A laser pointer is a staple part of many cats’ toyboxes. They are fast-moving, easy to use, and they can provide hours of fun for bored felines. Plus, they get your cat up out of their chair and running around the house, thereby encouraging physical exercise, helping to stave off obesity, and working out their joints.
While you may think that this is a simple piece of equipment, there are still some key features which make a good laser pointer. So, if you are thinking of getting one for your four-legged friend, we have put together a list of the top 10 choices out there for you to peruse and choose at your leisure.
The Best Laser Pointer for Cats
Different from your average cat laser pointer, this toy features a concealed laser which rotates around for your cat to chase. Three different speed settings are available, so you can choose the one which suits your kitty the best. Since the toy operates on its own, it is perfect for self-play. You can set a timer to ensure that over-exercising is not a problem for your cat.
Since it is a battery-operated toy, you can choose where to play with your cat – indoors or outdoors. The 360-degree rotation ensures that there is plenty of room available. The patterns can be randomized to stop them from becoming predictable and boring.
Ideal for self-play
Three speed settings available
15-minute auto timer
Portable and no need to be affixed to door or window
- BrandFriends Forever
- Weight9.9 ounces
If you are looking for a laser beam for cats that you can wield easily, this one features a slide button which stays on when you need it to. You can choose between four different patterns, and there is always going to be one that grabs your pet’s attention.
Rather than having to shell out for batteries, you can simply charge the device via a USB socket in just an hour and a half. Made from stainless-steel, this is the type of product which can stand the test of time, as well as being durable against getting dropped. A sisal mouse is also included for further fun and games with your kitty.
Slide button design
Four different functions including being a cat toy
Chargeable via a USB port
Made of high-quality stainless-steel
Sisal mouse included
- Weight1.6 ounces
Another cat toy in the automatic department, you can turn this on and enjoy watching your cat chasing the red dot around and around, knowing that it will shut off after 15 minutes to avoid your kitty getting overstimulated. After all, many cats find these randomly moving red dots impossible to resist.
The random movement of the dot ensures that the game stays exciting, and your cat is much less likely to get bored with the game. You also have the option of switching it to manual mode if you would like to take a more active role in controlling the game.
Automatic and manual modes available
Turns off after 15 minutes to prevent overstimulation
Backed by a one-year warranty
4 AA batteries required for operation
- Weight7.8 ounces
Back to handheld laser pens for cats, we have this one which features an aluminum alloy body. You can recharge the device using a USB cable, but there are also built-in long-life AAA batteries. The brightness is strong enough to allow you to play games no matter whether it is day or night.
Essentially, if you are looking for a simple laser pointer which is easy to use, this one is certainly a viable option. While the output power is relatively low to not cause harm to eyes, you should still avoid shining it directly in your kitty’s peepers.
High performance device
Aluminum alloy body
Chargeable via USB cable
Below 5mW output power
- Weight3.2 ounces
Another automatic chasing game, this one shines its light from a wireless cube. You have the option of shining it on the floor or the wall, depending on how your cat enjoys playing. Set the circling speed according to how much your cat is enjoying the game and how active they are.
Since the laser moves in a random format, this provides great sensory stimulation to your kitty, as well as offering a level of unpredictability which keeps the game engaging. Another advantage is that it is a small enough toy to be portable, so you can take it around if you and your cat need to travel.
Interactive digitally designed toy
Preset modes built into device
Operable in handheld mode
Compact and portable design
- Weight 7.8 ounces
This laser cat toy also has a feather, offering more ways for your kitty to play. In fact, if you have two cats, both of them can enjoy playing at the same time! USB fast charging is available, so you don’t have any need to continually replace the batteries in the device.
You can choose between four different auto-rotating modes, and the toy will continue working for up to 12 hours continuously, so you don’t have to worry about charging it up over and over again. The toy has been FDA approved for the safety of the light.
4 modes of automatic rotating to choose between
2-in-1 design with a feather
Equipped with USB fast charger
8 to 12 hours of runtime on full charge
- Weight1.4 pounds
Finally, we have this laser pointer which is built into a ball. It will rotate 360 degrees when you turn it on, holding your cat’s attention. When it collides with anything, it will automatically change direction to keep the game going for longer.
This is the kind of toy which your cat can enjoy on their own – with your supervision of course. It is battery powered, and there are three sets included to ensure that you have a good start. In terms of indoor exercise, this is a great piece of equipment.
Continually moving ball producing red light
Changes direction automatically
Three pairs of batteries included
- Weight2.4 ounces
Best Laser Pointers for Cats Buying Guide & FAQ
Now that we have run through the top laser pointers for cats, we now have the buying guide and frequently asked questions (FAQ) section to discuss further information about these interactive toys.
Why Cats Go Crazy over Laser Pointers
There are plenty of reasons why cat laser pointers have proven to be quite so popular amongst the feline community. Here are some of the main ones.
- Triggering your cat’s natural hunting instincts
Cats are all hardwired to be hunters, and the moving red dot of a laser pointer works to trigger this instinct. The red light is perceived to be prey, which is why your cat so badly wants to catch it. Even the laziest cats find it hard to risk something which darts around in this way! Of course, there are plenty of other stimulants which act in a similar way including feathers and toy mice. A laser pointer is just another to add to the repertoire.
- Works with your cat’s eyesight
Felines have different eyesight to us, and cat laser toys work well with it. They have a higher number of photoreceptor rod cells and this means a couple of things. First, he or she has strong peripheral vision, which means that darting laser pointer is likely to flash up on their radar – even when they are not looking directly at it. Also, felines can see well in low light conditions, and the laser is going to flash up particularly strongly in these situations.
- Good physical exercise
Some cats like exercising more than others, but the opportunity to dash around provides a good interruption to their regular routine of sleeping for hours on end! Domesticated felines don’t have the same opportunity for adventure which is so rich in the lives of wild cats. So, the chance for an exciting game is a valuable one for kitties. If you have ever played with a laser pointer before, you will already know that it is very hard for your cat to resist! And this physical exercise is important in ensuring that your cat is not at risk of becoming overweight, which is a dangerous condition for a feline. Also, it provides the opportunity to stretch their legs and get their muscles working.
- Excellent mental stimulation
As well as this obvious physical stimulation, lasers for cats can also provide the perfect chance for your cat’s mind to get a workout as well. Many cats are confined to their houses these days, so it is important that their minds have the opportunity to get some stimulation as well as their bodies.
How to Use a Cat Laser Toy Safely
If you choose to play with your cat using a laser pointer, it is important that you do so in a manner which is safe. The following points are a few safety tips to help you to do just this.
- Avoid pointing the laser at your cat’s eyes
When you are directing the beam of the laser, you should avoid your cat’s eyes. While you would likely have to point it there for a long time to cause any lasting damage, you could still temporarily dazzle your cat, which makes accidents more likely. And the same also goes for avoiding pointing the laser at another person or pet’s eyes either.
- Choose a suitable play area
Wherever you choose for your cat to play, you want to make sure that there is enough room for them to dash around where they are less likely to bump into things and get hurt. Cats can get quite into the game as soon as a laser pointer is involved, so you need to ensure that they have enough to dash around to their heart’s content.
- Avoid overstimulating your cat
Playtime is always a fun experience between your pet and yourself, but you should avoid going overboard and stimulating your cat too much. If your cat seems to be going a little too crazy when chasing the laser, it is time to take a break. Also, it gets frustrating for a cat to continually be chasing something without getting the satisfaction of catching it, and you don’t want to risk inadvertently making your cat aggressive.
- Use other toys and stimulants too
Leading on from the previous point, you shouldn’t only rely on lasers for cats to entertain your cat. Firstly, they can get a little boring – and then there is the aforementioned frustration too. You should have some other toys too and rotate these from time to time to keep your cat engaged.
- Put objects that can fall to one side
While you can control where some lasers shine, others have a random setting, so you don’t necessarily know where your cat is going to fling themselves next. So, if there are any objects that can be knocked over, you should ensure that these are put well out of the way. Not only could they fall on your kitty, but they could end up getting broken.
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Best Laser Pointers for Cats FAQ:
Q: Why is it important for cats to play?
A: Playing with your cat on a regular basis is important. Firstly, it helps to exercise their basic hunting instincts. You will notice that much of cat play involves catching things and pretending to kill it through various means such as biting, scratching, and kicking. Try to learn how your cat likes to play – whether this is by things dangling above them or toys which scurry around on the ground. Try to mimic the way prey would move to make the experience as realistic as possible for your kitty.
Next, we have the obvious physical benefits. A lot of cats are overweight or obese (as many as 60% in the US) which is why it is important that you make a special effort for them not to get into this condition. Cats enjoy the kind of sedentary lifestyle which can lead to health complications such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. You need to play an active role in playing with your cat to keep their weight down and exercise their joints and muscles. Bear in mind that older cats may not be as physically able, so you should focus on floor play rather than activities which involve stretching and jumping.
Mental stimulation is another natural benefit of playtime with your cat. While some kitties are allowed outdoors to make their own entertainment, some are cooped up inside for on end. And if they don’t have any company, it can be even worse. Playtime can quickly become a highlight for your cat – one which you shouldn’t deny to them. Also, cats who are bored are more likely to engage in mischievous behavior such as picking fights and scratching up furniture, so there is a natural benefit to your household as well. The activities involved in playing with your cat help to exercise both cognitive and motor skills, which can play a role in keeping degenerative conditions like dementia at bay.
If you are looking to strengthen the bond between your cat and yourself, playing with them is one of the best ways of doing this. When your cat has the mental and physical stimulation that they need, this helps to release their anxiety and aggression, making them more amenable to people and other animals. For kittens who are just learning to socialize, playing is particularly important as it helps them to learn basic social skills, as well as testing their boundaries.
And last but not least, playing with your cat is a lot of fun for both of you!
Q: Are laser pointers bad for cats?
A: In most situations, laser pointers are a great bit of fun for your cat, but they still need to be used safely and in the right way. While it may seem obvious, you should avoid shining the light directly into the eyes of your cat – but you shouldn’t worry too much if it only flashes by your cat’s peepers. One of the main arguments presented against laser pointers is that your cat never has the opportunity to catch their prey, which they do with other toys. This could lead them to taking their frustration out in a way which is harmful to themselves or those around them. You can avoid this by switching to a toy that can be ‘killed’ straight after such as a stuffed mouse. This way, your cat will feel like a hunting king or queen!
Another potential problem that has been identified in cats who play with laser pointers is that they can end up engaging in bad behavior such as clawing furniture and biting. If you notice any of this kind of behavior – or an increase in anxiety or chasing dots which aren’t there, stop using the toy and try something else. Generally, if used the right way, this is a great toy which your cat will love and one which doesn’t require much effort from you to use!
Q: What color laser pointer is best for cats?
A: While cats can see colors to a certain extent, they are not specifically attracted to them. Red lasers for cats are the most standard color chosen for as they stand out against most backdrops, but green and violet are another couple of possibilities.
Our Top Pick
Returning to our number one pick of all the best laser pointers for cats discussed in this blog post, we have this one which comes with three speed settings to keep your cat consistently engaged. But the 15 minutes auto-timer ensures that your cat is not going to get too overstimulated with the game.
While some toys are restricted to a smaller area, this one can be set to shine the light in wider circles, so you can enjoy playtime outdoors. Designed in the US, you can be assured of its quality. All of these reasons add up to making it our number one choice of cat laser pointers.
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