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Max the Cat cooperative Board Game

Updated on August 23, 2017

Max the Cat is Hungry! Scurry, Climb or Fly for your Lives!

While blue jays sing in the trees, chipmunks scavenge for nuts and seeds, and mice do what mice do, a fat old cat named Max finds his way out the door of his house.

His owners have only so many treats to get him back inside, and Max is a quick treat-eater.

Can you distract Max long enough for the woodland creatures to get safely home?

Watch out-- Max is hungry!

This fun cooperative board game will help children understand about the natural relationships between cats and the small woodland creatures living in your backyard.

Photo Credit: This is a picture of my 14 year old playing Max the Cat board game.

Max, The Big Black Cat

Cooperative Cat Game

Max, the Big Black Cat, starts out on the porch. The little creatures start out on the stump.Roll the dice to see who will go.

If you roll a green dot one of the little creatures can go one space. If you roll a black dot, Max will go one space. If you roll two black dots, max will go two spaces and if you roll two green dots either one creature goes two spaces or two creatures go one space each.

Can you help each of the little creatures get back to their homes before Max gets them?

Note: If you notice that Max is getting too close you can call him back to the porch to offer him a treat. There ore only four treats to don't waste them.

Photo Credit: Max the Cat Game photographed by Evelyn Saenz

Roll the Dice to see how far Max and the Little Creatures will Go - Cat Game

Roll the Dice for the Max the Cat Cooperative Board Game by Family Pastimes
Roll the Dice for the Max the Cat Cooperative Board Game by Family Pastimes

Max is Hungry!

Max, the cat, is hungry. We just rolled a black dot which means that Max is on the move. One black dot indicates that Max moves one space. If you roll two black dots, however, Max will get to move two spaces.

The other little creatures can only move if green dots are rolled. If you roll a green dot and a black dot. Max moves one space and one of the little creatures gets to move one space.

If you roll two green dots, two little creatures move on space OR one little creature moves two spaces.

What happens if Max gets too close to one of the little creatures? Max is hungry so all you need do is feed him.

Call Max back to the porch by offering him one of four different treats including catfood, milk, cheese or catnip.

Max immediately moves onto the porch to wait until the dice are rolled again.

Photo Credit: Max the Cat Game photographed by Evelyn Saenz

"Come on back, Max!"

These are the words we use when calling Max back to the porch for a treat.

The Shortcuts!

On the board you will notice that there are three shortcuts. Each of these shortcuts can only be used by the little creature it is designed for.

The mouse can only use the mouse shortcut.

The bird can only use the bird shortcut.

The chipmunk can only use the chipmunk shortcut.

BUT!!! Max can use any or all of them.

As you move, beware of these shortcuts or Max may capture and eat your little creatures.

Max, the Cooperative Board Game - Max by Family Pastimes

The game of Max was developed by a family in Canada who loved to play board games. Young children have a difficult time losing but in this game there are no losers. Everyone works together to help the chipmunk, mouse and bird get to their homes before Max, the cat catches them. The inventors must have spent lots of time observing their cat's behavior in order to create this game.

A mixture of luck and strategy, this board game actually encourages all of the players to discuss each move in order to keep Max from catching the little creatures. The luck is in the roll of the dice but there is strategy to counteract that luck when deciding which animals to move, whether to move two animals or one as well as when to call Max back for a treat.

Family Pastimes Max (Cooperative Board Game)
Family Pastimes Max (Cooperative Board Game)
Max is NOT available in Toys R Us or most places that toys are sold so be sure to order this game from Amazon today.
Math the Board Game
Math the Board Game

Homeschooling with Max

Max the Cat is a Wonderful Homeschooling Resource!

You may wonder how we have used Max in a homeschool setting. We discovered Max one day in a library in Vermont. My daughter was about 5 years old at the time and the picture of the big fat cat was intriguing to her.

I read the directions and quickly realized that this is a game to introduce backyard habitat and the predictor - prey relationship between cats and the little creatures living there. It became a focus of our unit study which included studies of bluebirds, squirrels and mice.

As we learned more and more about each animal we would take out the game and discuss our new findings as we played. Max is a wonderful game for encouraging discussion.

Later on as my daughter began to write she began to invent stories about Max and the little creatures. I helped her to write these stories down and she illustrated them.

You can see that we have now addressed topics in science, reading, writing, spelling, and art but you might be surprised to find that there are lessons in Social Studies and math here as well.

How to Play Max

Learn how to play the Max Game. As you watch this video you will notice that this family also chose to upgrade to more realistic game playing pieces.

Max can be brought back to the porch by offering him treats.

Working cooperatively try to move the bird, chipmunk and mouse quickly back to their homes in the hollow tree.

Review of Max

Have you played Max?

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Max Game Playing Pieces - Replacement Pieces for the Max Board Game

The Max board game come with high quality flat cardboard playing pieces. They work fine and have nice pictures. We have played this game with so many children over the years and unfortunately some of the food pieces have gotten lost. This was when I discovered these delightful wooden playing pieces to replace the cardboard ones. They feel great, are more realistic and are perfect for replacing lost pieces for the Max Game.

Wooden Playing Pieces for the Max Game

Cat, sm black & white, wooden
Cat, sm black & white, wooden
Max, the cat, is hungry and looking for something to eat. Will he catch a bird, mouse or chipmunk?

Which do you prefer, competitive vs. cooperative games?

Competitive vs. Cooperative Games

Do you prefer competitive games or cooperative games? Which kind of game do you think helps your children to learn more? I have always preferred cooperative games such as Max because we can all learn together. As we play the game we talk about the nature of cats as well as of chipmunks, songbirds and mice. In the end there are no tears or bad feelings. Just a deeper knowledge of the backyard habitat and a desire to play again.

Max, the Cat,  is on the Move in the Board Game
Max, the Cat, is on the Move in the Board Game

Have you played Max with your children yet? - If you don't own Max yet you can buy it here...

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      It's always easier to learn if it is fun too.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Sounds like a good one! pinned here:

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 

      8 years ago

      Interesting lens

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a cute idea! I was actually drawn to this lens because my cat's name is Max.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It sounds like a good game. great lens!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      Cat to the Max looks like a really fun game for young kids. Great review. I had never heard of this game before.

    • NanLT profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      My youngest would love this game. It looks good fun.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      10 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      What an interesting game! I've never heard about Max the Cat, but I can see what a fun learning experience it would be for young children. I once had to teach my son about cats being natural predators for small creatures when he left the door unlatched on his hamster cage and our two cats found it! He was sad about losing his hamster, but understood, after a long walk and quiet discussion, that the cats weren't being mean and he couldn't 'blame' them; it was just part of their nature. I can see this game teaching understanding about the natural hunting instincts of a cat. It was also a good lesson in 'responsibility'.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      10 years ago

      This sounds like a whole lot of fun. I like the idea that everyone is a winner here and I guess it helps teach kids to work together as a team. Great lens.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image


      10 years ago

      My little guy would love this! It reminds me of a real life adventure that my children had. Last summer they and some of their neighborhood friends saved 3 baby squirrels from a cat and with my Hubby's help they were able to get them back to their mama. It was quite the homeschool experience. This game reminds me of that day! I'll have to check it out. I love the little tracks on the game board. So cute! :)

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      10 years ago

      This looks like a great game and a wonderful homeschooling resource!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      I just played this game with my 13 year old who still love to play. It is amazing to me how much fun this game is, even after all these years.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Sounds like a great game. You certainly know how to make learning fun. :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      what a fun game....if only I could convince them to let me also homeschool my grandchildren...Jasmine is a little old for this one.

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image


      10 years ago

      That sounds fun - I have never heard of that before - great lens - 5*'s for Max !!!


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