Cats can be stressed when exposed to new environments or situations. If you have ever taken your cat to the vet’s office or introduced another cat at home, you probably understand how sensitive a cat can be when it comes to change. Naturally, cats are instinctual, territorial, and similar to humans; they also get stressed out. Therefore, you probably wonder how to keep your cat calm and stress-free. Fortunately, Feliway for cats can help your cat out. Have you heard about Feliway? If you are a cat owner and don’t know about Feliway, it is worth taking some minutes and learning about it.
Why Might Your Cat Be Stressed?
Before diving more into Feliway and what it is all about, let’s look at the possible cause of stress and anxiety for your cat. Cats are instinctive and habitual creatures. They like being in a stable routine and home environment, which makes them susceptible to various stressors both at home and around. Some of the most common causes of anxiety in cats include;
- Bringing a new pet into the home
- Holiday festivities or fireworks of any type
- A new dog or cat in the neighborhood
- Going for veterinarian visits
- An unfamiliar person or baby in the house
- Cattery stays
However, this list is not exhaustive, and some cats are more susceptible to anxiety than others. But it’s essential to predict what may upset your cat to try and minimize disruption to their comfort zone and routines.
What Symptoms of Stress Does a Cat Show?
Cats are often subtle about stress or unhappiness, or their displeasure can be extremely obvious. Some of the common signs of stress for cats include; scratching at furniture, walls, and stairs, urinating outside the litter, grooming themselves significantly until they get bald patches, being grumpy with their owner, or becoming so aggressive and fighting with their owners. Other relatively discrete signs that your cat might be anxious are reduced appetite or conversely eating more, interacting with their owners less, hiding away a lot, and staying less active than usual. However, as a cat owner, you know your cat best. Therefore, what is normal for you might concern another cat owner. If you have any concerns about the behavior and health of your cat, it is recommendable to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
What Is Feliway?
Feliway refers to a unique pheromonal product that offers a sense of comfort and reassurance for your cat by decreasing the symptoms of stress. Some of these stress symptoms include; fighting, scratching, urine spraying, or hiding. Feliway is a product that mimics the feel-good hormones produced by cats to cool them down and help relieve anxiety and stress. Feliway can also help your cat feel peaceful as an analog of the cat’s natural pheromones. You can readily purchase Feliway as a plug-in diffuser or in a spray bottle, depending on one that fits your lifestyle best.
How Does Feliway for Cats Work?
Feliway works to relax your cat by imitating the natural pheromones produced by a mother cat to calm her kitties. It is similar to the pheromone substance rubbed onto the furniture or your leg. Cats use their natural pheromone to mark their territory, making it a safe place for them. Feliway has recreated an artificial version of these natural pheromones. When sprayed, your cat smells it through instincts, and the Feliway hormone will signal to them they are in a safe place hence keeping calm and relaxed.
When Should You Use Feliway?
Feliway helps in reducing the symptoms of stress and unhappiness in cats. It also helps in keeping the cats calm in stressful situations and environments. Some of the best times for using Feliway on your cats include:
- When you bring a new pet home.
- When you are relocating to a new home.
- Valid for holiday events such as festive occasions.
- When taking your cat to the vet’s office.
- When you are hosting guests in your home, your kitty seems to be getting uncomfortable and nervous.
Generally, whenever you feel that your cat’s environment and routine will be changed or adjusted in any way, it is the perfect time to use Feliway. Additionally, you can also consider using Feliway if your cat displays signs of being stressed or unhappy such as hiding, hissing, fighting, urinating outside the litter box, over-grooming, or change in appetite. If your cat starts to show any unusual signs, it’s recommendable to use Feliway.
Types of Feliway
Feliway formulations are available in two types. The first Feliway formulation works by mimicking facial pheromones dispensed by cats as they rub against things. It generates calmness in cats and is perfect for certain situations, including;
- Unsuitable scratching
- Nerves linked to the groomer or veterinary visits
- Urinating outside the litter box due to territorialism or stress
- Nerves linked to the groomer or veterinary visits
The second formulation is the Feline Multi-cat available in a diffuser and mimics the mother cat pheromone to relax and calm their kittens. It is perfect for use in cases where you have multiple cats in your home and become aggressive.
How To Use Feliway for Cats?
The Feliway formulation is available as a diffuser or spray bottle. A single diffuser spreads to about 700 square feet of open space in your house. It is best to place the diffuser in areas where your kitties spend most of their time and where unacceptable behavior occurs frequently. Also, ensure to plug in the Feliway diffuser where there is no obstruction, where there is a perfect airflow, and away from an open window. Therefore, don’t place the diffuser behind cupboards or other furniture where it will be obstructed. On the other hand, the Feliway spray is most effective for spraying inside your cat’s carrier before going for a ride in your vehicle. This will help the cat to travel more calmly. You can also spray the Feliway on furniture and things being inappropriately scratched as well as other surfaces being urinated on after cleaning them thoroughly. You can start by testing it in an inconspicuous area first. To use this type of Feliway, spray around ten pumps 15 minutes before introducing the cat into the sprayed locations such as the carrier, car, bedding, or examination table.
Does Feliway Really Help?
There are few scientific studies reviewing how efficacious pheromonal products are in cats. However, the few research studies available have presented positive results. According to a recent scientific study on the effect of using pheromonal products in homes with dogs and cats, the use of Feliway Friends in the study resulted in an enhanced relationship between cats and dogs. There were more positive behaviors than negatives, as well as a higher relation score among the cats. The Feliway may be beneficial when considering introducing a new cat to your household and those who already have multiple pets and suspect that they are causing anxiety for your cat. Another study depicts that Feliway might help in reducing aggression between cats. The study revealed that using synthetic pheromones decreased the aggression score between cats staying in the same home as well as reduced stress behaviors. But in this study, the cat owner has undergone training on dealing with aggressive cat behaviors, so the decrease in conflict might not be solely because of the Feliway. One of the common signs of stress in cats is urinating outside the litter and spraying the urine. A study reviewing several cases of cats spraying urine for different reasons found that using Feliway helps in reducing urine spraying after four weeks. However, the best behavioral adjustment was found when using pharmacological and behavioral interventions.
What Else Can You Do to Enhance Positive Feliway Results?
Behavioral changes are often intricate, and the use of Feliway solely is unlikely to be a miracle solution. While Feliway might display a discernible difference in your cat’s behavior, using it together with other anti-anxiety therapies can enhance the likelihood of getting more positive results. Other treatments might be essential based on the source of anxiety and the severity of the signs. The use of environmental modifications such as providing your cats with safe zones, placing their food and water in a neutral position, and having many litter trays in private areas might help. Additionally, Over the counter medicines such as Nutraceuticals have behavioral pharmaceutical benefits. These behavioral nutraceuticals include products such as; Anxitane consisting of L-Theanine amino acids found in green tea leaves, Zylkene consisting of hydrolyzed milk protein from cows; and Composure chews containing a mixture of thiamine, L-Theanine, and colostrum. Your veterinarian can also prescribe a unique diet for your cat. Special diets such as Hill’s c/d stress and Royal Canin’s Calm can help lower your cat’s anxieties at home. There are actual pharmaceuticals that can help with behavioral issues; the vet can prescribe a behavioral medication for your kitty.
Establish The Root of Your Cat’s Behavioral Issue
The best way of fixing your cat’s issues is by determining the root cause of stress. Kitties can move out of the box for simple things such as the box being dirty, not liking the litter type, or not being able to easily get in because of too high sides for her arthritic joints. The vet can advise you about the ideal setup of your litter box and anything else you should adjust. Get more resources for your cat in terms of more comfortable sleeping areas, more water bowls, and more scratching surfaces to help with both destructive scratching and inter-cat aggression. Additionally, cats enjoy watching what is happening from an upper place off the floor. This is why they continually jump on tables and counters. Therefore, providing your cat with vertical surfaces such as cat shelves, cat trees, and so on can help deter your cats from jumping over the counters. The vertical surfaces can also serve as alternative routes in areas that can get overcrowded if you are keeping multiple cats. If you have issues with inter-cat aggression in your home, it is recommended to try and identify the location in the house where most of the aggression occurs. If it is an area that constantly gets overcrowded, consider providing vertical surfaces to make the area less crowded for your kitties. If you are not noticing the results, you would like Feliway in your home; consult your vet on what you can combine with this option. In some cases, something as easy as offering your cat another litter box or moving the scratcher to a more accessible and stable location is sufficient to fix a behavioral issue. The veterinarian is there to help you and your cat figures out how to stay stress-free.
Feliway diffusers or spray will help your cats to stay happy and stress-free. This pheromonal therapy has been proven to be helpful in anxious cats. However, for most benefits, it is recommendable to use various methods such as environmental modification and anti-anxiety therapies to make your cat feel more secure and relaxed. If you are interested in buying a Feliway spray bottle or Feliway diffuser for your cat, consult your veterinarian to help you determine the best fit or visit the official Feliway website.
How long does it take to see an effect on your cat with Feliway diffuser?
The Feliway diffuser should be completely efficient within 24 hours of plugging in. the effect on the kitty will, however, depend on the extent, nature, and duration of the issue for which you are using the Feliway. According to clinical trials, you will notice signs of improvement within the first week of using the product.
How long does the Feliway diffuser last?
You should check the level of your diffuser monthly and replace it every six months or after six refills to ensure optimal effect. The refill lasts for up to 30 days when plugged in 24/7.
Can you use Feliway in your household when pregnant?
Yes! Feliway has been proven to be safe for use for all people. Based on the toxicological data on the components of Feliway, there is no expected side effect following inhalation of the pheromonal product. For pregnant women, the toxicological information on lab animals shows no foetotoxic negative impact linked with Feliway.