Laser Toys: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Part 2

Part Two: More about The Good

photo: tsuacctnt

In my previous blog post, I showed you how a laser pointer can be put to great use for a complete and healthy two-phase play therapy session for your cat.

But there’s another great use for laser pointers, and it doesn’t have to do with play, directly.

It has to do with introducing momentary distractions, and those momentary distractions help when dealing with multi-cat problems.

Because of my distaste for aversive reactions or punishment, I look for more proactive, positive approaches whenever possible.

Let’s take, for example, the bully cat, always stalking his victim. Of course we have to read the body language of stalking in the first place, but once we see that, we can act.

Here’s how it goes, right?  Bully gets into a low crouch and begins to walk around the room, belly almost touching the floor, and hiding behind table legs and such.  Because laser pointers these days come with a belt loop attachment, you can have it on you at all times.  When you see this behavior, “POW!”  Laser time.  Suddenly, there’s a much more attractive “victim,” shining in the bully’s peripheral vision.  With a little laser dancing, you can probably get ‘bully cat’ to pay enough attention to it to praise them for doing something right, as opposed to yelling and screaming when the impending cat fight breaks out.

So, that’s another positive user for laser toys.  But, honestly, as opposed to many other of the toy options out there, the laser does have limited uses by comparison.

You’ll see what I mean in my next post: LASER TOYS: THE BAD

Until next time, take care out there in the cat lovin’ world.

Other posts in this series:
Part One
Part Three

 
  1. Mike   November 21, 2011 at 11:13 am  

    We used to play with our Bully Cat with a Laser Pointer but once she realized there was nothing to catch she lost interest. She needs a prize for her hunting.

  2. Bernadette   November 22, 2011 at 9:25 am  

    Another “good” when used as a distraction is getting out the door before the cat. I had a houseful of cats, a few quite cunning schemers in particular, who plotted their escape every day as I left for work–not that they wanted to be outside necessarily, though one of them really did, but it was a game they played with me. I don’t like to use punishment, especially when they are actually playing and don’t realize it’s “bad” (human-only term), but desperate measures were in order especially when I left particularly early and it was still dark outside. The laser pointer was the last game we “played” before I left, or disappeared while they were distracted.

    Coming home was no problem because I never left food out and got the grand welcome with effusive praise before they all turned and ran for the kitchen.

    And one last “good” is with multiple cats who like to compete, as it is with the family of four (who are now four years), occasionally their mom, and at least one foster cat who’d been with us in the past few years. When six grown cats, approximately 70 pounds of black and tabby, can all playfully compete with each other to get the dot it becomes much more than a dot. It also keeps them off my desk or drawing table our kitchen counters when I’m trying to work; I have one in each room to head off disaster.

  3. John   November 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm  

    I used to use a laser pointer for awhile with my roommate’s cat until I realized that it made him totally crazy. He would search and search for the laser after it was turned off, which was pretty sad to watch. Since then I adopted two of my own cats. They’re about 1.5 years old now. I’ve never used a laser pointer with them for play, but I’ve often thought it might be useful as a training tool. Do you know of any other useful applications for the laser?

Comments are closed.

We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.