Caturday felids: Lasers!

April 2, 2011 • 4:08 am

If you have a cat but not a laser pointer, you (and your cat) are missing out on hours of fun. Fortunately, we academics nearly always have one close at hand.

It can be used for your own amusement as well as for the cat’s exercise.  Try cat bowling!

But sometimes the kittehs fight back:

16 thoughts on “Caturday felids: Lasers!

  1. We bought a Laser Mouse years ago, and it’s still going strong. Bryxie used to tell me “That ain’t even real, Dave*. I ain’t chasing that no more.” We dragged it out recently to help burn off some of Merlyn’s excess energy. The Spousal Unit has read that it’s ultimately frustrating for kittehs not to be able to administer a coup de grâce, so they need to play with other toys, too.

    *Only the kittehs, my parents and friends I’ve known since grade school call me Dave.

  2. Yes, I came in here to say kitty needs to “win” sometimes, too. As it happens, I have a fetch-playing cat, so the laser pointer isn’t as fun for either of us.

    1. Merlyn doesn’t seem to care. He’s chasing the mouse pointer around on the screen as I type this…

  3. Some cats, such as mine, don’t get into laser pointers. I have a friend with two cats. One goes nuts for it and the other one just watches nonchalantly. It’s interesting that the one that does go for it knows very well that it comes from the device itself. When she pulls the pointer out of the drawer he’s right there, knowing he’s going to have fun.

  4. Some time ago I bought a motorized laser projector that sat on a table or shelf and cast a moving dot on the walls and floor, but the motion didn’t seem to be of any interest to my cats (I gave it to a cat-keeping friend and his cats loved it). I think it was the fact that the dot’s motion was either to fast or not random enough. Isa goes nots whenever I get the handheld pointer – what really gets her is shining the dot on her paws or tail; she can see it but not feel it. Kveldulf is interested, but he’s too old to give chase. Unlike the graph above, my pointer is 100% for the amusement of the cats.

  5. They’re abnormally interested, aren’t they? Is it something about monochromatic light? (Do they do the same for a well-focussed torch beam?) Or the colour? (Do green lasers work as well?) Or is it just the movement that says “Hypermouse!”

    1. Merlyn will chase a torch beam. Sometimes I lose track of him outside at dawn or dusk and bring one out. I don’t have to look for him, he starts chasing it. Watch reflections as well.

  6. My experience has been an inverse logarithmic interest by the cats.

    The first time Joanie, Tamar, and Baihu each saw a laser, they went insane. The next time, it was somewhat more interesting than a regular cat toy, but not insanely fascinating. Then, just like a regular toy…and the decline kept continuing.

    With Baihu now, I have to put the laser away for at least a few months before he’ll chase it, and then I only get one short session of chasing out of it.

    Oh — and Shuggy: green lasers seem to work even better than red.



    1. Bryxie used to lose interest within 2 minutes. She wasn’t going to burn those precious calories that she had spent all that time collecting. For the other two, it was a few days before they gave up. Merlyn, however, will not stop until I do. But he’s a kitten.

  7. i was passing through hong kong on the way back from a conference once. from my 4th story hotel window i pointed the laser down on to the footpath outside a provisions shop and made the storecat go crazy. the owner was quite amused too.

    baz likes the pointer too. must try the bowling!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *