Why Do Cats Chase Lasers?

  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Very little in this world is very much entertaining as watching a cat oddity out over the little red dab of light delivered by a laser pointer. While you sit laughing on the couch,  twitching that gadget around in your hand, your cat is encountering a genuine snapshot of gallant franticness as she jumps over the footstool and scrambles up the divider after that small bit of light she’s always unable to get. It is an extraordinary exercise for indoor cats, however for what reason do felines discover this movement convincing?

Cats are attracted to anything that allows them to catch their prey even just for play. The red dot from the gadget simulates the movement of prey so it calls the cat’s attention and gets the cat to chase and pounce on it.

It is certainly a play mostly common with the young cats and maybe in the older cats, indoor and outdoor cats as well. It can also be an aberrant expression of their predatory act.

 

What is a Laser Pointer?

A laser pointer or alternatively called leaser pen is a little handheld gadget with a power source( usually a battery) and a laser diode radiating a narrow coherent low-powered laser beam of visible light, intended to be used to highlight something of interest by illuminating it with a small bright spot of colored light. Power is restricted in most jurisdictions not to exceed 5 mW.  The small width of the beam and low power of typical laser pointers make the beam itself invisible in a reasonably clean atmosphere, only showing a point of light when striking an opaque surface. Some higher-powered laser pointers project a visible beam via scattering from dust particles or water droplets along the beam path.

For many cats, they react strongly to the red dot produced by the laser pointer. Cats’ eyes are much more sensitive to light than human eyes and they have a wider field of vision than humans do, so it may be a bit difficult to avoid shinning the laser in their eyes. They are probably seeing it when we do not realize shinning the light in their eyes. Also, Cats are not colorblind. They can see blue, indigo, violet, green, yellow and possibly red sometimes, but not as distinctively as we humans can. And research has it recently discovered that cats like other various animals can see ultraviolet, which is normally invisible to the humans’ sight. Birds, flowers, insects, etc. can have ultraviolet patterns. Cats may be sometimes experiencing a world of beauty we are not aware of.

Cats, compared to human are not sensitive to the color red, so they are most likely to see the red dot from the pointer as white or blue. However, we both have eyes that point forward, giving us similar abilities to perceive but their eyes connect to their brains differently than ours, which makes them more sensitive to movement.

 

Main Attraction of The Laser Pointer

For most cats, the movement is really exciting, and even when we think we are holding the laser pointer steady, with the slightest tremble in our hands generates enough movement to keep them excited. A laser pointer interests kitties in an inexplicable way, obviously, because it gives them something compelling to hunt or play with. According to research, some vets think laser playtime might be psychologically taxing for a cat because it has them constantly chasing after something they will never catch. They believe this can lead to neurosis, which can lead to symptoms like over-grooming. While some disagreed that using a laser pointer to keep your cat active will make it neurotic. Cats hunt their toys all the time and the fact that they never actually succeed in killing any of them does not seem to do the cat any harm. There may be cats that end up becoming obsessed with laser pointers for pleasure, for those it would probably be best to rationalize their exposure, but for an average indoor cat, a few minutes of chasing a red dotted light within the apartment should simply provide some mental and physical stimulation that indoor cats need. Inadequate stimulation can result in a serious problem for indoor cats.

Cats possess a high tendency of appropriating a particular area to protect against intruders such as a mouse, snakes, etc. They are solitary hunters that spend much of their time in search of small prey animals. It is advisable to let them out in while, so we need to allow them to do what they are meant for (hunting). An important part of a healthy play for them is that they have to catch their prey. They gain and develop more confidence this way, so the problem with a laser pointer is that they cannot catch it. It is advisable to make them catch their prey at the end of the laser pointer exercise, for example, a feathery toy on the end of a string attached to a stick is also a better toy that will activate their instincts.

Cats also love some other toys that keep them on their toes such as:

  • Mylar balls
  • Furry pellets fashioned like mice
  • Electric tape on the end of a string is also a good toy (although, it is inadvisable to leave a string out for a cat to play with unattended).
  • Empty paper bag
  • Cucumber

Constant opportunities for predatory play and exercise, feeding with searching toys, plenty of vertical space and hiding spots should be a part of a cat’s environment. Cats are not or should not be a low maintenance pet. To keep a cat requires a more understanding with extra effort to provide a satisfactory life for them in an indoor context.

 

Do Laser Pointers Affect Your Cat?

Cat owners cannot help but laugh when they see their cat chasing and climbing walls after the laser dot. This simple game provides cat owners with plenty of fun and spending some quality time with their pets, but we sometimes forget that this fun game may have some negative impact(s)p on our cats we do not realize.

  • Emotional Impact: First, not many understand the psychological effect of this fun game on their pets. According to an animal behavior expert, our cats and dogs are predators that get their satisfaction from chasing and catching their prey. While chasing a red dot they can never catch, they tend to develop a lack of closure that could have a psychological effect on them, either for a short or long period. During this time, your pet may develop aggressive behavior and character problems. Therefore, have a fun and safe playtime with your cat and remember to let them catch their prey at the end of the playtime, so it will not be you.
  • Medical Hazard: Besides that fact, there is the obvious medical impact of the game that we might have noticed, but we did not consider it harmful to our pet. The laser pointer has been proven to have a powerful effect on both human and animal eyesight when it comes in direct contact with the eyes. During this playtime with our pet, we might not notice immediately that we are pointing the laser directly into the cat’s eye and we might indirectly be causing the cat serious medical damage.
  • Chronic Anxiety: The worst-case scenario when using the laser pointer is the development of chronicle anxiety. This is something we do not want to deal with, and it is almost inevitable if we continue using the laser pointer on them more often. If we’ve been using it once a month, the chances of your cat developing chronic anxiety are minimal, but we tend to use it on them every single day for almost two weeks straight or until we get bored using it on them, then we need to rethink our actions.
  • Physical Harm: The cat experiences much more than bruises when scratching the floor in an attempt to achieve their satisfaction even though they cannot. here are the damages are done to the cat’s body while playing the laser game:
    • Retina damage
    • Domestic Accidents

 

 Here is a good Cat Laser Point you can get off Amazon.  

 

Conclusion

Laser pointer may be a great option to get your cat out of that lazy mode, but sometimes, the aftermath is not cat-friendly. Therefore, if your cat spends most of its time catnapping and you want to get it back in shape (happy and active) or need a powerful trigger to get it out of sleep. Considering the threat of serious illnesses and self-harm, too much usage of the laser pointer on cats brings more damage than its fun. Which means,  it has to be reasonably used. However, cats may seem to like it, but a reasonable owner should know how to use it appropriately if they are looking to secure all the nine lives of the cat. That is the best reason laser pointer provides an easy way to get them in the right mood. Nevertheless, to keep them safe and sound, we better do it right. According to cat’s experts, the appropriate way to play with your cat is the use of concrete objects such as a blanket. This way your cat will feel the actual satisfaction of the game and stay safe and healthy.