Recent studies have shown that cats are the most widely spread animal used as pets, managing to beat the so-called “man’s best friend”, the dog. What differentiates dogs from cats is quite simple and revolves around the fact that cats like to be spoiled, as they have always required more attention and more petting when compared to their ‘counterparts’.
In order to keep them busy and make cats perform some type of physical exercises, while also having a lot of fun as a cat owner, one of the easiest ways is to use a laser pointer. Why do cats love laser pointers so much? Well, here are some of the reasons.
1. The dot looks alive to the cat
When something shines in the dark and most importantly, moves around, the cat perceives it as being alive. Oftentimes, it might confuse it with a mouse or some type of rodent and chase it around. In this case, cats are not so different from humans. Recent studies have shown that people tend to perceive an object as being alive the more it moves and the more it changes direction. Cats are the same, the more a dot moves and changes direction, the more they want to chase it because they believe it is a real animal and as we all know, most cats can’t resist small animals running around.
2. It takes out the predatory instincts in the cat
Everybody knows that cats have a lot of things in common with other large felines, such as lions, tigers, and even pumas. One of the characteristics these two shares is the predatory instinct which kicks in once the animal sees something moving very fast and therefore perceives it as being alive. Once the animal becomes convinced that the thing moving in front of it is alive, the predatory instinct kicks in and it starts chasing the smaller animal, trying to catch it. The animal becomes addicted and desperately wants to catch it.
Like any major feline would do in the wild, the cat starts watching it and then ambushes it, trying to catch it. In the case of a laser pointer, the cat obviously cannot physically catch the dot, but it doesn’t know that and it becomes fixed on the dot. The cat gives it its full attention, constantly watching and ambushing it, never giving up because it sees the dot and fully believes it is a real animal.
Leaving the actual reason related to why cats simply love chasing laser pointers and would do so for hours long, it can be safely said that watching your cat go crazy over a small dot is also a fun experience for humans and it can be a source of exercise for your cat, especially if it is in need of it.As playing with your cat via this technique is also safe as long as you keep the laser away from the cat’s eye and are careful not to cause any injuries, most cat owners enjoy this activity a lot.