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Does Feliway Work for Cats?

 by lucy on 09 May 2016 |
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Many cat owners have experienced the strife of introducing a new cat to the household or trying to curb problems such as spraying or scratching. Some swear by pheromone diffusers, such as Feliway, as catchall solutions for cats’ stress-related problems. Others claim the products are costly with little to no effect. When considering pheromone treatments to solve kitty’s conundrums, then, it is worth understanding a bit more about these products and how they work.
 
Pheromones are natural chemical signals that animals produce to communicate with other members of their species. Scientists believe they are important in coordinating social behavior and that pheromones convey different “messages” to individuals of the same species. Synthetic pheromones, such as Feliway, aim to mimic natural pheromones. Specifically, Feliway imitates the pheromones your cat leaves behind when he rubs his faces against you or your furniture. Known as feline facial pheromones, or FFPs, these chemicals mark his territory as safe and secure. Feliway’s goal is to mimic FFPs with feline facial pheromone analogues, of FFPAs. And while some cat owners have reported tremendous success with Feliway’s FFPAs, others doubt their effectiveness.
 
Feliway users report mixed results in which some cats, especially those under one year old, did not respond to the pheromone treatment, while others are noticeably more affectionate and relaxed. Success stories report that Feliway has helped eased fighting between cats and reduced the symptoms of stress, which include nervous or anxious cats; cats who have taken to spray-marking the home; and cats prone to hiding. It is also useful for pets undergoing stressful changes to their environments, such as new arrivals or home redecorating.
 
Feliway is available as both a plug-in diffuser and spray. To reap the full benefits of an FFPA diffuser, pet owners should use it in a mostly closed-off environment, generally their homes, and should note that larger or multi-story houses may require more than one diffuser. Once plugged in, Feliway takes anywhere from several hours to several weeks for results to show. Spray-on Feliway may be useful for cat owners looking to alleviate stress or behavior specific to one area, such as carriers used to take cats to the vet or cats’ favorite furniture for scratching. Frugal owners may shy away from the product, but the only way to know if kitty will calm down with the help of Feliway is to try the product.

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