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Laser Pointer/cat Safety

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I discovered last night that BB is totally into the laser pointer. I was playing with the cats with it and next thing I know, she bumps her head into the babygate and REALLY wants in to get it. So I go into her space and let her chase it around for awhile. My question is, her play seemed more like prey drive with the laser pointer, compared to when she does zoomies and throws her stuffies around- will she want to go after the cats? She was interested in one of them last night after I put the pointer away, and perked her ears at the cat when he jumped the gate and moved like she was going to stand up off her bed. I immediately corrected her. So far she has been very low prey drive and still won't make eye contact with a cat, but I don't want to possibly teach her it's okay for her to 'hunt' things inside the house, if that's a possibility?


Should I ditch the laser pointer?


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I won't pretend to have an intelligent opinion on this but I can direct you to an interesting discussion on GT Facebook site with just such a topic. The idea of whether you can inadvertently encourage rey drive through other types of play. :ohno



Figuring out life without my Mercury and Liberty, the world's best blackngreylabhound

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Laser pointers are a bad idea. They promote frustration because they are uncatchable. Some animals are okay with this, but in many it leads to frustration at best and OCD at worst. Giving a dog an outlet for some prey drive doesn't necessarily carry over to make the dog unsafe with small creatures, but I think frustration at not being able to finish the natural progression of that drive could lead the dog to see an alternative she wouldn't normally see (cats).


I play tug, disc, and other games that rely on my dog's innate prey drive. She is perfectly safe with our rabbits. But that chase drive is always rewarded with the natural progression of catching her tug or the disc and getting to play with it.


My opinion, throw the laser away.

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Guest xengab

Keep the laser pointer for the cats only, AND make sure they actually CATCH something at the end as it can cause them to become very neurotic. Put the red dot ON another toy, let cat catch that toy and thus they think they caught the red dot too..


I've heard a few stories of dogs needing behavorists after these laser pointers become an obsession with them. Sight hounds wont be fooled or placated like cats will.

You're best at playing with real attainable toys.

My grey has very little prey drive but loves playing with balls, frisbees and squeaker toys. He watches our cat play and race through the house without any interest at all. He has seen the laser moving around and makes no move to get it or even watch it.

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Just no to the laser pointer! I am a dog trainer and do behavior consults. It can lead to OCD and OCD, once it develops is often not treatable, just manageable with medication. I wouldn't do it with your cat either. If your cat likes to chase, a flirt pole is a good option. Dogs love them to. The difference - aside from it not being light of course, but an actual object ;) - is that you can and should let them catch it. Its a great way to then play tug with your dog too.


For the dog:



For the cat:


Edited by NeylasMom


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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