Based on the headline, surely you know what we’re referring to when talking about laser pointers. The chances are high that you’ve taken part in this phenomenon at some point with your cat. If you aren’t familiar, cats LOVE laser pointers. By that, we mean they love chasing the laser. It could be going back and forth and they’ll be mesmerized by this little dot. A small speck, yet their attention is captured. While it’s fun to watch and only adds to the cuteness that is your cat, have you ever wondered why they go crazy for this light? Prepare to have your mind blown, because there is a reason behind the madness!
Difference In Eye Structure
In a comparison between our eyes and cat eyes, you’ll find a completely different core. It deals with the retina (where light is converted into nerve impulses). The two important terms here are cones and rods, which are the two different types of retinal cells. Cones involve color vision, while rods deal with detection and vision under low light. We tend to have a higher amount of cones in comparison to rods. Meanwhile, cats have a larger amount of rods in comparison to cones. “Well, what does that tell me?” Great question! It means that our cats are incredibly adept at picking up movement, even if it is dark. So, when you’re flashing your laser pointer around, they’ll instantly pick it up in their peripheral view. Not only that, but the brightness of the laser is a sharp contrast against their default dark background, making it stand out against everything else. “Okay, well why do they chase it then?” Yet again, another incredible question. Very impressive.
A Response Is Stimulated
Your cat is chasing the laser because it taps into their predatory instincts. Cats are naturally designed to stalk, pounce, kill and eat their prey. By moving the laser around the room, they feel compelled to chase after it. However, they don’t actually get to feast on their prey, considering this is most likely taking place in your house and it’s a laser. So, it’s always important to remember that, just like every human is different and unique, the same goes for cats. While you might see a cat that can chase it forever, yours may not. Some become irritated because they can never finish their predatory sequence. If that’s the case, there are alternative games and toys that can fulfill such a thing. That being said, if your cat is enjoying the laser it’s a great way to keep them active (for the appropriate amount of time).
Call Catonsville Cat Clinic Today!
For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!