Laser Pointers.. are they good or bad? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Laser Pointers.. are they good or bad?

I checked the threads up to June and didn't see anything about laser pointers. I have read on websites where people say they are good and people say they are bad. I used to play with one with my Himalayan, but she wasn't the playing type and the "elusive red dot" did not entice her, however, my dogs loved it.

I just recently got these two kits and the adoption center used a laser pointer and the kits would go after it like crazy, so I decided to buy one after noticing they are getting a little chubs. (The fake mice and string only last so long, even my forbidden yarn loses its fun after a while.)

We had another laser pointer but my roommate used it for school and I think it was way too high powered for them, so I went and bought a plain red one from Petco tonight. My question is, do you think laser pointers are bad for cats because it is not tangible? I read on other sites that people don't like them because they drive their cats crazy. I played with my cats tonight for a good solid hour and afterwards, they were still trying to find the dot. I thought maybe a treat and some other toys would distract them, but as soon as they ate the treat they went right back to the last known location of the "red dot". No amount of forbidden yarn would bring them away.

After a while, they forgot about it, but I wonder if this is bad for them. I mean, they were sitting next to each other without Moosey trying to attack Ziggy. (if you have read my other posts you will know that Moosey plays rough with the smaller baby) So maybe that is good... but I just want to make sure I am not hurting them.

Thanks for your help!

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 12:03 AM
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Cali figured out pretty quickly that the thing I was holding was making the little dot, so she would go after the pointer in my hand instead. Little Smartie Pants. Cinderella would stare at the wall for a long time after we were done, so I stopped it with her. Charlee would chase the light.

Cleo just watched, thinking they were all idiots.

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Cleo sounds like Miss Kitty. She would just look at the dogs like they were idiots. She was such a good girl. I miss her every day .

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:13 AM
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I think it comes down to how the cat reacts to the laser. What you're describing is the type of scenario where I would likely not continue with laser playing.

I have a dog that goes nuts for a laser, but it isn't worth playing with her because she becomes obsessed with finding it and overly interested in any sort of light movement. You could shine it on the ground for half a second and she would look for it for half an hour or more.

An animal that is not interested after it's gone is an animal I would have no problem playing laser games with, though. A lot of pets don't have the obsession to find it when it's gone, so for them it's fine.

Along with the dogs Tara and Coco.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:40 AM
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They can be bad for people. I used it with Zenobi (RIP) only when seated at the computer. Therefore, if I sat down at the computer and turned it on, the sounds the comp made attracted her faster than a can opener and a can of tuna. No Peace.

I made a point of showing her the pointer, letting her smell it, to let her know where that spot came from. She would watch the spot from a distance and then make a six foot jump for it and the chase would begin.

Missy, on the other hand was indifferent. Then I picked up one that used AAA batteries. The light is a bit brighter and I don't have to keep my finger on the button. She doesn't get as excited as Zenobi did, but she will crouch and watch before making a rush for it.

No harm if its used properly.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 04:22 AM
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George is fascinated by it but when I switch it off he just goes back to whatever he was doing beforehand. But Suzi!!!! I can barely pick the laser pen up, even slowly and silently, and she is INSTANTLY awake and looking at me Even when it's switched off she will continue to look for it for a few minutes so now I rarely use it I once saw a Cesar Millan programme where two german shepherds got SO obsessed with ANY movement of light and shadows indoors and out so I don't want Suzi getting like that

Last edited by marie73; 01-02-2013 at 05:08 AM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:14 AM
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Yep, depends on the cat. I have 2 now that won't even acknowledge it. One will chase it then immediately get bored. Our Annie (RIP) would chase it then very carefully lift her paws to see if she had "captured" it!, or try to pull up the edge of the area rug to see if it was under it. SO funny - and entertaining for ME!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:23 AM
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I think it depends both on the cat and on the length of time it is used for. I think (and it is purely personal) that it's better used for shorter periods.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 10:35 AM
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I had a laser pointer for the cats. They loved chasing it, but it somehow disappeared at some point. I just never replaced it. We used to play with it for maybe 5-10 mins at a time anything longer than that and the game would just get old for the cats.


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 11:08 AM
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I can't imagine ever going a full solid hour with the laser. My cats would get bored...and if they didn't, I certainly would! That said, I don't see any issues with using a laser pointer for short periods of time, if the cats enjoy it. It's good exercise for them. I tend to follow up the laser game with another game that actually allows them to catch something, such as Da Bird.

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