Which laser pointer for cats is best?
Even domestic, indoor cats love to hunt. It’s in their nature. So, having a good laser pointer is a must. Not only do laser pointers appeal to a cat’s basic instincts, but they also encourage cats to move around and play. But not all laser pointers for cats are made the same. Some are automatic, while others are manual, for instance. Some laser pointers use LED lights, while others do not. If you’re looking for a high-quality laser pointer that’s safe, fun and good for exercise, check out the DOLOEDY Cat Laser Toy.
What to know before you buy a laser pointer for cats
It’s no secret that many cats enjoy playing with a good laser pointer. That tiny red dot activates a cat’s natural desire to stalk, hunt and kill. This instinct is common, whether your cat is indoors or outdoors.
Cats have great eyesight, especially when it comes to their peripheral vision. They can observe and track their target well, which is why you may have seen your cat stalk small bugs or a reflective light from your phone or computer. A laser pointer encourages a cat to use and hone their natural skills and keep active, physically and mentally.
Laser pointers for cats aren’t just for fun or entertainment. They’re also a great way to build a more timid cat’s confidence and get them to engage more with their surroundings.
Plus, an active cat is often a healthy cat. If you have an overweight cat, a laser pointer is a great way to get them moving and burning some calories.
Another area where laser pointers excel is when it comes to minimizing tension between cats in multi-cat households. Cats can be territorial, which can lead to aggression or unwanted behaviors like scratching or yowling. But when they have something to chase or hunt, like the light from a laser pointer, they can focus on that rather than each other.
The biggest problem with laser pointers for cats is that they could severely or permanently damage their vision when shone directly on their eyes. This does depend on the type of light used in the laser pointer though. To prevent this problem, use a low-wattage or LED laser pointer instead. Of course, there are alternative cat toys that still encourage them to stay active, and would make for other good additions to your cat’s play supply.
What to look for in a quality laser pointer for cats
Most handheld laser pointers for cats use LR44 or AG13 batteries. These small, capsule-sized batteries usually last for several hours of continuous use. Since cats don’t often hunt for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time, a single laser pointer could last for weeks of regular use.
Some larger or stronger laser pointers use AAA batteries. These generally last around the same amount of time as small, handheld options. However, it’s easier to replace AAA batteries than the specialty batteries of smaller laser pointers.
A few higher-end laser pointers feature a rechargeable battery. These may be more expensive, but they also last a lot longer than non-rechargeable options. Whatever type of laser pointer you get, be sure to replace it or the batteries in it when the light starts to dim.
Automatic vs. manual
When it comes to laser pointers for cats, most people automatically think of the handheld variety. These are manual and, in most cases, require you to press and hold a button to operate them.
But there are also automatic laser pointers. These devices stay in one location and move on their own. Some can be positioned up high where they beam a laser on the ground or on the surrounding walls. Others go on a low table or directly on the ground.
Oftentimes, an automatic laser pointer will have a rotating head that moves in a circular or semi-random pattern. The light may move quickly or slowly, depending on the settings.
Automatic laser pointers usually are set to a timer and will turn off after a certain period of time — usually 10 minutes or so. This lets you go about your day while your cat hunts. At the same time, it keeps your cat from overexerting itself or the batteries from dying too quickly.
Accessories and unique features
Cat laser pointers sometimes come with unique features or accessories. Some use an LED light, which is safer on the cat’s eyes than a standard laser. Others come with a unique filter or pattern that changes the shape or design of the light. Patterns include everything from hearts to insects. Since some cats prefer larger targets, these changes can be beneficial.
Some laser pointers are set upon a ball that moves by itself throughout the house or a certain area. These laser pointers add a whole new level of play for your cat. A few high-end models even dispense treats.
How much you can expect to spend on a laser pointer for cats
A standard, handheld laser pointer should cost $5-$10. An automatic or rechargeable option costs $15-$30.
Laser pointer for cats FAQ
What are some good alternatives to laser pointers?
A. If you don’t have a laser pointer, another great cat toy is a feather or soft ball attached to a slightly bendable stick. These wand toys encourage cats to run, jump and move around, too. Plus, they’re safer on the cat’s eyes. Another option is to get a small crinkly toy filled with catnip.
Should you leave an automatic laser pointer on all day?
A. No. Leaving it on all day could result in the battery running out. Plus, your cat may become bored with it after awhile. In some cases, the light may agitate them if left on too long.
What’s the best laser pointer for cats to buy?
Top laser pointer for cats
What you need to know: This handheld laser pointer comes with five adjustable patterns and is built to last a long time.
What you’ll love: It comes with a recharging USB port, so there’s no need to get a replacement battery for it. The laser comes in different color modes. Since it uses LED lights, it is also considered much safer for a cat’s eyes.
What you should consider: Some of the colors and patterns make the laser dot less visible.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top laser pointer for cats for the money
What you need to know: This cute LED laser pointer consists of durable ABS plastic and comes in five different patterns.
What you’ll love: The patterns include a mouse, a bone, a paw, a fish and a heart. The laser itself can be either green or red for variety. Plus, the laser pointer is rechargeable with approximately three hours of battery life at full charge.
What you should consider: The light is quite strong, even though it’s an LED. Also, to turn off the laser, you need to cycle through the various patterns.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This automatic laser pointer is powerful, convenient and long-lasting.
What you’ll love: Offering up to a month of interactive play, this laser pointer uses four AA batteries that are easy to replace. The laser itself bounces off an adjustable mirror for random movements. It also turns itself off after 15 minutes to preserve battery life.
What you should consider: The lights may move around too quickly for some cats.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them a lot of time and money.
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