Is Feliway The Love Potion Your Cat Needs?

Love of Sparrow - Comfort Zone Feliway

A calm cat is a joy to live with, but if the cat is not calm it is not so joyous. In my never-ending quest to keep the cat happy, I asked myself ‘is Feliway the best way?’ and then I went on a mission to find out.

Artificial pheromones can be a great way to deal with all sorts of cat behaviour issues, whether it be territorial spraying, litter box problems or simply a stressful trip to the vet, but as we know the wheezy little asthmatic types are extra sensitive. The good news is Feliway products are safe, effective and generally seem to be a pretty good idea.

 

 

At a Glance

Feliway Diffuser - Is Feliway The Love Potion Your Cat Needs?

 

 

Why Are Facial Pheromones Important to Cats?

Pheromones are chemical messengers produced by animals that act as a stimulus to others of the same species. When a cat feels safe in its environment it will rub its cute little face against the furniture, carpet, drapes or people and leave facial pheromones behind.

 


When a cat smells these friendly pheromones it triggers a natural response that produces feelings of contentment and comfort. It’s this friendly environment factor that can significantly reduce unwanted behaviours such as spraying, scratching and litter box avoidance and help to keep your cat calm in times of stress.

 

What is Feliway?

Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the natural pheromones cats produce to mark their territory as safe. Feliway was created by some clever scientists at Ceva Sante Animal in France and has been around since 1997. Because pheromones are species-specific, Feliway will not have any effect on other pets or people in the home, but will create a feeling of wellbeing and calm for the felines.Happy Cat - Is Feliway The Love Potion Your Cat Needs?

When used in combination with positive behavioural modification and environmental enrichment, Feliway products have been reported to be an effective way to reduce the anxiety that makes cats act up.

However, if your cat’s problem is being caused by a filthy litter box, for example, Feliway will not fix the problem. It’s not a plug-in-make-the-badness-go-away cure, but rather a method to make your kitty feel safe and at ease in times of disruption or stress.

Ceva’s research shows there is an 86% success rate with their product and cats who are not effected at all are in a small minority.

 

Feliway Products

Feliway is available in a few different variations to suit the environment and the cat(s) in question:

  • Original Feliway Diffuser – recommended for problems with spraying Feliway Spray - Is Feliway The Love Potion Your Cat Needs?and urine marking, this stuff has been reported to reduce the unwanted behaviour within 7 days. Diffusers are also great for moving house or changes around the home such as new furniture.
  • Feliway Multicat Diffuser – contains feline appeasement pheromones and help to reduce conflict within multiple cat households.
  • Feliway Spray – can sprayed on to surfaces to help with stressful situations such as trips to the vet, travel, thunderstorms or fireworks
  • Feliway Wipes – for wiping surfaces such as the inside of your cat’s carrier or bedding.

 

You might have seen products marketed as ‘Comfort Zone With Feliway’ which are also available as diffusers or sprays. It’s the same pheromone but in a lower concentration, less expensive product. As with anything, you get what you pay for and quality is always important when dealing with our delicate feline friends.

 

What’s Good About Feliway?

  • Has a calming effect on cats who are nervous or jittery.
  • Helps to reduce stress and fighting in multi-cat households.
  • Safe for use around children and other pets.
  • Synthetic pheromones are not absorbed into the cat’s bloodstream and produce no known side effects.

 

What’s Questionable?

In my experience: nothing…so of course I went searching for horror stories, but to my cynical surprise there weren’t many. There were, however, quite a few reports from angry people using a lot of exclamation marks, saying it didn’t do much for their cat  – which is to be expected with only an 86% success rate. Those who did rate it, seemed to rate it highly.Questionable Cat - Feliway Comfort ZoneIf you go for the Original Feliway rather than the Comfort Zone range (which you should, for the sake of quality) there’s no getting around it: it’s not cheap, especially for something that might not work.

 

Does Sparrow Approve?

I read up on Feliway last year as a way to help Sparrow settle in when we moved house. I bought a diffuser and plugged it in a few days before the big move and it seemed to do what it said it would. Sparrow moved into a completely different, totally indoor environment without a single hitch and no complaints other than his usually noisy Sparrowness. I switched the diffuser off after a few days and haven’t needed to use it since.

However…

I haven’t been able to find a great deal of information on whether or not this is going to mess with the freaking asthma and I’m not going to try it just for the sake of experimenting – and definitely not without having another crazy catlady chat with the vet.

Love of Sparrow - Comfort Zone Feliway

My other disclaimer is this: Sparrow is not normal. He’s the most relaxed, friendly and sociable cat I’ve ever met and he trusts me explicitly so there’s every chance the Feliway diffuser made no difference and he would have settled into his new home just as well without it. We’ll never know, but for the sake of an honest review I thought I should mention that my cat is freaking awesome with or without the help of science and our results may not be typical.

Having said that, most cats will find Feliway soothing; it’s a handy tool to have in your kitty kit for any time there’s a potentially stressful situation coming into your cat’s life.

 

What’s your experience with Feliway, did the love potion for cats work at your house? Comments and questions are welcome in the box below…

Feliway Diffuser

Diffuser Two-Pack $60.99
Feliway Diffuser
9.6

Ease of Use

10.0 /10

Cat Safe

9.0 /10

Cost Efficient

9.0 /10

Safe for Kids & Other Pets

10.0 /10

Convenient Delivery

10.0 /10

What's Good?

  • Calms jittery cats
  • Stops cat fights
  • Easy to use
  • Won't affect other pets

What's Questionable?

  • Uh...

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20 Comments

  1. I really love cats. They’re too adorable but most of the time, they felt stressed that will cause unwanted behaviors. I came across your write-up and it interests me how the product made cats comfortable by copying the natural pheromones that they produced.
    Additionally, having an 86% success rate is quite reasonable enough to be recommended. Thank you for this one.

  2. I used Feliway when I first got Freddie. I got Freddie from the shelter and he was very frightened when I brought him home. He hid under my bed for almost 2 weeks. I thought Feliway would be a good way to calm him down. I got the plug-in diffuser for my bedroom and one for the living room, so see if that would make Freddie come out. Over time I felt like it’s been working, since for a few months after I got Freddie, he came out more and more. Now it’s been over a year and Freddie is almost afraid of nothing now. I haven’t used Feliway lately since Freddie isn’t as scared as he used to be.

    1. That’s a great story Karin, I love hearing about successfully rescued kitties. No doubt Feliway helped Freddie settle in much faster than he would have without it. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Wow! This stuff sounds awesome! Do you think it would work if you were to bring another animal in our home? Another cat or even a dog? Or if we already had an animal (we do: Buddy, the friendly mutt)? We would love to introduce a cat into our household, and we’d like to choose a rescue, but I do worry about it. My daughter brings her cat when she comes to visit from out of state, and Buddy doesn’t care a bit, but you never know. I’m definitely going to keep this product in mind! Thanks so much for the info!

    1. Hey Suz, of course Buddy doesn’t mind when the cat visits – he’s a dog! He probably wonders why the small, funny looking dog doesn’t want to be friends with him. But anyway, yes. Feliway would absolutely be a good thing if you decided to move a kitty into your home, at least for the first little while until said kitty starts to feel comfortable in his new place. It’s a good idea for when your daughter’s cat comes to visit, too.
      Thanks for your comment!

  4. I’ve always had multiple cats, and usually one of them walks around a nervous wreck because the other torments her if she gets too close. I had no idea there was something to help with calming them so they be less likely to be quite so darn territorial. I’m definitely going to give Feliway a try. It would be worth it if it eased the tension between the kitties. Thanks for the info!

    1. You’re welcome, Maria, I hope it all works out for your cats and their territorial little selves. Come back and let us know how Feliway worked out for you.

  5. I had no idea about facial pheromones. Thinking back at all the time I’ve had issues with cats scratching and spraying I wish i had something like this.

    I like Feliway because it seems safe to use and easy to deploy.

    I could have used this product when I introduced a new cat the house. Sometimes the cats just go nuts. This calming effect of Feliway would have worked wonders. I felt bad for the cats they’d end up with each others fur in theirs mouths and scratches all over their bodies.

    Thanks for the excellent review.

    -Justin C.-

    1. Feliway is especially good for keeping things civil between cats when a new kid moves in. I hope you didn’t get hurt in the battle Justin, thanks for dropping in!

  6. I was definitely going to ask about the effects on the asthma but I see you got to it right at the end! I wouldn’t test it either if I were you. No sense in chancing it especially if Sparrow is already settled in nicely.

    I’m actually moving soon and hope to assimilate McCoy in a similar manner so maybe I’ll invest in this…

    Have you read any complaints about the synthetic product portion of this? It not being natural sort of scares me when it comes to cats. I guess the biggest thing is just wondering if there is any possibility of harmful chemicals for them or is there some sort of regulation for that stuff in the cat world?

    Thanks!

    1. Oh Dalton…could you ask me a harder question next time please? 😉

      I haven’t been able to find any information about what Feliway is actually made of – the ingredients list ‘synthetic pheromone’ like we’re supposed to know what that is. The spray is in an ethanol base and the diffuser is in an oil base. I did read some reports of cats developing asthma-like symptoms when exposed to the stuff, but the vets say that it’s unlikely Feliway caused that and maybe there was some other trigger.

      I think for you and McCoy this would be a worthy thing to invest in if you’re moving house, just to make the new place a bit less overwhelming for him. Good luck with the move, come back and tell us how it all went.

  7. This was a revelation to me. I have grown up with cats and my children love them (They are grown up and flown the coup now.) (The children, not the cats.)
    My younger son has a rescue cat which has taken a long time to settle in. He is still nervous with any change of routine or when strange adults visit.
    There is a new young addition to the family now and so a new dynamic.
    I will speak to him about Feliway because a happy cat is a happy household.
    “Woody” is very protective of the new baby but any new adults around and he vanishes out the cat flap, giving the impression of being very stressed.
    They have all kinds of activity and play equipment for him so I am sure they would seriously want to try anything that relaxed “Woody.”

    1. Cat are funny like that, they don’t do change well. Sounds like that baby is going to have a fine companion in Woody.

  8. Your review on Feliway diffusers, sprays, and wipes would be a huge help to cat owners who can’t get their cat to relax. Although Feliway uses synthetic hormones to reduce stress and fighting among cats, do you think it can train cats to become housebroken? And where do you typically spray Feliway?

    Sorry to hear that your cat has asthma, I know that there are a limited number of treatments available for cats than people when it comes to allergies.

    1. It’s all good Chuw, we get by. Sparrow’s asthma is mostly under control these days…I think. He looks ok to me, anyway!

      So the Feliway spray can be used on stuff but NOT on your cat. On the inside of the cat carrier or the new bed, for example. I haven’t used it for anything other than moving house so I can’t say from experience, but it will take some of the stress out of your kitty’s life and make housebreaking easier. Good luck!

  9. Hey there
    Glad I found your post! our cat as of late has really been avoiding his litter box. I always just assumed the litter box needed cleaning when I would find him spraying but it wasn’t the case… He is a neutered male, I figure he isn’t spraying for territorial reasons however he is an indoor cat, always being taunted by a couple of neighborhood outdoor cats that like to peek in our windows.. Is it possible that this plays a factor and would you recommend these pheromones for our cat?

    1. Hey Rob. It does sound like those neighbourhood cats are disturbing your inside boy, BUT if he’s avoiding the litter box and spraying there could be a number of things going on. Has anything else changed in your house? New furniture, stuff being rearranged, new people? You might want to go for a quick check at the vet just to make sure there’s nothing major going on. If he gets the all clear from the doc then yes, Feliway could help with whatever’s causing him to stress out. Good luck!

  10. As a fellow cat owner and Feliway user, I can vouch that it does work quite well, but it isn’t a silver bullet. Just like you mentioned in your article here you have to solve all the basics first before Feliway can really have an impact. The way I’ve had the most luck with it is to ensure my foster cats are in a clean and comfy environment first, then to use the Feliway second. This is a second layer of comfort for them, but if you don’t provide all the basic necessities then Feliway will not work its magic. But I have noted a distinct difference with our foster cats when I use it versus when I don’t!

    The other thing that I would mention as important, the classic diffuser doesn’t work so hot beyond a single 10×10 room. I know you mentioned this, but just driving the point home. If you have a 1500 square foot house you can’t use one Feliway diffuser and expect it to help.

    Thanks for posting this article though. Despite using it for a while I wasn’t familiar with the actual background on how it was created and what it is actually IS. Very enlightening!

    1. Exactly, all of that. It’s good stuff if you use it correctly and if you have all of the other important things taken care of. Thanks for your input, much appreciated.

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