Old 07-23-2014, 12:10 PM #1
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Default Green Laser Pointer for Cat

My cat loves laser pointers, he goes mad for him. He had previously had the red pet store type. I know that red is outside of the range of colours that a cat can see properly, so he would have been seeing it as grey or purple.

It was his birthday this month, so I bought him a green laser pen with a star cap that was supposed to be 532nm and 1mW to see if he reacted any differently to a colour that was right in the middle of the range of colours that is visible to him.

He reacted just as well to the green as he did to the red. When the star cap was added so there were multiple green dots he became even more excited.

However the laser did not work very well. It started off being very bright, but then it would get dimmer within around 30 - 60 seconds. Without the star cap attached, it was still bright enough for the cat to see, but the dot got much smaller. With the star cap attached after this time it became unusably dim.

After a day or so, the laser started getting dimmer with a few seconds. Changing the batteries made no difference to this. Then just to top it off, the end of the laser pen fell off, leaving the assembly inside exposed, which I imagine isn't very safe? So I am going to return it.

I have been reading around the forums a little to try to understand why it became dimmer. I read that green lasers are more complicated inside than red ones? Am I right in thinking that it may have heated up which moves something inside out of alignment? I have seen lasers which claim to be adjustable but they don't explain what is being adjusted in the product description and they are five times the price. It says it can strike matches and puncture balloons which sounds a bit scary for a pet toy. Also the battery charger seems a bit pointless.

Is there any way to get around this dimming problem? 30 seconds isn't very long to play with the cat, it's more of a tease and just winds him up!

I would like to get a new green laser or another colour in a cats visible range, what should I be looking to get? I don't know if I was just unlucky with the last one and if I should try another? It seems to get more positive reviews than negative.

Or would I just be better off with another colour, like violet? Or should I even give up on other colours and get a red laser with a star cap if I don't want to spend loads of money? I didn't expect too much from a cheap laser, but on the flip side I didn't want to huge amount of money on a laser that was for playing with the cat.

I would ideally like something that is bright enough to use with a star cap, because the cat enjoyed chasing it so much. But something that is safe for a cat to play with too, because I know cats eyes are more sensitive and I know they don't blink in the same way that people do. Is that a big ask?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We have been having lots of fun with the lasers, but are still learning how they work. Thanks for reading



Last edited by laserkitty; 07-23-2014 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:53 PM #2
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

Cats are most sensitive to the 454nm to 561nm range (source), so green would probably be fine, but I would urge you to be more concerned about the power that the color.

Ensure you get something in the sub-1mW pointer style. This is a bit tougher to find in green than it is in the red spectrum. 1mW pointers are dime a dozen and work fine for pets (source: 3 decade pet owner).

Don't risk your pets vision.

/c
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:54 PM #3
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

Just a heads up. some cats react differently to different colors.(at least my cat does.) My cat won't chase a green laser he just sits and looks at the dot but if i switch to a red laser he pounces it. My friends cat is the same way.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:58 AM #4
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

My two cats both like green better than red.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:08 PM #5
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by KapHn8d View Post
Cats are most sensitive to the 454nm to 561nm range (source), so green would probably be fine, but I would urge you to be more concerned about the power that the color.

Ensure you get something in the sub-1mW pointer style. This is a bit tougher to find in green than it is in the red spectrum. 1mW pointers are dime a dozen and work fine for pets (source: 3 decade pet owner).

Don't risk your pets vision.

/c
Thank you very much for the information, of course the cats eyesight should always be the first priority. You think a 1mW pointer should be okay though? So the one I had should have been safe enough?

I am still a little unsure about what to do about the dimming problem. By the time I sent it back it was so dim it could hardly be seen after a couple of seconds use. Is that unusual for a green laser?

That's very interesting you know two cats that won't chase a green laser lazerman121. I wonder if red being outside their normal colour range actually makes the laser more exciting for them, rather than less like I suspected?

Also interesting that your two cats are the other way around Rifter. My cat definitely did chase the green laser, but didn't seen to have too much preference for one or the other.

I am still torn between trying another green laser to see if it has less problems, just buying a red laser with a star cap, because he definitely seemed more excited about the patterns. or trying something like a violet laser.

It seems like another red laser might be the least problematic, but also the most dull (from a human point of view ).
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:33 AM #6
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

I volunteer for a couple animal shelters, one of which has over 120 free roaming cats. Walk into the place with a laser pointer and you are instantly god.

Cats do not perceive color and shapes the same way humans do. Their visual cortex and eye physiology is designed for light capture and motion detection. The reason cats are often accused of being apethetic towards people -vs- dogs is simply because cats have a very difficult time distinguishing facial characteristics while dogs being pack animals have to recognize other pack members and hierachy. Cats basically have low rez vision, but outstanding light sensitivity, radar accurate short range depth perception, and can see the tiniest changes in motion. That's why fluffy can run across a room and take a house fly out of the air before we know it's there.

I don't think cat's care if the light is 532nm or 650nm, although I've seen a lot of cats ignore the typical 2-5mw 650nm automated cat toy, but go crazy over my 20-30mw greenie. Vets who run the shelters don't have a problem with it, so their word stands -vs- some of the weirdos here who put on a hazmat suit and welders goggles anytime they pull out a 20mw China's finest. Reflective energy of a laser spot at that low power level is just that, absurdly low. Good luck finding a 1-5mw greenie because most are going to be 20-40mw anyways.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:38 AM #7
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

An instapark module will give you 5mW of pure green.
The only downside is they are expensive.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:47 AM #8
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

my cat only chases red, tried a 5mw green. Think they're a little to bright while a red is a nice visible non bright dot. I would try 1mw green if i could find it
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:07 PM #9
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Default Re: Green Laser Pointer for Cat

Admittedly a complete WAG on my part, but I think the low sensitivity to red is why some cats chase it harder than green. (mine does) It seems more "camouflaged" to the cat, like a brown mouse in brown grass, where the bright green is too obvious and artificial.
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