Out of all the toys we provide to our cats, we always know they love chasing the laser pointer light because it activates their hunting instincts.
But are laser pointers safe for cats? Laser pointers are only safe for cats when you don’t shine the light directly into the cat’s eyes. If you take the light beam high on the wall, the cat won’t catch it, resulting in stress and discomfort for the cat.
Let’s learn about the pros and cons of laser pointers for cats and how you can use them safely.
Are Laser Pointers Safe For Cats?
Laser pointers are generally safe for cats, but it all depends on how you use them. Kids might try to shine the light into the cat’s eye, which is not safe at all.
Also, we know that cats will definitely chase the light beam of the laser pointer thinking of it as prey. However, there’s nothing to catch. When you shine the beam high up on the wall or any other area inaccessible to the cat, it will become stressed about not catching its prey.
This stress can leave an impact on your cat’s mental health. Also, moving the laser pointer around too quickly will make the cat overactive.
Pros Of Laser Pointers For Cats
Here are all the reasons for laser pointers being safe for cats.
Help in mental stimulation
While we often ensure physical activities for our cats, mental stimulation remains neglected.
In such cases, laser pointers can be an excellent source of providing your cat with mental stimulation and keeping it occupied. When cats try to find the laser beam and chase it, it makes them concerned, and they use their mind to find it, much like hunting in the woods.
Although domestic cats cannot hunt, they still have hunting instincts, and chasing the laser beam makes them feel exactly like hunting prey.
Cats don’t get bored
We understand that cats can easily get bored when inside the house. Even after you’ve taken it out for a walk and provided it with the necessary toys, the cat will get bored after some time.
To keep the cat occupied, laser pointers are an excellent choice.
Develops a strong bond
By letting the cat follow the light beam of the laser pointer, you also get a chance to spend time with it and bond with your feline friend.
Increased physical activity
Cats love to chase laser pointer beams as they think of them as prey. It helps keep the cat busy while also providing mental and physical stimulation.
Apart from taking your cat out for a walk and making it exercise, you can use a laser pointer to keep your cat moving in the house. As it will be busy chasing the light and trying to catch it, it won’t have enough time to be a couch potato.
Cons Of Laser Pointers For Cats
While laser pointers are safe for cats, they also have their cons, which are listed below.
The cat gets frustrated
We already know that cats cannot catch the light beam of the laser pointer. But, they follow it, thinking of it as prey. If you prolong the play and keep the cat curious to catch the light beam, it will eventually get frustrated and show discomfort.
It makes the cat stressed
What happens when we try to achieve something but fail again and again? We feel stressed and panicked. The same happens with cats when they try to catch the laser pointer beam, but it gets away.
Even cats in the wild hunt, fail, and try again. But, they do catch their prey.
We already know that our cat cannot catch the light beam because there’s nothing to catch. However, cats don’t understand it and will try their best. On failing, again and again, the cat will feel stressed and unmotivated.
Risks of injuries
Some owners might point the laser beam at the wall or high objects while knowing that the cat cannot reach it. Sometimes, the cat tries to climb the wall or jump over things to catch the light beam, which can make it fall badly and get injured.
That’s not all. The things in the room will also fall and break.
How To Use Laser Pointers Safely While Playing With Cats?
Here are a few tips on ensuring safety while using laser pointers to play with cats.
- Always keep the playtime short, no more than 2-3 minutes with laser pointers.
- Instead of turning off the light immediately at the end, turn it off while pointing it to a physical object. In this way, the cat won’t get confused about the laser light disappearing but will think that it achieved its reward.
- Don’t point the laser pointer high on the wall or things inaccessible for your cat. It will try its best to reach those objects, which might end up hurting your cat.
- Avoid playing in rooms where you have fragile decoration pieces. They are at risk of falling and breaking as your cat might jump on them out of excitement.
- Move the light slowly and let your cat catch it at several intervals. Don’t move it immediately from one corner to another. The cat will become confused.
- Let your cat win at the end by pointing the light at a toy or another object.
- Never shine the laser pointer directly into your cat’s eyes as it will impact its vision.
Alternatives To Laser Pointers For Cats
You can try several alternatives to laser pointers for cats to ensure their physical and mental stimulation.
- Catnip toys
- Cat trees
- Poles with toys at the end
- Remote-control mice
- Stuffed toys
Related Post: Are Laser Pointers Safe For Dogs?(Not Really)
Cats love to chase laser pointer beams, but you have to be careful while playing with them. Directly pointing the laser beam into the cat’s eyes and making it unreachable for the cat isn’t a good idea.
Instead, you can move it slowly and leave it at a toy to make the cat feel it has caught its prey. When used wisely, laser pointers can help in the mental and physical stimulation of your cat.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.