Is the laser light dangerous for cats?


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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – you know those laser lights that people use to play with their cats? They shine them on the floor or walls and cats go crazy. I heard they are dangerous. Do you know anything about that?


Sarah Matthews


Hi Sarah– thanks for your email. I've heard that the only danger could be is shining the laser light directly into a cat's eye. I've not seen any documentation of eye damage but I've read that the intensity of laser lights is high. It is possible if the beam was directly at the retina for a substantial length of time, damage could be done to the retina. However, this is unlikely based on how cats move and play.
I think the laser lights are fine but I'd recommend not directly them at your cat's eyes. Keep them on the wall and floors as they play.

An article that might be helpful to you is Cat Toys - Selecting the Right Toys for Your Cats Play Preference.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.