by Emily Wallner
When adopting a new cat or dealing with anxiety in your cat(s), a frequently-made suggestion is to try a pheromone product referred to as Feliway TM. Feliway is the brand name of a product containing a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that cats excrete and mark upon areas of their home. The pheromone is distributed by the cats rubbing their cheeks on items. This pheromone, and the synthetic copy of it found in Feliway and other synthetic pheromone diffusers, serves to mark property and relieve anxiety and stress. Using these diffusers can help to make your home feel safer to new cats, reduce anxiety, may help manage various behavioral problems, and can serve to make life transitions and changes easier on your feline family members.
Using synthetic pheromone diffusers like Feliway is easy. It comes in multiple forms. One of the most popular forms is a plug-in diffuser. The pheromone product gets heated up in the diffuser and is released into the air. Depending on the size of the area you want to treat, you may or may not want to use more than one diffuser. Another easy method of application is spraying the Feliway by hand with a spray bottle. You can spray it into the air or directly on objects. For safety reasons, do not spray the product directly on your cats. Finally, there are calming collars. These collars look like flea collars and release a continual bit of the pheromone in the air around the cat.
Feliway and other synthetic pheromone products can be found at Target, WalMart, pet stores and online retailers. As always, pheromone diffusers are not a substitute for veterinary care when needed and their efficacy will vary. Your veterinarian can help you determine if these popular products are appropriate for your household.