Do Cat Calming Collars Really Keep Kitty Chill?

What Are Cat Calming Collars?

Cat calming collars are a type of collar designed to help reduce anxiety and stress in cats. They work by emitting synthetic pheromones that mimic feline facial pheromones. These pheromones signal to cats that they are in a safe, comforting environment, triggering a calming response (1).

There are a few different types of cat calming collars:

  • Pheromone collars contain synthetic analogs of cat appeasing pheromones. These are designed to reduce stress behaviors and have a calming effect.
  • Herbal calming collars use plant-based ingredients like chamomile, valerian, and lavender that have relaxing properties.
  • Compression collars apply gentle pressure to make cats feel more secure, like a hug.

Most cat calming collars are adjustable, reusable, and worn around the neck. They continuously release calming pheromones or herbs into the air around the cat’s head when worn. This can help soothe cats in stressful situations like vet visits, boarding, loud noises, or changes to their environment.

a cat wearing a breakaway calming collar

Do They Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

There have been several scientific studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of cat calming collars at reducing feline stress and anxiety. One study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association tested a pheromone-infused collar on cats in a shelter environment. The study found the pheromone collar resulted in significantly lower stress behaviors compared to a placebo collar (1).

Another study tested a feline facial pheromone collar on cats exhibiting anxiety during veterinary visits. The results showed the pheromone collar helped reduce signs of stress during the veterinary examinations (2).

Overall, the scientific evidence and clinical studies provide solid support that cat calming collars can promote relaxation and curb anxiety in cats by utilizing synthetic analogs of feline facial pheromones. While not every cat may respond to the pheromones, studies show they can be an effective option for many anxious or stressed cats.


Do They Stop Negative Behaviors?

Research has shown that cat calming collars can be effective at reducing negative behaviors in cats like inappropriate scratching, aggression, urine marking, and more. One study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that 80% of cats had a significant reduction in urine marking after using a pheromone-based calming collar for 30 days (source). Another study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery saw reduced inter-cat aggression in multi-cat households after 8 weeks of collar use.

The calming pheromones emitted by the collars help provide a sense of familiarity and security for cats, making them less likely to act out with problematic behaviors. The collars have specifically been shown to reduce destructive scratching of furniture, as cats feel less stressed and have less urge to mark their territory. One clinical trial found up to a 90% decrease in vertical scratching after using a collar consistently for 30 days (source).

However, results can vary from cat to cat. While many owners report great success with curbing negative behaviors, others find little change. Consulting your veterinarian, using collars consistently, and identifying any underlying issues are key for optimal results.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

Some potential risks and side effects to be aware of with cat calming collars include:

a cat scratching at its neck due to skin irritation from a tight collar

Skin irritation – This is the most common side effect seen with calming collars. Usually, this occurs when the collar is put on too tightly, causing rubbing and irritation against the cat’s skin. To avoid this, make sure to cut off any excess collar length and that you can comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and your cat’s neck. Check for any signs of irritation daily. [1]

Allergic reaction – While rare, some cats may be allergic to the synthetic pheromones or materials in the collar. Look for symptoms like excessive scratching, licking or chewing at the collar site, hives, swelling, and head shaking. Discontinue use if you notice any unusual reaction.

Choking hazard – Calming collars have been associated with some choking incidents if cats become caught on objects while wearing them. Supervise your cat closely when first using a new collar.

Ingestion – Cats may try to chew or consume parts of the plastic collar, which could lead to gastrointestinal blockage or upset if large pieces are swallowed. Bitter tasting additives help deter chewing.

Despite these potential side effects, calming collars are generally considered very safe when used as directed. Still, your veterinarian may advise against using a collar if your cat has sensitive skin or is at high risk of getting caught on objects.

How Should They Be Used?

When first using a cat calming collar, it’s important to have realistic expectations. The pheromones diffused by the collar work gradually over time to reduce anxiety and stress. Owners should not expect immediate drastic changes in their cat’s behavior. It often takes 1-2 weeks for the calming effects to be noticeable.

Calming collars are designed to be worn continuously. They should be snug enough not to slip off, but loose enough to allow two fingers to fit underneath. The collar’s effects last about 4-6 weeks. After that time, the collar should be replaced with a new one.

While wearing the collar, cats should be monitored for any signs of skin irritation. If redness or sores develop under the collar, it should be removed and a vet consulted. Proper collar tightness helps prevent this. Trimming fur around the neck area can also help.

Along with the calming collar, owners should also try to minimize stressors in the cat’s environment. This includes loud noises, changes in routine, moving to a new home, or the addition of new pets. Calming collars work best as part of an overall approach to promoting relaxation.

Most experts recommend introducing kittens to calming collars early, at around 8-12 weeks old. But they can be effective for cats of any age. Owners should give the collar 1-2 months to work before deciding if it’s helpful or not for their individual cat.

Are They Right for Every Cat?

Cat calming collars can be very beneficial for certain cats, but they may not be right for every feline. According to Catster, calming collars tend to work best for cats that are anxious, stressed, or exhibit unwanted behaviors like aggression or over-grooming.

Kittens and young cats often benefit greatly from calming collars, as they help them adjust to new environments and reduce common kitten anxieties. Older cats experiencing age-related anxiety or cognitive decline may also find calming collars very helpful.

However, calming collars are usually not recommended for healthy, well-adjusted adult cats that do not display problematic behaviors. The pheromones could end up being overstimulating for a cat that is already calm and content. Ill or senior cats with health issues should consult a veterinarian before using a calming collar.

It’s also important to note that calming collars are not a substitute for training, environmental changes, or in some cases medication prescribed by a vet. They work best alongside other methods to reduce anxiety and unwanted behaviors in stressed cats.

Reviews from Pet Owners

Cat calming collars have received mixed reviews from real pet owners. On Amazon, the SENTRY Calming Collar has over 2,800 reviews and averages 4 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews mention that the collar helped reduce anxiety, aggression, excessive vocalization, and destructive behaviors in their cats. For example, one owner said, “The Calming Collar has fixed: aggressive behavior; tension and anxiety and produced calm peaceful behavior we have never achieved with any other product” (source).

customer reviews of cat calming collars on amazon

However, some owners felt the collars didn’t work for their cats. One 1-star review stated, “It’s not very expensive, and it works for some cats… so if it works for your cat, fantastic! But don’t expect a miracle that works for every cat. Some cats are not as sensitive to the pheromones” (source).

Overall, calming collars seem helpful for some cats but not others. They may be worth trying if your cat has anxiety, but you may need to experiment with other options if you don’t see improvement.

Costs and Where to Buy

Cat calming collars range in price from about $10 to $25. Some of the most popular places to purchase calming collars for cats include:

  • Amazon – A wide selection of cat calming collar brands like Comfort Zone and Pets4Luv are available on Amazon. Prices start around $10.
  • Walmart – Walmart carries calming collar brands like Sentry for as low as $13.
  • Petco – Popular brands like Comfort Zone and Sentry are stocked at Petco stores and online with prices in the $15-25 range.
  • Chewy – offers a wide selection of calming collars starting around $10-15 for brands like Sentry and Comfort Zone.
  • PetSmart – In-store and online, PetSmart sells brands like Sentry and Comfort Zone for $15-25.

When shopping for a cat calming collar, be sure to compare prices between retailers to find the best deal. Many pet retailers price match too. Calming collars are relatively inexpensive, with prices typically ranging from $10-25.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cat calming collars:

How do cat calming collars work?

Cat calming collars contain synthetic pheromones that mimic the pheromones mother cats produce to calm and soothe kittens. These pheromones are slowly released and inhaled by the cat, triggering a calming effect. Popular pheromones used in calming collars include Feliway and Adaptil.

Are cat calming collars safe?

Cat calming collars are generally considered safe when used as directed. The pheromones mimic natural calming pheromones and do not enter the bloodstream. However, some cats may be sensitive or allergic to the plastic or materials. Monitor your cat’s skin for any irritation. Do not use on kittens under 12 weeks old.

How long do cat calming collars last?

Most cat calming collars are effective for 4-6 weeks, though some may last up to 8 weeks. It’s important to replace the collar regularly according to the package directions to ensure the pheromones remain effective.

Should my cat wear the collar at all times?

Yes, cat calming collars are designed to be worn continuously. It allows the pheromones to be slowly released over time. Remove periodically only to check skin for irritation. Do not remove at night.

When should I use a cat calming collar?

Calming collars can be useful in stressful situations like travel, vet visits, introducing new pets, loud noises like storms or fireworks, or transitions like moving homes. They can also help with general anxiety, aggression, destructive behaviors, and more.

The Bottom Line

a relaxed cat lying in a sunbeam

Based on the reviews, calming collars can be an effective tool for reducing anxiety and stress in many cats. The synthetic pheromones mimic natural chemicals that provide a sense of comfort and security. For cats struggling with loud noises, separation anxiety, aggression, inappropriate urination, and other stress-related behaviors, a calming collar is worth trying. It’s a non-invasive and drug-free option that, for many cats, can create a noticeable improvement within 1-2 weeks. However, calming collars don’t work for every cat. Some may show no change in behavior. They’re safe to try for a month to see if your cat responds positively. Look for collars that are adjustable, waterproof, and long-lasting for a month. While not guaranteed to solve all behavior problems, calming collars can provide an affordable and convenient way to help cats feel more relaxed and calm.

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