Cats love to play. They especially enjoy games that feed their hunting and chasing instincts. They like to chase one another, if you have multiple cats, 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 adopt similar games into their daily cat care routine.
Another toy that has become increasingly popular is the laser pointer. Laser pointers are a fun way to encourage movement and to sate your cat’s desire to chase and, if they are used responsibly, are perfectly safe for a cat to play with. However, some precautions must be taken with this kind of toy. As long as you are careful, though, a laser pointer is not only a safe toy but could be very beneficial to your cat’s wellbeing.
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.
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Are Laser Pointers Bad For Cats?
Laser pointers that are specifically designed for use as cat toys can be a fun and engaging way to encourage a cat to run around and chase, mimicking its hunting behavior in the wild. However, there are some caveats to ensure that playing with the toy is safe. Ensure 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, although this is rare.
- Next on your reading list: 10 Best Cat Laser Pointers & Laser Toys in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks
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