Keep Your Cat Calm and Content. The Best Pheromones for Reducing Feline Stress

What Are Pheromones and How Do They Work?

Pheromones are chemicals produced and released by animals that trigger a social response in members of the same species. They serve as a form of communication by influencing behavior and mood.

In cats, pheromones are secreted from glands located around the face, chin, tail base, and paws. When released, these pheromones provide information to other cats about territory, sexual availability, and contentment. The vomeronasal organ in a cat’s nose detects pheromones, sending signals to the brain that elicit instinctual responses.

For example, when a female cat is in heat, she releases pheromones that signal her readiness to mate. Male cats detecting these pheromones may become more affectionate and protective. Pheromones from cats’ facial glands relay signals about territorial boundaries, facilitating peaceful relationships between cats sharing an area.

Synthetic cat pheromones have been developed that mimic natural pheromones. Diffusers, sprays, wipes, and collars containing these synthetic pheromones can help relieve stress and promote calmness and contentment in cats by making them feel safe and secure.


Why Cats Need Calming Pheromones

Cats can experience anxiety and stress in response to various triggers like loud noises, unfamiliar environments, changes in routine, or separation from their owners. Studies show that over half of cats display anxious behaviors in response to loud noises while 70% may urinate inappropriately due to separation anxiety (de Souza Machado, 2020).

Common signs your cat is feeling anxious or stressed include excessive vocalization, urination/defecation outside the litter box, destructive behaviors, aggression, hiding, loss of appetite, and overgrooming. Providing calming pheromones can help relieve anxiety and promote relaxation in stressed cats.

Calming pheromones are natural chemicals secreted by cats that signal safety and contentment. Pheromone products contain synthetic versions of these chemicals. When a cat detects these pheromones, it triggers a calming response. Cat calming pheromones have been found to help with various stress-related problems like fear of loud noises, vet visits, grooming, and more (de Souza Machado, 2020).

By using pheromone diffusers, sprays, wipes, or collars you can help create a comforting environment and provide ongoing support for an anxious cat. While not a cure-all, calming pheromones are a drug-free way to help minimize stress and promote relaxation at home.

Types of Calming Pheromones for Cats

There are several major brands of cat calming pheromone products on the market. Some of the top options include:


Feliway is one of the most popular and well-known cat pheromone brands. Their products contain synthetic pheromone analogues that mimic cat facial pheromones. This helps create a calming environment that can relieve stress and anxiety in cats. Feliway makes pheromone diffusers, sprays, wipes, and more. Their Classic Room Diffuser is a top seller. According to and many pet owners, Feliway is very effective at reducing unwanted behaviors in stressed cats.

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone by Farnam also produces popular cat calming pheromone products. They offer diffusers, sprays, collars, and wipes with either Feliway’s F3 or Comfort Zone’s CZm pheromone formulations. Their Multicat Diffuser covers a larger area than some competitors. Comfort Zone pheromone products can help with grooming issues, urine marking, scratching, and other problems in distressed cats.

Pet Remedy

Pet Remedy makes natural pheromone products derived from the valerian plant root. Their gel dispensers and sprays use herbal oils and valerian as an alternative to synthetic feline pheromones. According to customers, Pet Remedy can produce calming effects in cats that are anxious, stressed, or having behavioral issues.

Other Brands

There are also pheromone products like collars from Sentry and wipes from Nature’s Miracle. Trioak Cat Calming Pheromone Diffuser is a popular budget option. Vets Preferred Calming Diffuser, Pet Organics No More Marking, and Thundershirt’s Calming Diffuser also offer pheromone solutions for cat anxiety and stress.

How to Use Pheromone Products for Cats

There are several types of products available to help provide calming pheromones for cats. The most common are diffusers, sprays, collars, and wipes.

Pheromone Diffusers for Cat Anxiety

Pheromone diffusers are devices that slowly and continually emit pheromones into the air in a particular room or area. They help provide a constant calming presence that can relieve anxiety, fear, and stress in cats. According to Comfort Zone, diffusers work by mimicking natural facial pheromones that signal safety and familiarity to cats.

Pheromone Sprays for Cat Stress

Pheromone sprays can be directly applied to objects like bedding, carriers, or furniture. According to PetMD, the pheromones are passively released and inhaled by the cat, providing a calming effect. Sprays provide a quick and portable way to calm cats in stressful situations like car rides or vet visits.

Pheromone Collars for Cat Comfort

Pheromone collars are collars infused with synthetic pheromones that a cat wears around its neck. The pheromones are passively released and inhaled by the cat to provide ongoing comfort and calmness. According to Chewy, pheromone collars can be especially helpful for easing anxiety during activities like boarding or traveling.

Pheromone Wipes for Cat Travel

Pheromone wipes can be used to apply pheromones directly to a cat’s coat and paws before and during travel or visits to unfamiliar places. This provides a sense of comfort and familiarity for the cat when in new environments. The wipes provide a convenient way to quickly apply pheromones during on-the-go situations.

Pheromone Diffusers for Cat Anxiety

Pheromone diffusers are one of the most popular and effective ways to use synthetic pheromones to calm anxious cats. They work by emitting a continuous supply of synthetic pheromones that mimic natural feline pheromones. When cats smell these pheromones, it triggers a calming response and reduces stress and anxiety.

According to Feliway, the synthetic pheromones are spread through the air and absorbed by the vomeronasal organ located above the roof of a cat’s mouth. This organ sends signals to the cat’s amygdala region of the brain, which controls emotional responses. The pheromones provide reassurance and signal safety to cats, calming their anxiety.

For optimal results, diffusers should be placed in locations where the cat spends the most time, or where problem behaviors occur. Good spots are the living room, bedroom, or near the cat’s feeding area. The diffuser should be out of reach of pets and children. Allow the diffuser to run continuously, and be sure to refill it when empty.

Most diffusers require refilling with replacement cartridges every 4-6 weeks. Unplug the diffuser and follow the instructions to remove the empty cartridge and insert a new one. Be sure to clean the electrical contacts each time you refill. Using the diffuser consistently and refilling on schedule is key to maintaining a calming environment.

Pheromone Sprays for Cat Stress

Pheromone sprays like Feliway Classic Spray provide synthetic copies of the cat appeasing pheromones cats use to mark spaces as safe and comfortable. These sprays can be very beneficial for reducing stress and anxious behaviors in cats.

To use a pheromone spray, point the nozzle about 20-30 cm away from the areas you want to apply it. Give a light spray or two on places your cat spends time like their bed, carrier, scratching posts, or the corner of a room. Be careful not to spray directly on your cat. The spray can also be used about 15-30 minutes before a stress-inducing event like a vet visit or guest arriving.

Applying these sprays helps provide a sense of familiarity and security for your cat. The pheromones promote calmness and can prevent or reduce spraying, scratching, hiding, restlessness and other anxiety-related behaviors cats display when stressed. Using pheromone sprays regularly can make a big difference in keeping your cat comfortable and content.

Pheromone Collars for Cat Comfort

Pheromone collars work by emitting synthetic pheromones that mimic a cat’s natural calming pheromones. The pheromones are slowly released and sensed by the cat’s vomeronasal organ, which triggers a calming response. Unlike sprays and diffusers, a collar provides a constant and steady supply of pheromones that lasts for weeks or months [1].

Getting the right fit and sizing for a pheromone collar is important for comfort and effectiveness. Measure your cat’s neck size and follow the manufacturer’s sizing guide. Leave room for one-two fingers between the collar and neck to allow breathing room. Make adjustments over time as kittens grow. Check the collar regularly to ensure proper fit [2].

Look for waterproof collar designs made with durable, cat-safe materials. Water-resistant collars will maintain effectiveness with exposure to water from drinking, bathing or outdoor activity. Waterproof designs are ideal for cats that swim or play in water frequently [3].

Pheromone Wipes for Cat Travel

Portable pheromone wipes for cats make travel a breeze. Just wipe the wipe over carriers, beds, blankets, and car interiors to help calm nervous cats on the go (Source).The pheromones mimic those emitted by cats to mark their territory and provide a sense of comfort. These convenient wipes work similar to diffusers and sprays but are compact for travel.

Before hitting the road, be sure to wipe down the cat carrier. The calming pheromones will help ease the stress of confinement during transport (Source). Continue using the wipes at your destination by applying them around new environments like hotel rooms or relative’s homes. The familiar scent helps cats feel more relaxed exploring new territory. Wipes infused with catnip oil provide an extra soothing boost (Source). Just a few wipes will go a long way in comforting travel companions.

Lifestyle Tips to Pair With Pheromones

In addition to using pheromone products, there are several lifestyle changes that can help create a calmer environment for anxious cats.

Environmental enrichment is important – provide plenty of toys, cat trees, scratching posts, and opportunities for playtime and exercise. Rotate toys to keep things interesting. Vertical space and hiding spots also help cats feel more secure.

Try to keep a consistent routine that your cat can rely on. Cats feel less anxious when their schedule is predictable. Feed them, play with them, and clean litter boxes around the same times each day.

Learn your cat’s stress triggers and work to minimize them. Loud noises, changes to their territory, new people, or a disrupted routine can cause anxiety. Use pheromones and make gradual introductions to help cats adjust to changes.

With lifestyle adjustments and pheromone products, you can help create a calmer, less stressful environment that reduces your cat’s anxiety.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

While pheromones can help relieve anxiety in many cases, it’s important to be aware of signs of more serious issues that require veterinary attention. Some medical conditions can cause or exacerbate stress and anxiety in cats. Leaving these untreated could lead to long-term health and behavior problems. Here are some signs it’s time to schedule a vet visit:

  • Sudden change in behavior or personality
  • Excessive vocalization or restlessness
  • Aggression or other behavioral problems
  • Inappropriate urination or defecation
  • Excessive grooming or hair loss
  • Hiding or unwillingness to interact
  • Loss of appetite or other eating changes
  • Lethargy, depression, or other mood changes

Some medical conditions that can cause anxiety include hyperthyroidism, dental disease, arthritis, infections, and neurological issues. A vet can run tests to diagnose and treat any underlying problem. Leaving chronic anxiety untreated for too long can cause deterioration in your cat’s quality of life. It’s best to seek professional advice if pheromones and other calming techniques don’t seem to be working after a few weeks.

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