Some time ago, I did one experiment / birds with my 200mw 532nm Gatlin; the birds were scared off and seemed to be very sensitive to it.
I'm not sure what kind of birds they were... "black", but too small to be crows. They were hanging out on the swimming pool pumphouse out in front of my apartment. I DID NOT "shoot the birds", I projected the green spot on the structure NEAR to where they were standing / sitting; through my front window. They were IMMEDIATELY scared off.
I did it again later in the day to make certain of what I was seeing.
I also did it with some birds on a high tension line. I hit the power line with the laser, near to where they were standing, and the birds immediately took flight.
With birds, it's probably hardwired behavior. ANY sudden change in their perception / environment probably triggers a flight / evade response.
I haven't tried this with my red laser yet.
My cat is 13 yrs old. Experienced, wiser, laid back.
Recently I got him one of those FroliCat Bolt lasertoys (very weak red laser). He played with it for all of maybe 10 seconds, figured out that he couldn't catch the red laser spot, sat and watched the moving spot for maybe another 10 seconds, ate food from his feeder, went to sleep. (Cats will almost always eat after playing with anything - hardwired).
I have a weak red laserpointer that I got recently; I've tried to use it as a cat toy. He watches it, and once or twice vocalized at it, but DIDN'T bother trying to catch it.
He just remembers too well ... a few years ago I had a ~ 5mw red from RadioShack, and he learned then apparantly that he can't catch lasers.
I've read that cats have something like 300 times "better long term memory" than dogs.
He IGNORES the spots from my 200mw green and ~380mw red (projected HIGH on the walls / ceiling)... and almost seems to AVOID looking at them. I suspect that they are bright enough to actually be uncomfortable for him; cats have that reflective layer behind their retinas. I've only tried to get a reaction from him a couple of times, and now I don't do it for safety reasons.
He doesn't react to the BEAM from my ~380mw red.
He DOES react OFTEN to the BEAM from my 200mw green. He can be sitting on my lap, I turn the laser on, and he "swats" at the beam, trying to knock it out of the air... for maybe 10-15 seconds, then he gives up. He will ignore it after that for days.
Ash; Thanks, that was interesting. In particular, the otters and the ferret.
DJNY; Sharks? Elephants? Hehehe... what if the laser just PISSES THEM OFF?! Or gets them overly excited?
("ME, big bad shark! Wot that? Green thing invade territory... KILL!!! AND eat poony humin, while I at it!")
Not me... someone else can try it. Have your relatives post the results, after your memorial service.
Cats will typically chase a laser dot, much as they would a ball of foil paper or a piece of string, it is simply in their nature. Cats are basically highly adapted killing machines, everything from their eyes to the way their brain works is designed to spot tiny movements and either attack prey, or escape from predators. Most cats probably don't chose to chase laser dots and string, they are simply hard wired to do so. Older cats tend to be a bit more fussy when it comes to chasing things, but they also probably kill less mice and birds than younger cats, so the instinct to hunt and kill likely mellows with age.
i also have 4 dogs, 3 of them are female and one is an male, 2 of the 3 will guaranteed get mad when they see the laser dot or been and will try to bite the beem, one of the 3 female`s her name is silly lol (maybe has that something to do with it) and she really dont care about the dot.
the female`s are all jack russel`s the male dog is an Australian shepard.
i also have stick insects they dont react to it, just like my bearded dragon.
and if u make circles around fly`s they will follow it.