Why Is My Cat Chasing Laser?
There can hardly be a cat parent who has not observed the crazy way a cat behaves when he notices a laser pointer. Despite the fact that it is so small, has no scent, and your cat will never catch it in reality, the little red dot can still keep your cat friend busy. Many cat parents are curious and desire to know why do cats chase lasers? If you are one amongst those, then continue reading and discover your answer.
They find it alluring
Lasers, to cats, appear as prey that is quickly running here and there and this excites them. Your cat may have no reason to work hard through the day but that does not mean they can’t. This little fast-moving red dot appears as a challenge to him and his natural feline characteristics (to pounce on the prey and kill it) start surfacing. Remember, your cats are not using their intelligence here. For them, it is not a projection but a moving being.
A cat’s eyes function in a different way
Why do cats find laser so attractive? Well, you will understand this when you learn how differently the eyes of cats functions than that of ours.
You surely must be aware of the fact that the retina is among an important part of the eye and it consists of two kinds of cells known as cones and rods. Owing, to the cones we get to see color and rods help detect movement and are related to low light vision. We have more cones compared to rods and thus we see so many different colors. Cats, on the other hand, have more rods and thus they can detect even little movements.
This is the reason why cats will easily catch the movement of laser lights as soon as you turn it on and will keep on chasing and pouncing on it.
Are chasing lasers good for cats or no?
There indeed is a debate over if lasers are good for cats or no. While some may find the idea harmless, there are many who think differently.
Those who are against this idea believe that making your cats chase laser light is a kind of teasing. Your cat is after that red light and is pouncing on it because he believes it is his prey and he needs to kill and eat it. He may be enjoying the process but it is not for the sake of fun that this process is being continued.
However, the fact remains that your cat will never get to catch the laser light no matter how smart and quick he may be and thus the chase may just never end. There are some cats who will understand the trick and stop reacting. But, there also are those who may get annoyed with their inability to catch their prey and this, in turn, can affect their behavior. They may start getting violent and destructive. Whenever you notice that this laser playing is affecting your cat’s behavior in a negative way take it as a sign to stop immediately and forever.
If you want the laser pointer to just be a game then make sure to offer your cat friend a treat once you are down with playing. Even though your cat will never be able to catch and kill the laser, this treat will give him some satisfaction.
Some safety tips to remember
If the laser pointer is not affecting your cat’s behavior in a negative way and he is actually enjoying the chase then you both can have fun playing this game. This will actually offer your cat some exercise, both physical and mental, and fulfill his chasing instincts, which indoor cats do not usually get to enjoy.
However, for the safety of your cat, there are some safety tips that you need to follow and two such important tips are shared below.
Never directly point the laser light in the eyes of the cat. Even though they are toys they do have a very bright light which you should not get your cats exposed to, otherwise they can cause serious eye issues.
Make sure your cat baby has enough fun toys to chase and play with. The laser pointer should never be the sole toy your cat has, or else it can eventually lead to frustration.
To Conclude –
So, cats consider laser pointer as prey and this is why they chase it. If the safety tips are followed, then this can prove to be a fun physical exercise for your little friend. However, the temperament of different cats is different and that too needs to be considered. If your cat enjoys the game then great, but, if he shows any signs of irritation, stop this game and offer him more interesting toys to play with.