A stressed or ill-behaving cat can be challenging. One possible remedy is using a cat calming product such as the Feliway which comes in many forms including as a spray.
What is Feliway spray?
Feliway Spray is a synthetic product that mimics the facial pheromones of cats and is applied to surfaces and other objects as a spray as opposed to being applied using diffusers or wipes. The pheromones are not detectable to humans but cats exposed to them typically experience calmness, familiarity and security. The Feliway spray is useful among other things for preventing scratching and spraying as well as making trips in the car and carrier less stressful.
How does Feliway work?
Cats communicate through natural pheromones released from different parts of their body such as their face, mammary area and paws. When they are exposed to pheromones, they exhibit signs of calmness and serenity. This happens because the feline facial pheromone triggers certain pathways in the brain that decrease the feelings of anxiety.
When cats are not comfortable or if they are stressed they may scratch excessively and spray urine on items around the house. Synthetic pheromone products such as Feliway help cats in making them feel safe and secure at home and prevent stress signs. Feliway is available as a spray, diffuser and wipes.
Benefits of using Feliway Spray
1. Easy to use
Compared to diffusers, Feliway Spray is easier to use. It’s also small and convenient for those who are always on-the-go.
2. Natural and drug-free
It helps your cat’s anxiety without resorting to drugs. Without altering your cat’s body chemistry by using medicine, the spray simply takes advantage of the cat’s natural pheromone detection abilities.
3. Improve cat’s mood
It is highly effective. The calming effect it brings helps cats feel at home and significantly improve their quality of life.
4. A kind way to treat bad behavior
Using a pheromone spray is a good way to reduce bad behavior without having to punish your cat.
Is the Feliway spray effective?
In several studies, funded by the maker of Feliway, it was found that the product helps soothe stressed pets in some circumstances. Feliway reduced spraying on vertical surfaces, such as walls or doors, in up to 90% of cases. But the product was not as succesfull when it comes to spraying on horizontal surfaces, such as beds or couches.
Is the Feliway spray safe?
As long as you follow the product’s instructions, Feliway spray is safe for both you and your cat. There are no reports of any side effects. The pheromones only affect cats so they do not affect people or other types of pets in the house.
Do not forget that this spray is for smelling only and should not be ingested by your cat. To ensure this will not become an issue, it is recommended to avoid spraying around the area where you feed your cat or on objects they often put in their mouth, such as their toys.
When to use Feliway Spray?
Here are some typical situations in which you may try the Feliway spray:
If your cat is behaving aggressively
Try using the spray evenly throughout your home if your cat is being aggressive towards other pets or someone in the household.
If your cat is scratching or spraying excessively
Apply the spray to the areas like walls, floor, doors or furniture in which your cat urinates and/or scratches. It is recommended not to use the spray on scratching poles since it may discourage all scratching and could confuse your cat.
If you want to help your cat stay calm in stressful situations
Taking your cat on a car ride or visiting the vet can be stressful and traumatic for cats. You can spray directly in your cat’s carrier 15 minutes before use. A towel to be put in the carrier with a few sprays of Feliway will also make the ride easier. If you are making changes at home like redecorating, introducing a new pet or having a visitor, you can use the spray around areas where your cat spends a lot of time, helping it to feel safe and not threatened by the change.
How long will it last?
The effects of Feliway last for four to five hours. For some situations this will be enough, but for others you may want to reapply the spray once or twice a day. If you plan to reapply the spray in a carrier, you will need to remove the cat first and allow 15 minutes for it to dry before putting the cat back in.
The Feliway Spray is a good tool in making stressed cats stay calm, although it will not work in all cases. The best solution for stress issues with cats is to determine the root cause of the problem. Your cat may exhibit excessive scratching or spraying due to a dirty or disliked litter box, changes in the house or as simple as no scratching post available. If you have done some adjustments and your cat is not doing any better, it’s best to consult your vet.