A cat pheromone is a chemical substance that is secreted by the feline’s body and works as a signal for other cats. A pheromone is able to alter the behavior of the one who smells it. Pheromones are proven to have a soothing effect on cats with behavioral problems, and artificial pheromones are presently used extensively for therapeutic purposes.
Pheromones are present in insects, animals and even humans. The pheromones are chemicals that have a special scent and can influence the behavior of the smeller. Pheromones were detected for the first time in the 1950s in moths and ants.
Cats and dogs also secrete pheromones. There are several different types of pheromones produced by cats, depending on the situation, the condition and the location of the cat.
Pheromones for Mating Felines
Cats produce pheromones that are particularly helpful during the mating season. The female cat secrets a low amount of pheromones that can be felt by males from a few miles away. The pheromones will attract the males, making it possible for the female to be fertilized. If a female is sterilized, she will no longer have heat cycles and will not secret pheromones during this period, so the males will not get any signal.
Cat pheromones can also be secreted through urine both in females and males. When cats urinate, it leaves a mark and information about his rank or gender and location. Cat pheromones can be smelled by other cats as well as dogs.
When a cat has kittens, she will secrete pheromones that are meant to calm down the kittens and help them identify their mother when lost. This is one of the reasons why artificial pheromones are used in therapy to solve certain behavior issues or to cure depression in cats. Sensing pheromones that are similar to the ones secreted by the mother will make the cat calmer and help him feel sheltered and happier.
The existence of facial pheromones hasn’t been fully proven, but there are theories that these pheromones do exist. When a cat rubs his face against certain surfaces or people, he leaves a trace of fat. Research shows that the cat also secretes pheromones, which will calm the cat and is also used to mark territory.
Synthetic pheromones have been created and used to calm cats down. These synthetic pheromones mimic the smell of the facial pheromones or the pheromones secreted by a nursing mother. They contain essential oils of valeriana plant as well as some fatty acids, which will recreate the same scent as that of real cat pheromones.
These pheromones are available as sprays or pheromone diffusers and will have a soothing effect on your pet. They can also stop your cat from spraying, or eliminate certain destructive behaviors such as excessive chewing or scratching objects, furniture or floors.
If your cat has behavior problems or is spraying, you should talk about an alternative treatment with pheromones with your vet.