Sep 2 2009

Pheromonotherapy & Your Feline Friends

We all know stress and anxiety can make us feel crazy, but did you know that our feline friends also experience stress and anxiety?  Have you ever wondered why your cat suddenly scratched up the carpet?  Did you ever want to know why he decided to pee on the couch?  Have you ever stopped to think about why she started to over-groom and cause a bald spot?  Did you ever consider the reasons she hides for days when you redecorate?  All of these “problems” may be caused by stress and anxiety.

There are a lot of tips and tricks you can try to solve any of the above problems, but pheromonotherapy is a possible solution that many people have never heard of.  When cats are relax and comfortable, they often will rub their face on people and objects.  This bunting deposits pheromones which convey safety and comfort.  Feliway has developed a synthetic version of this pheromone that also conveys a feeling of safety and comfort.

Feliway has been used to treat a variety of problems caused by stress and anxiety.  Certain instances of house soiling, scratching, aggression between family cats, fear of new people and over grooming all have improved with its use.  Feliway comes in a diffuser (similar to a plug-in air freshener) and in a spray.  I had great luck using a combination of the diffuser and spray when my cat Basil started to urinate in the house.  By plugging in the diffuser and spraying the places where he was urinating, he started using his litter box again. 

No solution will work 100% of the time on 100% of the animals, so pheromonotherapy may not work for your cat, but I think it is definitely worth trying.  Always remember, it is necessary to first consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions behind the stress, anxiety or house soiling.  There isn’t a trick or pheromone in the world that can solve a medical issue.

Written by Joe Hinkle
Manager of Behavior & Admissions at Wayside Waifs


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