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Rat-a-tat Cat
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Rat-a-tat Cat

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Product Awards:  
Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 1996

Ages Play Time Players
6+ 20 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Monty Stambler, Ann Stambler

Manufacturer(s): Gamewright

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  • WARNING: No Warnings

Product Description

Rats are high, cats are low... low-down and cool, that is! Put on your poker face, then draw, swap, and sneak a peek to get rid of rats and make way for the cats. The player with the lowest score wins.

Rat-a-Tat Cat is a fun card game that requires quick counting skills and keen timing. It teaches math concepts, like greater than and less than. As they learn the strategy for the game, kids will also begin to develop an intuitive sense of probability.

Product Awards

Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 1996

Product Information


  • 54 cards
  • rules (English, Spanish)
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.8 in 17 reviews

by Kai
Loved by generations of players
December 16, 2011

I was given this game for christmas when i was about 8 an instantly loved it. when my younger sister (5 years younger) started learning math she started to play with me and was instantly hooked. i babysat families in my neighbourhood for over a decade and have brought it along with me as. some kids even got disappointed if i forgot it. now i work with young children with special needs and i still use it as a wonderful fun tool to help kids learn basic math skills. its a game that has never disappointed and has served me greatly for years. i recommend it to everyone. kids dont even realise theyre learning.

by Sally
Fun for all
June 22, 2008

We recently took a trip to the beach with extended family. My almost 5 and 7 year old nieces brought this game along with many others. Most of the other games were never opened as 4 generations were addicted to Rat-a-tat Cat! Easy enough for the young ones and challenging enough for the adults, this is one of our all time favorites. I'm going to buy one for my math pull out groups at school. They will love it and not even know that it is reinforcing math skills.

Great win or lose
April 09, 2008

I bought this game for our library. I discovered it to be a great game and know it will be spending time in my own collection as well. It is a fun game and I enjoy it even when I don't do well. I really don't like to lose. The advantage of this game is that it is played in rounds so if you do badly one round you can hope to do better later. Indeed the game has will lure you in with the idea you will do better. When I first tested the game with my family it quickly became a favorite and we played it over and over again. The only problem with the game is that eventually luck does seem to disfavor a player and leaves them too far behind. Still, even people who lose badly seem willingly to play again. We play with two cards up style.

This game is a hit!
December 30, 2007

Easy to learn and very fun to play, this game is a winner in our household. We have played this game many times every day since receiving it and are recommending it to all of our friends young and old. Our whole family plays and our ages range from 5 - 70!

Good family game
November 28, 2007

My seven year old loves this game and it's fun for us too. The nice thing is that each round is fairly short, but you can play as many rounds as you want or as you have time for.

This is the best game!
November 26, 2007

My 6yo daughter is addicted to this game. She plays is with her daddy all the time.Even adults like rat a tat cat!! She carries it with her everywhere!

Kids absolutely loved this one
November 20, 2007

From the time my middle child was 6, she has LOVED this game. Once her younger brother was old enough, it was if there were no other games in the house. The game is easily tweaked for all age ranges (younger ones can have all cards up, while more advanced players can have all cards face down). Took it on camping trips and got all of the other kids hooked. They were always begging my daughter to bring it.

by Andy K.
Very Nice Kids Game
April 17, 2007

As far as playing a game which is not going to drain more of your brain, this is very nice. Both my 7 and 9 year old like this game and so do the parents as it teaches Math and Strategy. It is helping my 7 year old with addition at the end of each round. It is also teaching them to watch what others are doing and how it might effect their play. This game is simple but lots of fun.

Great game!
January 25, 2007

I bought this for my 6 year old for Christmas, but my 10 year old has taken it over. They ask to play it almost every day. It's easy for my younger daughter to understand but challenging enough for older kids too. It's also fun for adults. Highly recommended!

After the kids go to sleep we are playing it!
December 13, 2006

We bought this game for our 4, 5 and 6 year old kids and we are playing it at least once a day. Our 4.5 year old loves it although we have to help her a little while playing. 6 year old is doing just fine.

My husband and I love this game so when the kids go to bed we made up our more complicated version with 6 cards and we are playing it few times a night. There are so few games for small kids that parents also enjoy them, this is definitely number 1.

I also recommend:
2. Blokus,
3. Dancing eggs
4. Gulo Gulo

We are all having fun playing these games. Have fun!

Great introduction to probability, memory, and addition
December 07, 2006

Without knowing that they are learning, kids will dive into this game with abandon! We bought it for my kindergartener, but her younger brother quickly joined in. They have now been playing for four years and still love it. You can easily modify the rules to help the younger ones (have some face-up cards) OR to make it more difficult as they get older (play with more and more cards). Another great thing is that it is a card game so is ultra- portable. My daughter is in the YMCA Indian Princesses and brought this to the first campout. She was an instant hit and the rest of the girls beg her to bring it every time.


Awesome Game for Kids
September 12, 2006

I have been playing games for a number of years. My kids are young but just getting to the age where they can play games that actually I can enjoy as well. I'm very eager to discover games that fit my requirements of being fun and easy enough for them, yet not a total bore for me. For example "Candyland" and "Chutes and Ladders" do not fit the bill.

I'm thrilled to say that I have one great game so far that does meet those requirements. That is Rat-a-tat Cat. I play it with my wife and 6-year-old boy. He loves it and literally BEGS to play again and again. I love watching him have so much fun with it.

One thing this does for kids is gives them a sense of satisfaction even if they don't win. Games based completely on luck (such as those mentioned before) will either leave them happy for winning or throwing a fit because they didn't... Since they are complete chance it's like Dad randomly giving a piece of candy to only one of his kids. Sounds aweful doesn't it?

However, games like Rat-a-tat Cat require decision making. Even if they don't get the best score, they will see that they started out with so many points, and ended with quite a bit fewer (the object is to get the fewest points) and feel proud with the progress they made based on decisions THEY themselves made.

I hope to find more games that do that for my kids. Rat-a-tat Cat is an awesome game to introduce young kids to gaming in my opinion. I'm very glad I picked it up.

Wonderful game for the whole family.
June 29, 2006

My family loves this game. I originally purchased this for my 5yr old, but it has turned out to be a family favorite! The games are fast, around 10-15 mins, and can be played with 2 or more players. I like the way it encourages concentration, and memory skills. I have recommended this game to many friends, and my son has asked me to purchase it for his friends birthday gifts!

Daily Fun!
December 20, 2005
We've been playing this game daily since we picked it up a couple of weeks ago. Both kids (age 6 & 7) love this game and ask for it all the time. It's actually a fun game that all ages can enjoy and not get bored with easily as I like to play it as well. I do let the kids play the easy rules and we turn up the outer cards, but it still works fine. The best part is the kids can play the game together and don't argue too much. I strongly recommend picking this game up for anyone with young children.
A Favorite
December 29, 2004
Our Rat-a-tat Cat is getting "ratty" because it is so well loved! We play this game on a regular basis and find that it is great fun for a wide age range. The game is easy to learn, and the length of time it takes to play is totally adjustable. We play as many or few rounds as we can, depending on the situation. ("Please, Mom, just ONE round before bed...") A definate winner at our house!
Fun light game
October 13, 2004
Rat-a-Tat-Cat is a fun, light card game. It's a perfect "opener" or "filler" game. Adults and kids can both enjoy it, and kids have a fair chance of beating their elders! The rules say to use 4 cards, but you can vary the difficulty by using either 3 or 5+ cards instead.
The great Beaver Filler! (eh)
November 19, 2002

This is a very simple and fast card game, but, and that's the important thing, also EXTREMELY fun!

Each player is drawn 4 face-down cards. At the beginning of each round the players get to see 2 of those 4 cards (ONCE, and never again during the round). The aim of the game is to have the lowest sum possible in that 4 cards, thus 0 is a very good card and 9 an extremely bad 1. Then each player in turn draws a card from the deck and decides wether to exchange it with one of his card or to discard it. When a player thinks his 'hand' is good enough, he can knock on the table to indicate that the round is going to end. Then each player (except the knocking one) takes another turn and then scores are revealed.

You get to play a number of rounds equal to the number of players, or, if you want, a multiple of the number of players. When playing in 2 just play 4 rounds.

I found the game exceptional as a filler, as the memory element is not so taxing as it is in Mamma Mia!, but still, not knowing when the round is going to end is going to keep you on your toes.

NOTE: The game has also 3 special cards that are described on boardgamegeek. The description in boardgamegeek is almost an english translation of the rules. It only forgets to say a single thing. Once the cards are shown for the scoring phase, you have to substitute ANY special card any player may have with a newly-drawn (thus random) card. Basically, it's better to get rid of them quite soon, but it's still better to get rid of a 9. ;)

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Other Resources for Rat-a-tat Cat:

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