are laser pointers good for cats

Laser pointers can be great for helping cats lose weight and mental stimulation. They can also help cats learn to play with each other while building their confidence. Housecats can often lead a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to boredom, obesity, and aggression towards their housemates and humans.

Cons to Laser Pointers for Dogs

After a few minutes, the majority of cats are likely to get tired of chasing the laser pointer. But for your dog, it triggers something deeper.

“The lack of closure in laser-beam chasing could be messing with your dog’s head,” according to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, animal behavior expert and professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dodman explains that your dog instinctively chases laser beams simply because they move. Movement triggers a dog’s innate prey drive, which explains why smaller prey animals often freeze in their tracks. Dogs have a highly-developed ability to detect motion with their eyes.

According to Dr. Dodman, dogs’ predatory systems are stimulated by the constant movement of a laser dot, making it impossible for them to resist chasing it. “They can’t help themselves. They are obliged to chase it,” he says.

Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Dog Trainer, Karen B. London Ph.D concurs. “A lot of dogs become obsessive about the light from laser pointers, and there are many cases of dogs who were diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder after (and perhaps partly as a result of) this activity. Dogs become preoccupied with the light, then transfer that interest to similar stimuli, sometimes developing a behavior problem in which they chase lights and shadows. It may look fun and entertaining to people, but it’s usually anything but fun for dogs.” She also says that working dogs like bomb-sniffing dogs require a “win” to stay happy in their jobs. Essentially, they thrive on closure, and laser pointers never provide any which is frustrating for your dog.

Another benefit is mental stimulation.

Many cats stay home alone most of the day, without a lot of stimulation or activity. Cat laser pointers can provide key stimulation and keep them from becoming overly bored.

The laser beam imitates swiftly moving prey by bouncing off the wall, the floor, and even your cat. Your cat may have a lot of fun with it, but your dog may not have as much fun.

Benefits of Laser Pointers for Cats

Given that most domestic cats exercise by hopping from one napping spot to another, they might require some encouragement to make exercise a part of their daily routine. That’s where the fast moving light can prove beneficial. Cats are naturally predatory and enjoy catching things, as you may know. Your typically inactive cat can have fun chasing and batting at the moving dot with the laser pointer.

“You can lead your cat to a treat with the laser pointer so there is a reward for their efforts. When you turn off the light the cat will resume its normal activity quickly,” explained North Elms Dr. Sims.


Do laser pointers give cats anxiety?

Laser pointers won’t generally give them anxiety, though they may cause frustration.

Is it OK to use a laser pointer with cats?

As is the case with humans, lasers are generally safe for cats so long as its beam isn’t pointed directly into the animal’s eyes, which may lead to damage of the retinas, says Krista Miller, DVM, veterinarian at Thrive Affordable Vet Care, Baton Rouge.

Does my cat know I control the laser?

Originally Answered: Does my cat know that I control the laser pointer? Yes, they do. My cats love running after laser dots, but when I bought a motorized laser pointer toy for them that would beam the dot across the far wall in a complex, but fixed pattern they very quickly became bored and ignored it.

Why is my cat panting after laser pointer?

Overexertion. Just like physical activity can cause us (well, at least me!) to pant, it can do the same to a cat. If you notice your cat panting while running (chasing the laser pointer), playing (whether with a toy or another pet), or enjoying zoomies, attempt to get to them to stop, calm down, and rest.