There’s nothing cuter than watching your cat chase a laser light, but do you know why they do this? Read on to find out!
Cats are peculiar creatures. They’ll refuse to play with custom-made toys but will happily spend hours chasing a laser pointer. For something so small and simple, the red dot surely keeps them entertained!
If you have been wondering, “why do cats like lasers?” And if they are bad for them, you’ve come to the right place. Lasers are great toys for cats if used correctly, keeping a few things in mind
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The Allure of the Laser Point
Cats are natural predators. They have an innate urge to hunt and are likely to chase anything that moves. This is why you find them staring at small bugs crawling on the floor before making their move. Sometimes, pet owners may receive presents from their cats, such as lizards, birds, and even bunnies!
The motion of a laser pointer can be very stimulating for them. They love to hunt and play with prey. The light from a laser pointer mimics the movement of insects or other small animals that cats would naturally pursue in the wild.
How Cats Perceive Lasers
The laser dot catches a cat’s attention because it is simply appealing. Cats are naturally curious, and a dot moving around on the floor or wall is certainly intriguing.
A cat’s eyes also significantly affect how it perceives the laser dot. Its eyes are very much like human eyes, except they have more rods than cones. This means cats can see better in dim light conditions than humans, allowing them to pick up even the slightest movements.
The moment you turn on a laser pointer, and it catches their attention, their eyes become fixed on the red dot. They will keep staring at it until you turn off the laser pointer or move it away from their view.
Are Laser Pointers Bad for Them?
Are laser pointers good or bad for cats? Well, the answer is both yes and no.
The key to responsibly using a laser pointer is knowing how to appease an animal’s hunting instinct while keeping them calm. Here are some tips for having a safe and fun experience with your cat around the laser:
Be Mindful of Where You Direct Laser Pointers
As a cat owner, you probably have noticed that your furry feline enjoys jumping onto things. Keep the laser dot pointed at a lower level for your and your cat’s protection so the cat doesn’t have to jump or climb while chasing it.
Don’t Shine the Light Directly in Your Cat’s Eyes
Even if you’re playing with a toy laser, never shine it directly at your cat (or yourself!). If the beam is too close to either of your eyes for more than a second or two, it could cause vision problems or eye injuries.
Don’t Overwork Them
While it’s fun pretending the tiny laser dot are prey animals for your cat to chase, don’t overdo it. Let your cat rest between play sessions to avoid exhaustion and injury.
Use Other Toys
While laser pointers are good for a cat’s mental stimulation, don’t rely on them as the only toy for your cat. They’ll quickly grow frustrated with it if it’s the only toy available.
To make playtime fun, you can introduce catnip toys or wands that your cat can chase. You can also get interactive toys that keep its attention longer than a laser pointer. Some examples include fishing pole toys and bird toys that make noise when batted around.
How To Introduce Laser Play Time Into Your Cat’s Routine
If your cat is not accustomed to playing with laser pointers, you should introduce the toy gradually. It is best to start with short play sessions so it does not become overly tired or sore.
Once your cat has become accustomed to the laser pointer, you can increase the length of playtime. You should ensure the area where it chases lasers is safe and free from obstacles that could cause injuries.
How Can Laser Pointers Benefit Cats?
Laser pointers are a great way to keep cats occupied and entertained. They can help you bond with your pet, provide mental stimulation and even encourage them to exercise more often.
House cats often lead a sedentary lifestyle and can develop several health issues consequently.
Laser pointers can easily encourage your cat to move around more often. They can also be used in combination with toys or other interactive products that require cats to hunt, stalk, and pounce on their prey. They can also be used as a way to express affection for your pet in a way that feels natural and fun.
Using a Laser Pointer With Your Cat
Using a laser pointer with your cat can be an exciting experience for you and your feline friend. However, you can optimize playtime by exercising caution and following simple tips.
- Begin by directing the laser pointer at a spot about 3 feet away from your cat.
- Use small, quick movements to draw its attention. Imagine a mouse running about the floor. It might move in a straight line, zigzag back and forth, or even run into the corner. These kinds of laser pointer movements tend to attract your pet’s attention more quickly.
- When your cat moves toward the light beam, move it again a few feet in another direction.
Let your cat catch the laser dot occasionally, as this is a great way to build confidence when playing with the laser pointer.
What if My Cat Doesn’t Like Laser Pointers?
If your cat is not interested in playing, try moving the dot closer to it using more dramatic movements. Some cats are more curious than others and may need extra encouragement before joining in on the fun.
If your furry feline is still not interested, consider investing in other electronic and mentally stimulating toys for them. For example, some enjoy playing with laser pointers, while others prefer to chase after a ball or toy mouse.
Laser pointers make for an excellent toy for pet cats if used correctly. They are not only entertaining, but they also help exercise your cat’s mind and body.
Keep the tips mentioned above in mind to avoid causing your pet an injury or overdoing it with laser playtime. We hope you found this article helpful.