Why Do Cats Love Laser Pointers And Chasing The Red Dot?

Why do cats love laser pointers? This is a question frequently asked by pet parents. Watching your kitty chase that famous red dot can be great fun. It’s also great exercise for your cat, getting her off the sofa, and stretching her limbs. However are laser pointers safe for your kitty?

In this post you’ll discover why cats love chasing that red dot, and how to use laser pointer toys the right way. You’ll also discover the importance of playing with your cat, and making sure she gets plenty of exercise. You’ll also find reviews of laser pointers to get you inspired!

Many think laser pointers are only used as a presentation tool in the boardroom. They’ve also been in the spotlight for misuse, as used wrongly a powerful laser pen can damage eyesight. However, most laser pointers sold as pet toys are very safe.

Why do cats chase laser pointers?

Cats have a natural instinct for hunting, and even if your kitty rarely ventures outside the backdoor she still needs to practice! A moving red dot looks like prey to a cat, stimulating that basic drive. If your cat is anything like mine you’ll be familiar with that mad half hour of craziness!! This is a concentrated burst of energy mostly found in indoor cats, or those too lazy to venture outside! (Mine is the latter ha ha!)

Chasing a red dot helps burn all that excessive energy off. Mine loves chasing the dot up walls even though he’ll never catch it! In the wild, cats conserve energy by sleeping, then have short periods when they’re hunting prey. Your cat is no different, even though she doesn’t have to hunt for food.

Watch this fun video of a cat chasing a red dot!

Are laser pointers safe for cats?

are laser pointers safe for cats

Fortunately, as previously mentioned, most pet laser toys are very safe. However, be careful you never shine a laser pointer directly at your cat’s eyes. Always direct it away from your kitty so that can never happen. A split second is ok though, so don’t worry if that happens. As we all know, a crazy cat chasing something is all over the place!

The only concern cat parents may have with a laser pointer is the game can never be won. This could lead to a very frustrated kitty! Chasing something that can never be caught could drive your cat nuts!Imagine how you’d feel if you’re constantly chasing something that’s always just out of reach.

You’d suffer from pent up emotion leading to depression. It’s possible your kitty could react in a similar way. The only thing is, she may decide to take it out on you, or your furniture! Some cats including my own also tend to continue looking for the dot. This usually stops after a short time though.

Rewarding your kitty and giving closure

A nice way to end a game you know your cat can never win is to reward her with a treat. Place a few treats out of sight and after you’ve tired kitty out with all that manic chasing, shine the dot onto the treats. It will give her a sense of achievement as if she’s caught her prey.

Whether the treat is food or a toy, it will have the same effect. Another good idea is to switch back and forth with other interactive games. Once your kitty is in full hunting mode you’ll find it easy to get her chasing after a toy mouse or playing ball. By switching games you’ll find your cat is less inclined to get frustrated.

Why it’s important to play with your cat

Just like us, cats need exercise as well as mental stimulation. While your cat can’t do soduko puzzles to keep her brain active, interactive games will. Spending just 15 minutes a day playing with your cat strengthens the bond between you. Even if you have a busy schedule, find a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day that you can play with your fur baby

Mine loves playing a game of ball with me. I gently roll it towards him and he bats it back to me with his paw! This can go on for quite a while before he gets bored. The laser pointer is also a well loved toy, and shining the dot on the ball soon get him pouncing on it again.

Play is all the more important if your kitty spends much of her life indoors. Boredom and lack of exercise can lead to depression just as it can for humans. There’s also the risk your cat could suffer pent up aggression. Clawing at furniture or carpets is sometimes used as a way of releasing that energy.

Robotic cat toys are good for when you’re cat is on her own, but playing with your cat keeps you and your feline friend close. In fact it’s also good for your mental health. Studies have often shown the benefits of owning a pet, especially for those living alone.

Best laser pointers for cats

Here are a few of the best laser pointer games to keep your kitty entertained. Why not get two so your fur baby never gets bored!

RIO Direct Rechargeable Chase Cat Toy, Multi Pattern Funny & Mini Flashlight Interactive LED

This rechargeable laser toy has 5 different patterns to stimulate your cat. It can quickly change from red dot to smiley face, mouse, star, or butterfly. This is great for keeping your kitty entertained.

Rechargeable batteries mean play sessions need never die a sudden death! You can simply plug it into your laptop USB, or other USB charger.

Built in UV detector allows you to easily spot urine stains. This is great as all pet parents have experienced little accidents from time to time! You can even use it to spot counterfeit money! No more embarrassing moments at the supermarket checkout!!

A few buyers noted the flashlight isn’t very bright. However, most buy it just as a cat toy and not as a torch.

Several buyers found the laser toy stopped working after a few days, but this can happen with any purchase. As long as you return any defective product within 30 days you can get a replacement or refund.

Average rating 4.4 out of 5
Price $9.99

You can buy RIO Direct Rechargeable Chase Cat Toy here

DADYPET Cat Light Toys, Interactive Toys for Kitten, Auto Rotating Chaser Toy

interactive cat laser toy

This auto rotating laser toy is suitable for cats or small dogs. The red dot moves randomly on the floor or walls, giving your kitty plenty of stimulation. The good thing about this laser toy is you don’t have to do anything. No need to hold a laser pointer as the toy is constantly moving the dot at random.

Random movements stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts. However, be careful your kitty doesn’t get over stimulated and always end the game with a reward to satisfy her. As mentioned previously, some cats get very frustrated with a game they can’t win.

  • You could easily use this as a way of keeping your kitty entertained while you’re at work. You have to manually turn it on, but it works for 15 minute intervals before turning off. It can be made to turn back on again automatically though.

  • You can place it anywhere your cat likes to spend her time. Whether on a windowsill, corner of a room, table, or cat tree, your kitty will enjoy the thrill of the chase! You can use the mirror adjust button to change direction of the light. This is great as it helps keep your cat interested in the game.

  • You can’t adjust the speed, and some buyers found their cats couldn’t keep up with it!

Average rating 4.4 out of 5
Price $19.99

You can buy the daddypet auto rotating chaser toy here

Nice Dream Automatic Cat Toy with LED Light

automatic cat laser toy

This is a two in one chase toy for cats. It has a coloured ball that sits on top of a self rotating base. The base rotates a full 360 degrees. The ball has a red laser dot that gets your cat chasing along the floor. This is great for getting your cat to exercise without any interaction from you. This allows you get on with work or household chores while your cat gets rid of excess energy!

The ball is attached to the base with a magnet and is easily removed. This allows you to play a game of ball with your kitty and watch as she chases the red dot!!

The nice dream automatic cat toy has automatic shut off after 10 minutes. This is great as it saves battery power, and gives your cat a rest.

3 LR44 Batteries for the ball are supplied but not rechargeable. However, they are long lasting. You’ll also need 3 AAA batteries for the base which aren’t supplied.

You get a screwdriver and instructions, making assembly easy.

Some buyers found their cats lost interest or showed no interest at all. There’s no guarantee your cat will play with this toy, but as it’s an affordable price you can’t go wrong!

Cats are finicky creatures and will often play with a toy they’ve ignored as if it’s new! At least, my cat does!

Average rating 4.4 out of 5
Price $14.54

You can buy the nice dream automatic cat toy here

DADYPET Cat Feeder Toy, Pet Food Dispenser Swing Interactive Treat Ball IQ Toys with Glowing Ball and Bell for Small Dog&Cat

cat laser toy puzzle feeder

This toy is a laser puzzle feeder toy. A feeder ball is supported on top of a metal spring that your cat bats with her paw. Treats drop through a hole encouraging your lazy feline to work hard for her treats!! This is great for encouraging exercise, and as there’s always a reward, it satisfies the hunting instinct as well.

The transparent ball has a bell as well as light to make sure your cat takes notice!!

There’s a very strong suction pad on the base. This is great as you can stick the toy on walls as well as the floor.

The ball is washable which is great for hygiene!

Make sure you only insert very small treats in the ball as a buyer found the hole very small for dog treats.

Average rating 3.5 out of 5
Price $10.99

You can buy the daddypet cat and dog feeder toy here

Should you get a laser pointer toy for your feline friend?

Now you know the answer to the question “why do cats love laser pointers”, should you get one for your fur baby? I don’t think you can go wrong as most cat laser toys are inexpensive. If you’ve a multiple cat household you’ll probably find one will take more of an interest than others! As I previously mentioned, cats are often very finicky, and it’s not unusual for them to play with toys they lost interest in. Most laser toys for pets are very safe, but you still need to be careful.

We looked at why cats love laser pointers so much as well as the benefits of getting your cat to play with them. Leaving your cat at home all day while you go out to work could make her bored and depressed. Having an automatic laser toy to chase around relieves boredom and gets rid of excess energy. Less chance of your feet being attacked as you arrive home!

We also looked at several of the best laser pointers for cats. Hopefully this inspired you to treat your fur baby. Whether as a stocking filler at Christmas or impulse buy, your kitty will certainly love a new toy to play with. For more cat toys read my review on 7 best cat toys for indoor cats.

Your cat doesn’t need to spend all her time indoors to play with them though! All cats need play to keep mentally stimulated. So get your lazy kitty off the sofa and treat her to some interactive play time!

If you enjoyed reading this post please share:)Feel free to leave any comments below.

Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂

12 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Love Laser Pointers And Chasing The Red Dot?”

  1. Hi Kathy,
    I have two little cats and was running out of ideas to keep them from taking apart the apartment!!
    This laser pointer seems perfect. I would definetely go for the automatic one, as they could also play without me directly being involved. That might keep them from running over my computer in search for attention 😉
    Thank you so much for the advice, I’m happ I found your article and will follow this page!

    • Thank you Jana, yes, cats are very good at creating havoc if they get bored!! An automatic laser toy would be ideal to keep your cats entertained while you work. I know all about cats walking on laptops lol! My cat thinks it’s hilarious to walk on mine while I’m trying to write a post! A laser pointer soon detracts his attention onto something much more fun:):)

  2. This just reminds me of my kitty! The lazy boy won’t flinch unless a bit of light catches his attention from the direction of my phone and then he comes to life!
    I will definetly invest in a safe light toy for him in accordance with your recommendations!

    Thanks very much!

    • Thanks Gayle, yes, I’m sure your cat would love a laser toy as he likes chasing the light from your phone. My cat loves watching shadows on the wall and reaches up to try and catch them lol!

  3. Hi, I had never given thought to why kitties loved the red dot before. Makes sense they like the chase, and exercise is a nice benefit.
    I wasn’t able to see any pictures of the laser toys you were suggesting. It looked like a picture should be there but maybe the links were broken.

    • Thanks Chrissy 🙂 Yes, cats love chasing red laser dots at it stimulates their hunting instincts. Sorry you weren’t able to see the pictures. I checked and everything seems fine now:)

  4. Hi,

    Very informative article – you’ve given me lots of new ideas for toys for my cat. He’s a bit on the lazy side and can get a bit too handy with his swipes if he’s bored!

    I think that having him chase a laser light will be just the thing to stop him slapping me because he has nothing better to do!

    He may even forget to sharpen his claws on the sofa for a while !


    • Thank you Judy, yes, cats love swiping when they’ve nothing better to do lol! Toys are definitely important for keeping kitties entertained! I frequently end up playing bat the ball with my cat. The interaction is great for bonding as well as a way of distracting them from clawing the furniture! Glad I’ve given you some inspiration for cat toys:)

  5. We have two cats and were given a laser pointer. The older one, who is 4 hardly gives two hoots about it. The younger one who is 2 years old, absolutely loves it! I’ll have to remember to give him a treat after so he doesn’t get frustrated!

    • Hi Anna, it’s funny how cats are so different! Yes, definitely reward him after a game of chase the red dot! It gives them a sense of satisfaction even though no prey was caught! My cat remembers the red dot hours later and looks for it on the wall. He even meows as he’s looking !

  6. Really good point to mention, the security of our little animal! My brother has 5 cats, so I could highly suggest him these nice little toys. I think more than one will be happy to play with it!

    I agree with the fact that even if cats are lazy animals (in my opinion xD), it’s important that they move during the day. Like any human, they need to be active.

    Thank you for sharing these tips 🙂


    • Thank you Audrey, you’re so right. Our pets need to keep active just like us. I’m sure your brother will find the review of these cat toys useful. My cat loves playing with a laser pointer and it certainly gets him active!:)


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