Big Cat Behaves Like a Domestic Pet and Chases Laser Pointer Around

Cats are the true kings of the internet, with the web full of videos of them playing, knocking things over and reacting to cucumbers.

Owners love to present their felines with various toys, including laser pointers, and share the ensuing hilarity online.

But it seems cats of all shapes and sizes can't resist the light, after a zoo visitor shared a clip of what appears to be a bobcat going wild over the elusive red dot.

Brett Otten shared a clip to TikTok on Tuesday, from his visit to Minnesota Zoo, which has amassed hundreds of thousands of views.

Otten said in the clip: "I took my lazer to the zoo. I guess big cats like them too. [sic]"

The footage shows the red dot being shone onto the walls of the animal's enclosure, with the cat following it, jumping up and trying to chase it—just like a domestic pet.

Lady Amalthia commented: "Cats r cats no matter the size lol. . . boxes r universal too."

"This is amazing," TikToker Matt added.

Darkstar thought: "House cats are pretty much unchanged from wild cats."

Sami pointed out: "Wanna have some fun? Go to an aquarium and watch the fish chase it! You'll be entertained for a while."

VirtualSavior69 added: "Note to self always carry a laser in case of big cat attack."

But some commenters claimed the practice was cruel, adding that zoos may have policies banning the use of external stimuli.

Elizabeth Collins wrote: "Most zoos have signs asking not to do that because it frustrates the cat."

Pet website Cat Health also warned people not to shine a laser pointer into a cat's eye, as it could damage their vision.

They said: "When a cat chases the red dot of a laser light, she never catches it. It dances around, and she stalks it and pounces only to find that it has disappeared or is now on top of her paw. This is incredibly frustrating for your cat; she needs to feel the satisfaction of catching her prey at least once in a while.

"Laser lights are also dangerous when shone into a cat's eyes, which can lead to permanent eye damage and is a concern for humans' eyes also."

Another big cat hit the headlines on Wednesday, after a mountain lion was spotted in a residential neighborhood in San Francisco.

The cat was captured on doorbell cameras in the Portola and Bernal Heights neighborhoods, and was also seen walking through Bernal Heights Park. Residents called Animal Care & Control, who advised local people to remain cautious.

Minnesota Zoo issued a statement to Newsweek about Otten's video. It said: "The zoo's mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. Through our cutting-edge habitats, we're able to introduce guests to incredible species around the globe. For the safety of our animals, we do not allow items such as straws, lids and balloons that can potentially be dropped into certain habitats and create a hazard.

"We discourage the use of laser pointers and other similar electronic toys for the purpose of attempting to interact with an animal. In these moments, we try to educate our guests about proper etiquette for viewing animals at the zoo and in the wild—for both the safety of the animal and the person. Animals at the zoo are regularly offered different forms of enrichment that are provided by zookeepers and approved by our animal health staff."

Update 05/21/21, 10:05 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a statement from Minnesota Zoo.

Stock image of a bobcat
Stock image of a bobcat. A man captured a big cat behaving like a pet as it chased round a laser pointer. Anita Elder Design/Getty Images