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Are Laser Pointers Bad for Cats?

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Are Laser Pointers Bad for Cats?

Perhaps these other means of entertainment will appeal to you more.

I mean, come on, what sassy kitty doesn’t like playing with her laser pointer? Samantha Bell, the lead for cat behavior and enrichment at Best Friends Animal Society, explains that this is not always the case. Although laser pointers might be fun for both you and your cat, your feline friend may get irritated and instead try to pounce on something easier to catch (like your feet). Because of this, we have to ask, “Are laser pointers bad for cats?”

Depending, as Bell puts it. You may avoid your cat’s anxiety when playing with a laser pointer by making a few adjustments. Here, Bell explains why and how laser pointer play can be entertaining and enlightening for feline companions. Also, instead of the never-ending red-light story, fearless trained specialists offer their preferred techniques of play with cats.

Can Cats Be Amused by a Laser Pointer?

Predatory instincts are hardwired into cats, and that’s exactly what the small red light is good for. Lasers can climb vertical surfaces, alter their velocity abruptly, and swerve in any direction. You’ve just triggered your cat’s predatory sequence (stalk, capture, kill, consume) since it seems like live prey to your huntress.

“Cats feel their happiest and most confident when they feel like predators,” says Bell. They may enjoy the excitement of the laser pointer light search. But as we all know, your cat will never be able to successfully catch the red dot, thus the game might rapidly become frustrating.

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Why Does My Cat Bite Me All of a Sudden?

Your cat is unable to fully finish the predatory sequence because she cannot capture and “kill” the laser pointer light. According to Bell, this may not be enough to satisfy your cat’s needs. For example, “if a cat is riled up in predator mode, has been “chasing” the laser, and isn’t provided something appropriate to attack or bite, they may attack the closest thing to them that moves—like you or another pet.”

Bell warns that autonomous gadgets that use lasers are dangerous. A inquisitive cat approaching the toy runs the risk of having her eye damaged if she stares directly into the light or if the beam accidentally catches her eye.

Guide to Laser Pointer Fun for You and Your Cat

It’s normal to be unsure of whether or not your cat is becoming annoyed with her laser pointer. “Cats are quite subtle with their body language,” Bell adds. “Oftentimes, the body language of a cat in play mode will look quite similar to the body language of an annoyed cat.”

However, she clarifies that you shouldn’t go ahead and throw away your cat’s laser pointer just yet. “If you always follow laser pointer time with wand toy time, your cat will be able to physically catch the ‘prey’ they’ve been hunting and feel satisfied,” adds Bell. for the conclusion of playing with a wand toy, I like using the laser to aim for a reward. Then they may chow down on their “prey!”

Here are three great alternatives to using a laser pointer while playing with your cat

Is it time to move on from laser therapy for your cat? Instead of using a laser pointer, we asked fearless certified cat behavior specialists for their tried and tested methods of playing with cats.

  • The Wand Game

When it comes to simulating prey, experts believe that wand time is the finest kind of play. “My favorite wand toy that most cats love is Da Bird,” says Shannen McNee, CCBC of the Toronto Humane Society. “When you ‘fly’ it around in the air, it makes a really cool fluttering sound and movement, and your cat will go crazy for it!”

  • Unstructured Play

Pico de Gato, owned by Cat Behavior Solutions founder Molly DeVoss, CFTBS, CCBC, FFCT, CRM, is proof that you can have fun with or without a toy. I like to play hide-and-seek with my cat. DeVoss says, “When I go into another room, I look back at him, make eye contact, and quickly disappear behind a wall or a door.” As the saying goes, “He always knows where I am, but he likes to jump out and ‘get’ me.” When your hungry predator finally catches you, give him a treat as the last step in the predatory process.

  • Playing With An Interactive Toy

DeVoss, like the hundreds of other reviewers whose cats are raving fans of the famous Potaroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy, is a lover of motion-activated toys for solitary play while the humans are gone. She recommends looking for a motion-activated cat toy that your cat can capture and bite.

Experts suggest feeding your cat shortly after playing with it, regardless of the kind of play you and your cat like. “This helps complete the predatory cycle of ‘hunt, catch, kill, and eat’ and helps them feel as satisfied as they can be,” explains Bell.

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