Ask a Cat Lady: Are Laser Pointers Bad for Cats?

Mar 14th 2012  |   9 Contributions

Catster reader Michele asks, “Are laser pointers dangerous for cats?” Well, Michele, have we got a song for you.

The Lyrics:

My Unbeatable Foe

By Sarah Donner

If you want to do a lazy kitty favors/Pull out a stimulating laser/It’s better than an episode of Frasier

Just be sure you don’t point it in their eyes/They have retinas that you could fry If the beam is ten milliwatts or higher

Oh, my unbeatable foe/I’ll go where ever you go/Oh, my unbeatable foe/I’ll go where ever you go

Try to curb laser beam frustration/After laser light show elation/With a tactile toy stimulation

When they’re done, don’t leave 'em high and hyper/Since no one wants to look like a sniper

Oh, my unbeatable foe/I’ll go where ever you go/Oh my unbeatable foe/I’ll go where ever you go

Sarah Says: My Dunkin is a particularly lazy kitty. Feathers on a stick and dancing girls just don’t do it for him. When I pull out the laser pointer, though, he moves like me at DSW when I see sequins on the clearance rack.

Some cat owners are reluctant to use lasers because of safety concerns. Cat toys from Dollar Tree aren’t burning anything but a hole in your wallet. These lasers are in the 5 to 10 mW range and considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (lasers that cut plastic are 75 mW!). Still, do not point them into anyone’s eyes!

To sustain eye damage, a laser needs to be in contact with the eye for more than ten seconds. My cats only maintain that much eye contact when I bring home takeout from Happy City.

The other concern is kitty psychological welfare. With out the satisfaction of hardy bite of flesh or plastic, Mr. Floofers might wind up anxious or frustrated. You should end your rousing game of laser tag with physical attention via feathers on a stick, rattle mice, or dancing girls.

Sources: LaserWeekly, Way of Cats, National Center for Biotechnology Information, eHow

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