Is Feliway Effective in Changing Cat Behavior?

Feliway has been sold in pet stores, veterinary hospitals and online retailers over the years. You probably know it has something to do with cat behavior, but you probably don’t know more. You may be surprised to learn that Feliway is actually a formula cat pheromone product.

What is Feliwei?

Classic Feliway is an exact replica of the familiar facial pheromones of cats. When your cat rubs her cheek on an object, the behavior is called bunting, and she’s rubbing this pheromone against the object. It’s your cat saying, “This is mine, this is my space, and I feel safe here.” Classic Feliway comes in a plug-in diffuser formula, spray, and even wipes. The diffuser covers up to 750 square feet and lasts for 30 days, making it the most economical home product. Sprays can be used in carriers and bedding. If you regularly volunteer for shelters or foster cats, you can even rub wipes on yourself to soothe new and frightened cats.

After the first release of the Classic Feliway, the Feliway Multicat has been launched on the market. Pheromones in Multicat are no Same as pheromone in Feliway Classic. Instead, it’s a synthetic formula of the pheromones that mother cats release when feeding their kittens.

Does Feliwei work?

From the start, Feliway has been marketed to help address poor family behavior manifested by stress. Behaviors such as boxing, aggression between cats, or disruptive behavior/scratching can all be the result of medical problems, but they can also be behavioral problems. Researchers have been conducting studies for years to test Feliway’s claims. These studies showed no differences in physiology (ie, related to heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, etc.) between Feliway and placebo-exposed cats.

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However, the more veterinary behaviorists learn about cat (and dog) behavior, the more they understand that no single product is 100% effective. There is no “magic bullet”. Conversely, behavioral medicine is more effective when a multimodal treatment approach is employed. In other words, optimal treatment for behavioral problems involves multiple treatment pathways.

What can I use to improve Feliway results?

Although Feliway itself may not show noticeable changes in cat behavior, using it with other anti-anxiety treatments may help you see more positive results. Nutraceuticals are alternatives to over-the-counter medicines that claim medicinal value. Behavioral supplements include Zylkene (hydrolyzed milk protein from cows), Anxitane (L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea leaves), and Composure Chewables (containing colostrum, L-theanine, and thiamine) Mixtures of snacks) and other products. Your veterinarian can also prescribe some special diets. Diets such as Royal Canin’s Calm and Hill’s c/d stress can help your cat relieve anxiety at home. Hill’s c/d pressure is especially helpful in cats with Pandora’s Syndrome (sometimes called FLUTD or FIC). Of course, there are also actual drugs that can help with behavioral problems. Your veterinarian may choose to prescribe a behavioral medication for your cat.

Find the source of the problem

Obviously, identifying the cause of your cat’s stress would be the best starting point for solving the problem. Cats can get out of the box because they don’t like the type of litter, the box is too dirty, or even because their arthritic joints are too high to get in. Your veterinarian can discuss your litter box settings with you and help you with any issues you can try to adjust. Providing more resources, i.e. more water bowls, more comfortable sleeping areas, and more scratching surfaces, can help with aggressive and destructive scratching between cats.

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Cats like to get up off the floor. That’s why they always jump on the counters and tables. Therefore, providing “vertical surfaces”, i.e. cat trees, cat stands, etc., can help deter bounces and provide more resources in the home. Vertical surfaces can also provide “alternative routes” in areas that can become crowded in multi-cat households. If you’re battling cat-to-cat aggression in a multi-cat home, try to pinpoint where most of the dogfights occur in the house. If more than one cat is present (i.e. hallways and stairwells), the area can become a bit crowded, providing vertical surfaces can make this area seem less crowded to your cat.

If you don’t see the results you want with Feliway at home, talk to your veterinarian about what you can add. Sometimes something as simple as providing another litter box or moving the scratching board to a more stable and accessible location is enough to resolve behavioral issues. Your veterinarian will help you and your cat figure out how to live a stress-free life.

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Is Feliway Effective in Changing Cat Behavior?
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