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Why the little red dot may not be good for your kitty

That elusive red dot, cats everywhere know what I am talking about.

Laser pointers are an incredibly popular toy among cat owners. There are countless videos of cats hilariously playing with laser pointers online, which encourages even more owners to use laser pointers with their feline friends.

But vets and behaviourists have long had their concerns about laser pointers because they do not allow cats to complete their hunting behaviour and "kill" their prey. Because of this it is recommended that if you do use a laser pointer with your cat, that you should reward them with food or a toy afterwards so they have something to kill at the end.

But a new study on cats whose owners use laser pointers suggest that laser pointers may also be responsible for negative compulsive behaviours in cats, such as chasing lights or shadows, staring “obsessively” at lights or reflections, and fixating on a specific toy.

The bottom line - think about how your cat responds to laser pointers - make sure you give them something to "kill" at the end of laser pointer play and if your cat is displaying compulsive behaviour swap out the laser pointer for a physical toy such as a toy on a fishing wand.

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