Feline Pheromone Products: They’re Not All Created Equal

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Products containing artificial pheromones can be an important tool for dealing with feline behavior problems, whether it’s territorial aggression, urinary marking, or simply a stressful trip to the vet. Cats naturally emit these pheromones. They are used to mark their territory as safe and secure by rubbing the side of their face against against furniture, or even against you.

When a cat smells a pheromone emitted by its own species, it triggers a natural response from her endocrine system which then releases calming chemicals. Artificial facial pheromones mimic cats’ natural pheromones and create a sense of security in their environment.  Products containing these artificial pheromones can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation and help prevent or reduce the stress caused by a change in their environment.

When used in combination with behavioral modification, these products can be very effective. Studies have shown that up to 95% of cats will respond to these artificial pheromones.

The products come in diffuser, spray and wipe form. Diffusers can cover an area of up to 700 sqare feet, and last about 30 days. Diffusers need to be plugged in continuously, and should not be placed under shelves, or behind doors, curtains or furniture. They need to be unobstructed for best results. Sprays and wipes work best as a shot term solution for travel or calming the cat during an unfamiliar or stressful situation.

Not all Feliway products are the same

Feliway is available in several different formulations, and they’re not all the same.

Original Feliway

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The original Feliway product is recommended for problems with spraying and urine marking. Studies have shown that the product is 90% effective and results in a significant reduction of undesired behaviors within 7 days.

Feliway Multicat

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The newer Feliway Multicat product is recommended to help reduce conflict in multicat households. It contains feline appeasement pheromones.

Feliway Spray

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Feliway spray can help ease the stress of travel for vet visits and moves. It can also help reduce stress in a new environment, or during stressful situations such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or disruptions to the cat’s routine such as remodeling, parties, etc.

Is there a difference between Feliway and Comfort Zone with Feliway?

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In addition to the original Feliway products, made by Ceva, the company who originated the product and conducted all the studies, you’ll also find products labeled Comfort Zone with Feliway. The Comfort Zone line, available in diffusers and sprays, contains the same artificial pheromones and is less expensive than the original Feliway line.

A case of “you get what you pay for?”

While the Comfort Zone with Feliway products may be sufficient, you will most likely get better results with the original Feliway products. “I always advise my client to spend the money for the Feliway product,” says Dr. Andrea Tasi of Just Cats Naturally, a house-call based, feline-exclusive practice dedicated to a holistic, individualized approach to each cat. “All the original studies demonstrating fewer stress related behaviors in veterinary clinic cages that were pretreated with Feliway were done with the original product with a higher concentration of pheromones.”

I recommend Feliway to my clients and readers as a first line of defense for behavioral problems with mostly positive results. Anecdotal feedback from my clients suggests that the original Feliway line produces better results than the Comfort Zone line.

Feliway and Comfort Zone with Feliway products are available from Amazon – and Amazon’s prices are the lowest I’ve been able to find anywhere. Once you’ve purchased the diffuser kit, you can buy refills for additional savings. Diffusers should be replaced very six months for best results.

*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

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11 Comments on Feline Pheromone Products: They’re Not All Created Equal

  1. Aimable Cats
    January 21, 2017 at 6:33 pm (3 days ago)

    The last two times we have ordered Feliway refills through the vet, they sent Feliway Multicat instead.

    That said, I can often tell a difference in Parker’s behavior when the Feliway is running low. She is a much more pleasant kitty when there is a diffuser, and the spray on a bandana helps when she has a difficult trip (such as the 5-hour ride to the farm for Christmas).

    Reply
  2. Laurie
    December 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm (1 month ago)

    We used the original plug in Feliway when we adopted our second cat (the Tortie). She was quite scared and having trouble acclimating to our home. We kept her in a closed off room with the Feliway plugged in. I do think it helped although it could also just have been time that did the trick. Either way, I’m giving it a positive review since I felt it was helpful in calming her during a challenging time.

    Reply
  3. Zoezoe
    December 8, 2016 at 10:56 am (2 months ago)

    I’ve been told that the original Feliway spray can be sprayed on on items to keep a cat from clawing/scratching them. Anyone have experience with this?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm (2 months ago)

      You can use the spray for that purpose, although I have found that the spray works better for brief, challenging situations like vet visits (spray the inside of the carrier about 15 minutes before you’re going to use it.) For longterm issues like scratching furniture, the plug ins tend to do a better job.

      Reply
      • Zoezoe
        December 23, 2016 at 11:16 am (1 month ago)

        Thank you so much, and I apologize for being so late in my response. I’ll try the plug-in since she continues to scratch the carpet. Thank you again!

        Reply
  4. Shanna
    December 1, 2016 at 1:18 pm (2 months ago)

    When I brought one of my cats home from the vet, my other cat wanted to fight her to the death. My vet recommended Feliway, and it worked like a charm. I love this stuff. Nice post.

    Reply
  5. Susie
    November 21, 2016 at 10:45 pm (2 months ago)

    Feliway was recommended by my vet. Our young, neutered male cat was very sexually aggressive toward our older spayed female cat. Unfortunately, feliway had the opposite effect on him. He became more aggressive and exhibited new unacceptable behavior. I used comfort zone with feliway because that was all I could find. I didn’t know there was an original until reading this article.

    Reply
  6. Cheri
    November 21, 2016 at 6:44 pm (2 months ago)

    You didn’t mention the Calming Collar with pheromones imbedded because? They’re not an original Feliway product? I have used them with some good effect for a cat who had newly joined our multicat household (a 13 year old rescue) and was quite anxious about one of the other cats. Wearing the collar, he gradually calmed down.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 21, 2016 at 7:43 pm (2 months ago)

      I’m assuming you’re referring to the Sentry product? I don’t have any experience with that brand, but I’m glad to hear it worked for you.

      Reply
  7. Donna Millwood
    November 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm (2 months ago)

    We can see this concept working great for some cats that just insist on marking! Great post – thank you!

    Reply
  8. Ann Seeber
    November 21, 2016 at 5:32 am (2 months ago)

    I used the Comfort/Feliway diffuser to reduce tension between my two and it worked quite well. I discontinued it after 90 days as per the directions. I had a small emergency and had to take Eve to the vet and she’s terrified of the carrier so I picked up a 9oz spray bottle of Quiet Moments by NaturVet. Cost was $9.95. I can report it did the job and I’ve used it in other places around the house where there’s been a change (change is alarming to my cats!), such as adding a new comforter to my bed. A few mistings and they want to lay on it all the time! Thanks for your continuing good advice!

    Reply

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