Cats love to play. They especially enjoy games that feed their hunting and chasing instincts. If you have multiple cats, they will likely chase one another and gain enjoyment from balls, toys on a string, and other toys that can be flung around and stalked. These activities are similar to chasing rodents and birds in the wild, and owners are often encouraged to add similar games to their daily cat care routines.
Another popular toy is the laser pointer. It’s a fun way to encourage movement and fulfill your cat’s desire to chase. If they are used responsibly, laser pointers are perfectly safe for a cat to play with. While certain precautions must be taken, this toy can be beneficial to your cat’s well-being.
Why Cats Love Lasers
Cats are predators. In the wild, they eat rodents and other small animals, which they need to catch before they can eat. Even as domestic pets, they retain the prey drive that would help them catch their dinner.
When they chase toys around the house, whether it is the fine dot of light from a laser pointer or a toy mouse on a string, they are re-enacting the hunt. So, when your cat is chasing that red dot, it is the same as chasing a mouse through a field or a bird up a tree.
Precautions to Take
Is a Laser Toy the Right Choice for Your Cat?
As with most things, there are benefits and pitfalls to consider before choosing a laser cat toy.
Other Toys That Encourage Hunting and Chasing
Hunting and chasing are an important part of a cat’s development. Laser pointers are only one way to provide this type of stimulation.
Are Laser Pointers Bad for Cats?
Laser pointers that are specifically designed for use as cat toys can be part of a fun and engaging way to encourage a cat to run around and chase, mimicking their hunting behavior in the wild. However, there are some caveats for ensuring that playing with the toy is safe. Make sure the laser is not too powerful, use it in an area that is free from physical obstructions to prevent injury, and don’t intentionally shine it in your cat’s eyes because prolonged exposure can cause eye damage, though this is rare.
Next on your reading list:
- 10 Best Cat Laser Pointers & Laser Toys – Reviews & Top Picks
- Why Do Cats Love Lasers? Reasons, Pros & Cons (Vet Answer)
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