos in the summer while you're comfy inside with your phone and virtual cats, Neko Atsume's katori buta is here to remind you they're an irritating issue during the hotter months!
The katori buta in Neko Atsume does not have any bearing on your gameplay, but it is a welcome seasonal addition that not only adds to your cultural awareness but makes it feel more like summer while you're pushing along with your cat collection.
(If you're trying to get the new rare cat Bengal Jack, why don't you check out my short guide on luring in this swashbuckling kitty?)