This Genius Laser Toy Is Irresistible to Bored Pets — and Less Than $20 on Amazon

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PetSafe Bolt Automatic, Interactive Laser Cat Toy
Photo: Amazon

Finding a toy that will entertain your pet without your involvement is one of the biggest struggles of animal ownership, right up alongside maintaining a consistent feeding schedule and not giving in to their meows or puppy dog eyes. As someone who's lived with three cats over the past year of working from home, I've seen countless toys rise and fall in my cats' eyes, and a few winners emerge, like PetSafe's Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy.

Cats and laser toys go together like peanut butter and jelly, but where most laser toys rely on you manually darting the laser around the room, PetSafe's battery-powered iteration lets you get work done (or rest) while your cat's occupied. Per the brand, the Bolt comes with both an automatic mode which generates random patterns for your cat to do parkour around the room to, and a manual mode where you control the action.

The pet-safe laser doesn't run the risk of accidentally hurting your pal's eyes like some models, and it automatically turns off after 15 minutes to keep the excitement fresh and to avoid over-stimulating them. According to over 3,000 five-star Amazon ratings, it makes the fun never-ending for cats — and secures relaxation time for humans. "If I'm not ready to get out of bed yet, I just turn this on to distract and I can score another 10 minutes of sleep," a multi-cat owner writes. "My cat LOVES it and is stoked to chase it in circles."

PetSafe Bolt Automatic, Interactive Laser Cat Toy

Buy It! PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy, $18.95;

One shopper says their 8-month-old puppy is obsessed with the toy, and one more cat owner writes that thanks to the Bolt, their cats "are babysat for the rest of the day." Others dub it the "first and only" toy their cats have ever played with, and share that the randomized movement is an engrossing feature that draws even "chunky cats" into getting exercise.

In the words of another shopper, the value is astronomical compared to the money they've spent on other toys their cats couldn't care less about. "The cats love it at least as much as a hand-held laser, and I love it a million times more," they write. "I move it from time to time to get the laser dot in the 'best' areas, but otherwise I just sort of get to be a spectator/cheerleader, which is exponentially more fun to me than being the vehicle for the laser. And frankly, I think the cats are more into the laser because I'm obviously less connected to it."

Even "super picky" cats get into the fun: A last reviewer says that while keeping their cat entertained has been a challenge while working from home, the Bolt is a "busy mom's best helper." "As soon as I put the batteries on and turned it on, she completely became a different cat," they wrote. "She's playful and is fully engaged [in] stalking the laser. I think we have a winner!" Get your own for just under $20 on Amazon.

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