Yes, Feliway works in addressing common cat behavioral problems like spraying and scratching and some studies attest to its effectiveness in reduced spraying on vertical surfaces like walls and doors. However, the effectiveness may vary from one cat to another. While other cat owners see results in as early as one week, for others it takes as long as a month before they noticed significant improvement.
Also, veterinary behaviorists recommend that it may be good practice to pair Feliway with other anti-anxiety therapies to ensure a more positive effect on your pet feline.
What is Feliway and how does it work?
Feliway is a product that mimics the pheromones of cats which they rub on objects or people as their way of saying that it belongs to them and part of their territory. These so-called synthetic pheromones in the product work wonder in a cat’s brain by calming her down and relieving stress and anxiety.
Pheromones are a type of scent chemical communication that cats use to interact with fellow cats and the world around them. Cats produce various pheromones that send different meanings and messages to other cats and which may influence behavior. Felines have various scent glands that release pheromones and it’s mostly concentrated around the face, lower ears, chin, forehead, cheeks, and around the mouth as well as in their paw pads and urine.
Feliway is available as spray, plug-in diffuser formulations, and wipes. The diffuser type can cover up to 750 square feet and may last up to one month. The spray type is best used on carriers and beddings while wipes are useful while handling fearful cats and may be used if traveling with your pets.
Feliway products may reduce scratching and spraying in vertical surfaces like doors or walls in most of the cases. However, experts point out that the product does not usually address the underlying problems that cause cat spraying on horizontal surfaces like beds and couches which makes it ineffective in such cases.
Here are some of the most common ways you can use Feliway:
- plug a Feliway diffuser in the room or rooms where your cat is manifesting marking behavior such as scratching or urine spraying
- place a Feliway diffuser in a room or rooms where your cat spends most of his time during the day
- put a Feliway diffuser in the eating area of your cats, if you have multiple cats and if you notice that they’re usually fighting around their food bowls
- use Feliway spray on urine-marked or scratched items or furniture for at least thrice a day until your cat stops marking it
- use Feliway spray inside your cat’s carrier before placing your cat for a car ride or before going on travels or trips
- if you place your pet cat in a boarding facility, it’s also great to request the staff to plug in a Feliway diffuser near your cat
Make sure to provide extra litter boxes, food bowls, and scratching posts while also using Feliway to help alleviate your cat’s stress and anxiety. It’s also recommended to use Feliway for at least a month before you decide to give up should there be no positive results. Cats respond differently because each one is unique and while some may respond quickly there will always be some cats that will not manifest any apparent improvement in their symptoms. Feliway may be a helpful tool to combat feline stress especially if pet owners truly understand the causes of such feline behavior.
Does Feliway work?
Yes, Feliway works on some cats and there can be positive results in as early as one week. However, as mentioned earlier, cats may react differently to Feliway and while there are cases where it reduced scratching and spraying in vertical surfaces, the opposite seems to be the case when it comes to horizontal surfaces. Cat experts agree that each cat is unique and while the product may work for some cats there will always be cats that will not show any changes or improvements at all.
What are the common causes of stress in cats?
Here are the common reasons why cats become stressed:
- if you’re moving to another home or place
- if you’re remodeling your house and there are loud noises
- riding a car or if you bring your cat on a trip
- a trip to the vet
- if there’s a change in your cat’s routine
- if there are parties in your home and there’s too much noise
- if there are 2 or more cats and pets in the household
What are the signs of a stressed cat?
You’ll easily know that your feline is anxious or stressed if she’s manifesting these signs:
- she’s urinating outside the litter box
- she’s spraying urine at random areas in your home
- she’s scratching at household objects including furniture
- your cat has problems with feeding
Urinating outside the litter box may also be a sign of an underlying medical condition like diabetes or urinary tract infection. It’s best to consult your veterinarian so your feline may be thoroughly checked for any health problems.
Is Feliway safe for cats?
Yes, Feliway is safe for cats and the products have been used by more or less 11 million cats worldwide and there have been no issues that were observed during trials and based on consumer surveys. However, it should be kept at a safe distance since it may pose risks to your cat should the alcohol in the spray or mineral oils in the diffuser type be ingested. Read more about this in our earlier article, do pheromones for cats have side effects?
As any loving pet parent should be, you easily become worried when your pet kitty starts to manifest signs of stress and anxiety such as urine spraying, scratching, or fighting with fellow cats. Feliway is an extraordinary product that mimics cat pheromones and helps your feline to calm down and relax while relieving her of stress and anxiety. However, while some pet parents attest that the product worked for their pets, every cat is unique and the degree of effectiveness may vary from one cat to another.