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Thoughts on laser pointer toys?

onster
February 17th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Does any1 play with their cats regularly with those things? My sil had bought one for their cat and we tried it for fun on hazel - was pretty excited so I went and bought one from the dollar store.

Hazel and Onnie love the thing and hazel especially will chase it for as long as u use it. However, when I used it the first time I think I went overboard cuz by the end of it hazel was pretty much hyperventilating - freaked me out. When he was a kitten he had a pretty bad upper respiratory infection so he can be a hard / whistly breather.

Played again today but only for 10 mins. I find after I stop though both cats are completely obsessed with trying to find the light. Will just keep circling around the room, to the point that they wont even come have some treats when u shake the bag (BIG thing if uve got fatty kitties like me). I'm thinking it's good excercise for my indoor kitties but I almost feel bad that I'm gonna drive them insane???

krdahmer
February 17th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Mine were like that in the beginning too, and still get super excited to play... I try to give them breaks while playing with it to catch their breath. As Buddy will chase it until he has to lay down and pant for a while. And I play it maybe 2-3 times a week so it doesn't get old. I have just a dollar store one too, and I've had it 4 years now, it goes through batteries like crazy but hey I get those at the dollar store too and these guys are so worth it!!

luckypenny
February 17th, 2008, 09:15 PM
This is one article of several I found that talks about OCD and mentions laser pointers. http://doglinks.co.nz/problems/barry_place/obsessive_compulsive_behavior.htm

It's in referrence to dogs but I'd assume it can relate to cats as well.

My late FIL used both a laser pointer and flashlight to keep his dog Peanut amused. Unfortunately, the poor pup became obsessed with lights and shadows. When we adopted him, he would spend hours digging at sunbeams. Nothing we did distracted him and if we tried to physically remove him, he would snap at us. We often closed blinds and curtains when the sun would come in the windows.

I'm not saying this would happen to your kitties, but just something for you to consider should you notice any warning signs.

onster
February 17th, 2008, 09:15 PM
ya my sil bought it from the pet store for almost 10 dollars!!! :shrug:

Good to hear that ure cats still love it, I just don't want to really frustrate them since they never actually catch anything. Also hazel already has obsessive compulsive chewing disorder (aka pica), and I'm begining to realize he's kind of obsessed with the laser too. Onnie will move on after were done playing like I said, but hazel will still have his eyes darting around the room for an hour later/ not wanting to get picked up - must watch for evil red dot.

I guess I will just limit it to short sessions every once in a while.

Btw krdamer, I wanted to ask how u play with all ure kitties? The thing is I find Hazel steals all the play time, cuz he's the quicker pouncer/ mover if u know what I mean. Doesn't really like to share. Do u do individual play times?

onster
February 17th, 2008, 09:18 PM
omg luckypenny, I posted my reply b4 I saw ures. Just skimmed thru the article but will read it thoroughly now. Ya I dont think its a good idea anymore considering hazel has that tendency....? The last thing I need is for him to become obsessed with shadows and lights in addition to his chewing obsession.

ETA:

From the article..

"Many specialists in this area,
including Dodman, believe that many stereotypies are the result of small seizures or convulsions that occur in the brain. This has been verified by doing a specialized type of EEG on dogs with these disorders. That may be why anticonvulsant medications seem to help many dogs. This disorder also tends to occur more in certain breeds, and both Labrodor and Golden Retrievers are among those breeds.

Although the medications, IMO, are almost always necessary to
really change the behavior, there are two things you can do that may have a positive affects."

small seizures in the brain??? woah. Do u think pica counts as a stereotypie?

meg4050
February 17th, 2008, 09:46 PM
The seizure talk just jogged my memory - my vet told me not to use light pointers or toys with a lot of reflectant (like foil) with Peaches b/c he's epileptic and it may prompt seizures - similar to strobelights with humans.

Not sure if the risk is there with non-epileptic cats too?

jiorji
February 17th, 2008, 09:55 PM
hmm interesting Lp...but I think some animals are obsessed with moving lights anyways. My Twiggy LOVES her laser pointer and also LOVEs my camera...because light reflects off the lens onto the wall and i used my camera to play with light reflections way before I got the laser. I don't think it damages anything. I think it just has to do with some animals liking to attack things more than others.

I'm curious to see if your SIL's cat will like the laser Onster, since you mentioned she lives outside. So she probably has WAY more entertainment than a regular North American cat. Things to pounce on and to catch. :evil:

onster
February 17th, 2008, 10:08 PM
:offtopic:hahaha jiorji, their kitty doesn't live outside, he just gets outside time. Let's just say that some sicko *******s in the municipality think that leaving poison food out is an effective way to curb the street cat popultion. My brother has banned them coming into the resort but public property just outside the main gates is fair game:mad:. So they cant leave kitty to roam on his own, which actually leads to some funny stories :laughing:. Think sil following kitty during the night as he goes from palm tree to palm tree, cutting through peoples little gardens and patios while its a very high possibility to find holidaymakers ..ummm...frisky...and butt naked. She runs, eyes to the ground. :offtopic:

Back to topic, haha i cant believe i threadjacked my own post. That's interesting meg. I don't think hazel has ever had seizures, but he definately has obsessions. My vet wasnt too helpful though, just gave me a pamplet about problem behaviours, which just said to try and deter the cat from chewing. ummm. thanks. How?????

otter
February 17th, 2008, 10:17 PM
Onster, does Hazel get enough "stimulation" i.e. play time with other toys and stuff? I'd be temped to stay away from the laser given what you've said and that article.... no point in temping disaster.

Now take what i'm saying with a grain of salt, given that I have two cats who have no interest in play of any kind and a dog who is obsessed with toys :laughing: (Molly even tried to get the ball out of one of those cat toys that are a round ring with a ball enclosed in it... it was hilarious - the cats, of course, couldn't care less about the thing)

onster
February 17th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Well he does have many many toys otter, which he plays with all by himself most of the time. Loves to toss mousie in the air and such. And he has big brother to chase, food to steal etc. Sometimes I do feel that I dont actually play with him enough espec. when I'm busy with school.

i do find however that the best thing to do when he's very chewy is to distract him with play, so I will try upping that. The problem is though that when I reallly play a lot with him, Onnie tends to beat up on him more. I think Onnie gets frustrated cuz hazel always gets to the toy faster/ steals things from him. :sad:

:shrug: I really don't know. It's my first time having two cats and sometimes I really feel they each would be happier on their own where they could get alll the attention.

jiorji
February 17th, 2008, 10:34 PM
that happens here too. When there's play and both cats join, there's some sort of paw swatting and the leader usually wins and Twiggy always walks off :sad:

I think that's a normal cat thing. I think if you can, play with Hazel when Onnie's sleeping so that he doesn't get upset. Or do it in a room and close the door. THe little ones have to be protected from bullies to enjoy their play time :laughing:

Do they both chase the laser pointer? That happens here and that's also a reason to beat up on each other. It sounds mean, but it's just a few paw swats and game over...someone always walks away

onster
February 17th, 2008, 10:48 PM
ya but but but...Onnie is my big boy. He just get's swatted and goes and sulks :sad: Even though he could really just sit on hazel and it would all be over :laughing:. Onnie reallly lets anyone walk all over him...

i try to do the one cat in one room thing for play time, but then the other cat just scratches at the door and whines :rolleyes:. Theyve got the guilt-tripping down pat.

krdahmer
February 18th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Play time is a little tricky here, the boys don't seem to mind playing together and Asker isn't shy and will join in. I do have to set aside time for Smoke and Windy though as they tend to hang back and don't like to be around when the boys are zoomy. So I just shut the door to my room and then the girls get to play alone.

And my guys chase reflections and sunbeams and shadows too, I think it's just natural and thats why they like the laser so much. I try to mimick a bugs movements with the laser and have found a trick to make them think they've caught it too so it doesn't drive them really nuts. I just turn it off as they put their paws on it... they think they have it and then look under their paws and are shocked to see it gone. They just think its a really fast bug.