The power of light can add a whole new dimension to your cat’s life by bringing a little excitement and fun into it. Finding ways to stimulate and play with kitty can be as simple as reaching for a laser pointer, suncatcher or prism. Light is an under appreciated form of feline entertainment, especially for deaf cats who frequently have a more developed interest in light rays and shadows. If your kitty is always looking for something new to do then try these tried and true tips from a lifelong cat owner.
Faceted crystal balls
A quick and easy way to get kitty jumping for joy is the faceted crystal ball. There are many manufacturers of these balls, one of the best is the Swarovski brand. Make sure the ball is has cut, not molded facets when you buy one. They are available quite cheaply online on a variety of websites from Ebay to Amazon.com. Many ball diameters are available, from the sizes of marbles to golf balls. If you want an even larger sized sphere, look around and compare prices. Larger sizes of true crystal balls are usually very expensive and are somewhat heavy. For a more impressive light show, get a few different sizes and hang them in the window together.
When you have your ball, string it with fishing twine or sturdy string; giving enough length to put in a window. Find your sunniest window then hang it there out of kitty’s reach. If you want your crystal to rotate more, put a small fan next to it, to generate movement of the ball. This will be fun for your cat, as the moving sphere throws rainbows everywhere, like a mirrored ball at a night club. If you don’t have any air movement then just set the ball in motion by spinning it gently. For cats who love to chase things, dancing lights can be very mesmerizing so watch the acrobatics from a safe distance! In my household it’s like a kitty version of the Nutcracker ballet on a daily basis as my deaf deaf cat leaps and bounds like a kitten for those pesky sunbeams that are always out of reach somehow.
An old favorite for cats who chase light is the laser pointer. It is very important to note that laser light should never be shone in cats eyes, as it can hurt them. To use laser pointers correctly, shine it on a wall or floor. Twirl and move it around to give kitty a good chase experience. It’s a great way to tire out an energetic kitten or cat. Keep them leaping, hopping and jumping as they go after the light beams until they get tired and need a nap.
Laser light shows
For those with a little more money, there are portable laser light show boxes that are frequently used in rock band shows or night clubs. More elaborate models are outrageously expensive but there are a few reasonable ones out there that have quite sophisticated displays for lesser money. It pays to shop and compare features between the models. Some popular laser shows include Laser Star, Uncle Milton and others. Again, Amazon.com and Ebay usually carry a big variety of brands for every budget. Look for a projector that has a power cord, instead of relying just on batteries. I bought a portable light show unit that took batteries and the cat enjoyed it but it dimmed quickly, needing constant battery replacement. You can buy a battery charger and keep recharging but for all intensive purposes, it’s better to have a power cord and not have to bother with the hassle of batteries at all. If you use a laser unit, again, position the box so it is above your cat’s line of vision. Don’t let kitty stare into it directly but project the laser from an angle, like night clubs do. They put their projectors up high and shoot the beams down on the floor from above. Configure it in a way that keeps your cat safe but allows him to be able to jump and move freely around the room.
My deaf cat has become so attached to his light play that every day he waits patiently for the sun to come up so that he can begin his rainbow light show. Sometimes he doesn’t chase them but just enjoys lying on the floor and admiring the beams as they move about the room. Give your kitty time to adjust to this new form of play. Lights, they’re not just for discotheques anymore. Your cat will thank you for it.