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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Laser pointers - harm or good?

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Cats and laser pointers. Name a more iconic duo. Unfortunately for our feline friends, laser pointers are often used in potentially harmful ways.The problem with laser pointers is that they lack an endpoint. Nothing is ever physically caught. Even if the cat is “successful,” there's no reward. Such pointless play can cause some cats to develop a compulsive disorder. Instead of engaging in normal activities like playing with their owners or even eating, these cats will spend a large portion of their day chasing things that are similar to the laser pointer light, such as shadows or reflections.
But that doesn't mean you need to stop using laser pointers.They're great for exercising cats and giving them the predatory stimulation they need. Use it in a way that's more effective by adding a clicker.
Here's how it works: The cat is trained to associate the sound of the clicker with pleasing its owner and with the promise of a tangible reward. Once it's clicker trained, the cat is periodically allowed to “catch” the laser light, at which point the owner delivers a click followed by a tasty treat. In this way, the cat knows that it's won and that something good is coming.

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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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