An object that looks like fun and provokes funny reactions: the cat laser has become a very common "toy" to entertain felines. A single beam light, which makes the kitten jump from side to side in order to reach it seems like a harmless game, doesn't it?! But, do you know what the effects of this accessory are? The cat laser can be very harmful?Imagine this: felines have the instinct of hunters by nature and get frustrated when they don't successfully reach a prey. After all, how would they reach a prey that suddenly disappears? To better understand how the cat laser can affect the kitties, we talked to the biologist and feline behaviorist Valéria Zukauskas. Enough more!
How and when should I use the cat laser?
The use of the cat laser should be done with awareness. Felines do not understand that the light is not a prey, so he will not spare any effort to get his reward. Suddenly, that light disappears and the animal does not understand where something he was craving so much went. "I see many people using the laser not as a toy to distract the cat, but to distract themselves: using the light toThis is harmful, so it should be used consciously: low and sinuous movements, imitating prey," explains Valéria. The ideal is to reward the cat at the end of the game so that it does not get frustrated.
Laser for cats can cause behavior problems
After a few times trying to figure out how to catch the laser, the cat may not want to play anymore. This behaviour occurs when he feels frustrated after so much effort. The laser does not cause addiction, on the contrary, in excess and without the final reward, it will make the cat lose interest. With this loss of interest is that some behavioural problems arise, such as anxiety, nervousness, etc.and stress.
In some cases, the laser can even make a cat that is normally tame, more aggressive with its owners. "Some cats start to advance on their guardians, which is natural, because they want their reward," says Valéria. There are some options for not leaving the cat laser aside and still rewarding the kitten: "You can use a toy where the prey itself is the laser, a model that already exists in the market.This will make the cat understand that it is being rewarded and thus reach the prey."
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Cat laser: when should we not use this accessory?
Cats tend to be very interested in the laser, which is why humans are so insistent on using it. The problem is that overuse can make the cat more problematic. In this case, Valéria explains that the use of the laser is much more about the guardians than about the felines. "We need to evaluate the guardian and not the cat. It is not recommended to use the laser by children without supervision (not least because many point outthe light in the cat's eye), nor the use of the automatic laser and by people who just want to see the cat jump," says the expert.
This doesn't mean that you can't use a laser to play with your cat, it's just a matter of taking responsibility and asking yourself if this toy is really necessary. Is it your cat who likes to play with it or is it you who likes to watch your cat play? The mental health of felines is just as important as their physical health. It's worth thinking about, as there are other alternatives to entertain your cat.
Cat toys: there are alternatives to using the laser!
You can invest in toys other than the laser to play with your cat. To offer a toy to your feline, it is necessary to take into account some variables, such as age, size, energy level and how much stimulation and activity it has per day. As Valéria explains, each cat is unique and will be stimulated by a different object. She also recommends that the feline does not have a toy.the offer of toys on demand and receive variation in stimuli, as they may get sick and not be interested in any of them. The idea is to alternate the days and which toys will be offered. For example, if on Monday you encouraged your cat to play with a wand, on Tuesday it is interesting to offer him a toy mouse stuffed with catnip.See_also: Canine behavior: why do female dogs mount other dogs?