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February 9, 2021 |7 min read

Why Cats Love Laser Toys


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Cat Lasers are a great and entertaining way to get your cat some exercise. Find out some other reasons why cats love laser toys here. Read on.

Have you ever been minding your own business on your phone when suddenly you hear your cat pounce onto the wall across the room? Your cat likely caught a glimpse of that sweet light reflection on the wall and decided it was time to play. 

Sometimes light reflecting from phone screens and watches can imitate our cats’ most beloved toy...the laser pointer. Why are cats so obsessed with a tiny red dot that shoots around the room? The answer is pretty simple: it’s in their blood!

They’re Hunters

Cats are hunters by nature. When they see anything dart from here to there, their hunting sequence kicks in immediately! “Is it a mouse? A bird? Who cares? I need to play and I’m going for it!”

When cats are out in the wild, a cat’s instinct is to stalk their prey, pounce on it, go for the kill, and then...bon appetit. They love the chase, and get a real thrill out of anything that mimics the directional movements of a real animal. So take this oppurr-tunity to bond with your cat, get some playtime in, and have fun! 

What Happens When They Can’t Actually Hunt Their Prey? 

Laser pointers are all fun and games until… well yeah, that’s it. Laser pointers really are all fun and games, but no real prey is actually ever caught, which means your cat might not be fully satisfied with this game. This can be a real bummer for multiple cats. If you notice your kitty is getting aggravated or exhausted from chasing their “prey” (the laser dot) with no reward, try switching the game up by using a new cat toy they can sink their teeth and claws into.

Since lasers don’t exactly mimic the hunting experience, give your cat something they can really hunt! Try a catnip-filled toy mouse, a plush bird, or a feather wand toy. If you’re a PrettyLitter subscriber, you get exclusive deals on toys that are perfect for keeping your indoor cat active! If toys aren’t really your pet’s thing, bringing your cat outside for exercise is also an option. You can find out how to train a cat to walk on a leash on our blog.   

It’s also important to recognize your furry friend’s energy levels. If you’re wondering how to calm a kitten down, giving them enough playtime is a great approach. However, a lazy cat might be pooped after a long day of laser beam chasing, so be sure to give them lots of breaks in between. A break in “hunting” imitates a more natural behavior too!

They’ve Got the Eyes for it

First and foremost, you shouldn’t shine the laser beam into your cat’s eyes. That’s just not nice (and totally dangerous). When it comes to selecting the best cat laser toy, the laser you choose should be specific for pet use. If you’re not sure if it’s safe for your cat, usually lasers have a number on the side that classifies the laser's strength. For everyone’s safety, that number shouldn’t be higher than a one or a two. 

Fun cat fact: Humans and cats both have cones and rods in their retinas. However, cats have more rods than humans do, and humans have more cones than cats do. Cones are useful for color, while rods are more useful for movement and low light. This means that cats’ eyes are perfectly designed for catching those quick-moving mice in the evening! 

Pros and Cons of Lasers

Big Pros: 

  • An indoor cat is obviously much less likely to catch a mouse, but they still have that mouse catching instinct! Your Tom is always on the hunt for their Jerry, and a laser pointer toy really does a good job of imitating the movement of a critter. 
  • Great exercise (for them)! If you’re not in the mood to get active with your cat, you can do it from the comfort of your own couch and a slight flick of your wrist. Your cat will be thankful for the action. 
  • They love it! And as cat parents, who are we to deprive our loved ones of a good time? 

Cons:

  • All fun and no prey. It’s impossible to catch a laser dot, and that could present some frustration for your cat. Especially the determined hunters!
  • If you use the wrong laser, you can cause damage. Always be sure your laser pointers are safe for your kitty before playtime.
  • Things might get a little messy. Remember, your domestic cat’s predatory instinct is kicking in and their playfulness is taking over. They don’t care about your new 80-inch TV, or that vase you put in the living room to impress your parents! Additionally, in regard to where to put litter box, keep it out of the way so your cat doesn’t trip over it while on the hunt. Be mindful of your surroundings to keep you and your cat safe.

All in all, laser pointers are a great interactive toy to give your cats entertainment for ages! Their eyes are designed for the hunt, and their paws are prepared for the pounce. Test it out with your furry friend and experience a behind-the-scenes look into a nature documentary right in your living room!

And after a hearty play session, it’s essential that your cat refuels with nourishing food. Try PrettyPlease, our ultra-premium nutrient rich cat food, to keep your kitty energized and ready to “hunt”!

Sources:

1.https://www.petmd.com/news/view/why-are-cats-obsessed-laser-pointers-35474

2.https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/play-exercise/are-laser-pointers-safe-for-cats

3. https://catingtonpost.com/why-laser-pointers-could-be-bad-for-your-cat-its-not-what-you-think/

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