Do Cat Pheromones Work? - Pet Wizard Australia

Do Cat Pheromones Work?

Jan 01, 2024Anthony Minogue

Stress is a physical or emotional tension that affects cats as well.  It can be triggered by something as simple as moving into a new home or abandonment issues that commonly affect rescues.  Some physical indicators that your cat is undergoing stress are urinating outside the litter box and changes in its normal behaviour.  You may also notice excessive meowing, destructiveness, and so on.  How do you correct this behaviour?

You use drugs, pheromones to be specific.  That does not sound right, so we must ask a handful of questions including:

What do pheromones do to cats?  Are pheromones safe?  Can humans smell cat pheromones and will it affect their health or environment?

What do pheromones do to cats?

Unlike us, animals and birds do not communicate primarily via sound, instead, they use chemical signals.  For example, cats and other mammals use pheromones to attract mates, to welcome and familiarize kittens into their new environment, and to mark territory.

Male cats, when stressed are prone to urinating out of place and the odor is more noticeable because it contains sulfur and felinine which is a chemical compound found in amino acid.  So, if you have noticed the smell of sulfur in your home it may indicate a behavior change.  Other signs that your cat may have stress-related issues include increased sleeping, excessive vocalization, isolation, excessive scratching, constipation, and excessive grooming.

How can cat pheromones help correct behavioural problems?

As “chemical communication” between felines, cat pheromones help to calm and relieve stress.  Stress relief allows the cat to go back to its normal behavior.

What is important to remember is that the reason cat pheromones work is that.  These products mimic cat natural pheromones.  For example, Feliway Pheromone Diffuser is a plug-and-play electric pheromone dispenser that helps your cat alleviate stress and fear.  The product is perfect for rescues or cats who have undergone abuse and need love and comfort to get over their experience.

The point is, cat pheromones help to:

  • Relive general stress
  • Ease separation anxiety.
  • Helps your cat cope with noise or phobias.
  • Reduces conflicts when you add a new member to the home such as new dog or cat.
  • Helps the cat feel safe and secure in your space.

How do cat pheromones work?

According to a feline behavioral therapist we talked to.  Feline pheromones send specific messages to your cat or kitten, for instance, the pheromone linked above tells your cat that “you belong and are safe here”.  This helps the cat because the chemicals in the pheromone are similar to what the cat releases when it rubs against furniture or marks its territory.  In other words, pheromones make your home more welcoming to cats.

Can humans smell cat pheromones and will it affect the environment?

Cat pheromones are odorless to humans, meaning, your home will not smell like cats or have an overwhelming odor.  Instead, what they will do is instill a sense of safety or well-being whenever the cat is in your home.  That comfort and stress relief allows the cat to make your home -its home.  This will increase confidence, and you will start noticing a reduction in stress-induced behaviours mentioned above.

How long do cat pheromones take to work?

Animal trials indicate that it takes up to fourteen days to start seeing the results.  But you can quicken the process by making your space more hospitable to the cat.  In a previous article, we talked about ‘Catifying your House’ -a process that involves getting your cat some essentials and designating a space for it to claim -as its territory. Primarily, what you should remember is that when spraying or positioning pheromones, concentrate it in one area of the room where the cat will have access to some form of entertainment, its litter box, and scratching facilities.  We recommend getting a scratching post with condominiums for the cat to feel safe in.  Alternatively, you may purchase cat pheromone collars if you do not have enough space.  But I recommend the latter because it will keep your cat from destroying furniture and other valuables when playing or navigating to its preferred sleep location.

What causes behavioral changes in cats?

Stress is not the only cause of behavioral change in cats.  Consequently, if you notice a sudden or slow shift in cat behavior it is important to find the real cause of the issue.  Remember, stress is a reaction to a situation, meaning, often getting rid of the stressor can help solve the cats’ issues.  Yes, pheromones can work to help relieve stress, but if the stressing factor still exists, the problem might not go away until you solve it.

If your cat stops using its litter box, changes its sleep patterns, increases, or decreases grooming habits, becomes hostile, or loses weight drastically, it means that there is an underlying issue that you must correct.  Start by asking a few basic questions:

Have you moved recently?  Does the cat experience rapid breathing or shortness of breath? has the cat lost its inclination to play?

If you cannot find an answer, we advise that you take your cat to the vet for a check-up.

Remember, pheromones are effective if you get rid of physical stressors.  They also work on mental issues, however, if the cat has an underlying disease or illness, cat pheromone will not do much.  Therefore, always identify the stressor before trying solutions.

How to use cat pheromones effectively

Cats are the poster child for ‘resistance to change’ meaning, they prefer familiarity, hence -changes to their environment, health, the introduction of new animals into the home, and so on can lead to behavioral change because all these factors may affect the cat’s daily habits.  For example, if you introduce a dog to your home, you may notice the cat staying out longer, being less sociable, or spraying your home with urine.  Remember, simple actions such as rearranging furniture may affect your cat’s behavior.  So, we must ask, how do you use cat pheromones effectively?

Know when to use pheromones

If your cat is happy and behaving normally, there is no need to use pheromones.  However, if you are bringing a new cat to your home, moving, rearranging furniture, or doing anything that might affect the cat’s behavioral patterns.  It is a good idea to use pheromones.

Most commercial diffusers such as Feliway have an effective range of 700 square meters, but it will be more effective if you position it in the right place.  That is:

  • Do not place a cat pheromone diffuser near or under furniture as the items might affect circulation.
  • Keep the diffuser constantly on and refill monthly.  Or you may purchase a collar.
  • You may spray it in your car if you intend to take a journey with your cat.
  • You can use it as an attractant (spray cat pheromone on scratching posts or playsets)

What not to do with cat pheromone

  • Do not spray pheromone directly to the cat.
  • Do not use pheromone without reading the instructions and proper usage.

It is also worth mentioning that pheromones cannot cause allergic reactions or overdose because the odor released is not absorbed into the bloodstream.  Therefore, a product such as Feliway is safe for men and cats.

Also, it is not necessary to use your diffuser constantly on if the cat is healthy and exhibits normal behavior.  Instead, turn your diffuser on when something potentially stressful occurs.  For example, if there are fireworks outside, when the cat is sick, or when you move or introduce a new animal to the family.

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