Reducing Feline Anxiety with Cat Pheromone Sprays

Cat pheromones help in managing behavioral issues and have a calming effect on your pet. Feline communication is broadly divided into three areas: physical cues, vocal sounds and scent marking. Watching your cat's tail and ears, and listening to her voice, will help you get a good idea of what she is trying to communicate.

Cats are endowed with scent glands on their paws, cheeks, top of the head and the rectum. These glands release pheromones which are critical to the cat in order to mark familiar territory, declare sexual status, identify unfamiliar cats and to show aggression.

The pheromones produced by your cat through her cheeks, head and paws are friendly and have a calming effect on her. Your cat will rub her head or cheeks against objects and people she considers safe and harmless. On the other hand, pheromones sprayed by your cat through urine and glands at the rectum are signals of being stressed and nervous.

Common Stress Triggers

There are some common stress triggers which will cause your cat to indulge in inappropriate elimination.

  • Change in number of family members
  • New home or major repairs
  • New cat or other pet
  • Fights with other cats
  • Sexual maturity in un-neutered cats
  • Strange cat in neighborhood

It's important to know and recognise the difference between spraying and arbitrary urination. Spraying is done to mark an object and is usually done vertically. The urine in this case will be in a stream and not pooled. Horizontal objects are usually the target for random urination and the reasons could be many, ranging from medical issues to a dislike for the litter box.

Once you have identified that your cat is spraying due to anxiety, you can take some steps to relieve her.

Use Cat Pheromone Sprays

The good facial pheromones, which your cat uses to mark things and people she likes, can be used to calm her. Spraying friendly pheromones in areas that your cat is getting stressed by, can modify her behavior and reactions to consider these areas as secure.

Feliway is a spray that contains traces of feline facial pheromones. By spraying Feliway, you can get your cat to believe that she has facially rubbed the area, thus calming her down. Feliway pheromone sprays and diffusers are available without prescription. The pump spray has to be used on areas your cat is marking, and the plug-in diffuser has to be plugged into a wall socket. The diffuser lasts for about a month and covers around 600 square feet.

Using a Pheromone Spray or Diffuser

  • Identify the area where your cat has sprayed. Clean it thoroughly with water.
  • Use the pheromone diffuser twice a day on the cleaned area. Repeat this every day for a month.
  • Instead of only spraying the affected spot, squirt a little on various objects, creating an environment of calming scents for your cat.
  • Spray at a height that your cat's nose will reach.
  • Cats don't eliminate where they spray facially, and so do not use your diffuser near her litter box. This will confuse her.

A pheromone spray can be used to reduce your cat's anxiety levels. Spraying some in her cage before stressful travel, on the veterinarians table, at a boarding place or in the rooms of a new house can play a significant role in acclimatizing your cat and making her feel secure.