Do big cats bite laser pointers like domestic cats?

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Are lions and tigers and pumas and the like crazy for green laser pointer like house cats?

big cats

Are lions and tigers and pumas and the like crazy for green laser pointer like house cats?
Do cats jump after spotting suspicious cucumbers? Yes please. But cats go crazy looking for laser pointers? It's always the premier online viewing that gets all the laughs. In fact, cats vs laser pointers are such hilarious things that there is an entire industry revolving around making and selling pet laser pointers. There's even a laser pointer simulator app for smartphones.

2000mw 650nm Red Laser Flashlight Light Matches Strong Red Laser Pointer

So why are so many cats obsessed with fast moving red dots? And do big cats act the same?

Despite being domesticated, many house cats still have a natural hunting instinct hidden deep in their DNA. Before domestication, a cat's survival - and that of its offspring - depended on its ability to hunt. While most domestic cats don't have much opportunity to sharpen their hunting behaviors by chasing and pouncing, the erratic movement of a laser pointers offers a way to hone these skills. When a laser pointer 5000mw zigzags across a floor, or stops and pinches, it resembles the movements of feline prey (watch out, mouse!) And provides an exit for trapped cats.

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With this hunting instinct, cats possess a few visual attributes activated by their high interest in a red laser pointer. Cats, like many animals whose meals consist of catching prey, have a wider field of vision than humans. This is because felines have more stem cells in their eyes and larger corneas, as well as a structure called tapetum lucidum that reflects extra light to the retina. As a result, the cat's vision is more sensitive in low-light conditions in which laser pointers are often used, and the movement of the brightly colored dot can trigger the feline instinct to hunt.

cats laser pointer

But, when the staff at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida decided to find out whether their exotic big cats - cougars, lions, tigers and more - would appreciate laser pointers as much as house cats, the results were mixed.

“Some of the little cats, like bobcats and African servals, liked to hunt the Burning Laser Pointers,” says Susan. "But most of our cats weren't interested, it's a cat for you."