June 2013 Issue

Why Do They … Chase Lasers Beams?

It’s normal predatory behavior but may result in frustration.

Cats love to chase lasers’ points of light, twirling, leaping, pouncing. They engage in the behavior with gleeful abandon for one simple reason: “The jumpy, erratic movement of the light beam can stimulate predatory-like play behavior,” says Pamela Perry, DVM, Ph.D., a lecturer in animal behavior at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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