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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.
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.
The newer Feliway Multicat product is recommended to help reduce conflict in multicat households. It contains feline appeasement pheromones.
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.
For more resources on how Feliway works and, visit Feliway’s website for information, testimonials, videos, and more.
Is there a difference between Feliway and Comfort Zone with Feliway?
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.
This article was first published in 2016 and has been updated. Image at top of post via Feliway.com.