If you search the internet for toys for your cat, you will quickly find a cat laser pointer in an overview of cat toys. Many pet stores, department stores, and others have cat laser pointers for sale. On the internet, you will also find many videos and photos of cats playing with a laser pointer. But what are the pros and cons of a cat laser pointer?
The laser beam can damage the eyes, so you and your cat should not look directly at the beam. But laser toys can be beneficial, especially for indoor cats. With the laser pointer, your cat gets great physical exercise, excellent mental stimulation, and another way to play.
In this post, you can read more about a laser pointer, why cats like lasers, and the pros and cons of a cat laser pointer. At the end of this post, you can read some safety tips about playing with a cat laser pointer, and last, I explain how you can find and buy safety cat laser pointers.
A laser pointer or laser pen is a little portable device. A laser pointer is a laser diode that emits a laser beam of visible light and is powered by its battery. Laser pointers are used as toys for pets but also for people. Some animals see the ray as prey. Laser pointers can also use as a pointing tool for presentations or teaching purposes. The beam of a laser pointer has different colors.
Why Do Cats Like Lasers?
Cats are predators and hunt for everything that moves back and forth quickly. Cats find laser light interesting and fun because it can also move back and forth, so your cat thinks it’s a mouse or some other beast. Although cats know that the laser light is not a real mouse, it does activate their hunting instinct.
As predators, cats also have claws and sharp teeth that are needed to survive. Cats also have good vision and hearing and can be very fast.
It appears that small and large cats are not the only ones who like to chase the cat laser pointer. Other animals, such as dogs and some insects, also find laser pointers interesting. Some insects get a little wild when they see the light of a laser pointer.
Some biologists think the laser pointer is a great device. It attracts the animal’s attention because it differs from everything else in an animal environment. Animals in nature are often in camouflage, but such a laser point is remarkable. So cats like laser pointers because they stimulate their hunting instinct and are interesting and fun to play with.
Pros and Cons of a Cat Laser Pointer
Pros of a cat laser pointer
- Laser pointers are really fun for playful cats. It’s challenging for your cat, a real workout, and it could be great physical exercise for a cat. A laser pointer is especially good if you have an indoor cat. Your cat gets exercise because it tries to catch the light and runs after it. Indoor cats usually always get less exercise than cats that go outside. Your cat is challenged to get moving by playing with the laser pointer.
- Improve and invest in the friendship bond. By playing together with your cat, you improve the bond between you and your cat. You spend time and attention on your cat, and that is appreciated. Playing together can be an excellent way to bond with your cat through playing and fulfilling your cat’s natural drive to stalk prey. A cat loves attention, and playing together makes the party complete.
- Reward your cat. You should positively use a cat laser pointer. Your cat plays with something it can never catch, such as a mouse or bird. Your cat can follow the laser pointer’s dot for a long time but never catch it. So it’s essential to give your cat the feeling that it has killed its prey. So you can reward your cat with a treat as an alternative.
- Good mental stimulation. If your cat stays home alone, a cat laser pointer can provide the necessary motivation and prevent your cat from getting bored too much. It stimulates the mental part of your cat. The brain is challenging to get to work.
- You can easily use the cat laser pointer. It is an easy way to play. You can quickly move it while you are resting on your sofa or if you are in bed, for example. There are also videos and apps to play laser games with your cat using your smartphone or tablet. I have written a post about Best Active Apps for Cats Android iOS.
Cons of a cat laser pointer
- The laser beam can damage the eyes. It would be best if you did not look directly at the beam and, above all, do not allow your cat to do. Cat eyes are far more sensitive than those of humans. You must know that the laser pointer can damage your cat’s sensitive eyes. This radiation can even reflect on floor coverings such as laminate, etcetera.
- A cat gets no satisfaction. As I explained before in this post, cats are predators. They want to hunt and get their reward. A cat cannot catch the laser beam, which could be frustrating. Cats don’t catch their prey at every attempt in nature, but they catch the prey in the end.
- Destructive behavior. Your cat can be anxious by chasing a red dot with no result. This can cause your cat to destroy the carpet or furniture. If your cat is very anxious, it can even bite or scratch you. Make sure you end every game with a laser light that points at a physical object that can be ‘caught.’ Such as a toy or hidden treats so that your cat can win.
Cat owners who are aware of how to use a laser pointer can use it to play with their cat. Otherwise, it is too dangerous for the cat and human, and they risk irreversible eye damage in the worst case.
How to Use a Cat Laser Pointer
Before playing with the cat laser pointer, it is important to look at the environment. For example, can your cat be injured by something during play? Or are some animals in the neighborhood who don’t like it when your cat runs crazily around the room and follows a light. Maybe it’s better to go with your cat to another room where it is quiet and safe to play. Make sure the playing environment is safe. It is also important that your cat is healthy and wants to play. Take the laser pointer so that you have it nearby. Keep food and treats with you.
Start the laser game by aiming the beam in front of the cat and zigzagging this beam away from your cat. Regularly encourage your cat to “catch” the elusive ray by pausing the light so that your cat can “catch” the ray.
To make it more fun for your cat, you can also aim the beam onto a cuddle/cat toy that is then the prey. Before you move the beam of the toy, it is important that your cat feels/touches the toy firmly under its paws.
The duration and intensity of the sessions vary and depend on the cat’s physical conditioning, interest, and age. It is important to end the game session, as well as how you start. Instead of stopping quickly/abruptly, you gradually slow down the beam and shine the light on a toy. Your cat can then catch it. Finally, reward your cat, such as some food or a few cat treats.
Safety Tips for Playing With a Cat Laser Pointer
Do not aim the laser beam directly into the eyes of your cat. Many laser pointers are safe for both the eyes of cats and humans, even if direct contact is sometimes accidental. Yet, it is strongly recommended to prevent you from looking straight into the laser for a longer period of time.
Don’t let your cat play too long; keep every game session limited. Make sure you don’t overstimulate your cat.
Your cat loves you and likes to get personal attention. Toys cannot replace you because you are the most important person in your cat’s life and not the toy. Make sure you spend some quality time with your cat every day and give it attention. This attention is not only good for your cat but also for yourself.
Safety Cat Laser Pointers
A lot of laser pointer is tested and classed as harmless. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, the eyes will not be damaged by the device, even if animals come into contact with it briefly. The low radiation reduces the risk of eye damage. However, as the owner, you must always be very careful when using the laser pointer. The laser beams consist of highly focused light.
The most important thing is never to buy a laser device of the doubtful origin or from an unknown supplier. Such as from auction platforms or overseas, because there is a chance that it does not have a good standard.
Despite all the information, rules, and guidelines, it is never 100% sure that a cat laser pointer is safe. The radiation and limits can sometimes be about a hundred times stronger than the permitted value. So always be caused and keep an eye on your cat.
Laser Pointers with random generators are not advisable.
These spread strongly focused light through the room and pose an incalculable risk for the eyes of cats (and humans).
Hopefully, you know now more about the pros and cons of a cat laser pointer. Furthermore, you also know what a laser pointer is, how to use a cat laser pointer, and how to find a safe cat laser pointer.
If you like this post, you may want to look at some posts in the Cat stuff part, since this post is also part of it.
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