When your cat rubs her face against your leg, she’s leaving her scent (pheromones) on you. She’s marking you as “hers.”
Humans aren’t able to pick up on the complex messages left by these various movements but other cats (and dogs) do. Think of it as pet invisible ink.
How Kitty Pheromones Can Soothe Multi-Cat Households
If you’ve ever had dueling cats, you know how difficult it can be to keep the peace. Here’s how pheromones can play a role.
One cat comes along and rubs her face against the doorjamb. A few minutes later, your other cat comes by, smells that and recognizes that the other cat has “claimed” the door. Depending on the aggression level, the second cat might “spray” the area to cover up the scent with his own scent.
If you’ve ever experienced this, you know it’s not pleasant.
What’s a cat lover to do?
Turns out, scientists have developed synthetic pheromones for calming cats.
Nursing kittens are calmed by the scent of their mothers, or their pheromones. In the example above, some pheromones can promote aggression rather than nurturing.
And while we miss the complexities of this communication, we know we want our cats to feel safe.
Scientists have been busy in the lab creating synthetic versions of these pheromones and the results are appealing.
In a moment, I’ll share how they might soothe your anxious kitty, but first, let’s look at the signs that your cat is stressed.
Signs of a Stressed-Out Cat
If your cat lives the life of leisure that most spoiled housecats do, you may wonder what do they have to be stressed about?
However, there’s a lot that goes on inside that kitty brain that we can’t fathom so the best thing is to recognize they do get stressed. Especially when routines are changed like moving, new additions to your home, and loud noises like fireworks.
If your kitty is hiding, showing unusual signs of aggression (to family members – of any species), or spraying, these are signs that your cat is stressed.
While scientists have long studied the effects of pheromones, it’s only recently that companies have begun making synthetic pheromones for animals. The results are so promising that some
veterinarian hospitals are using them.
How Do Synthetic Pheromones Work?
Like the calming pheromones cats emit when they rub themselves against you, synthetic ones can calm your kitty.
You can think of it as kitty Prozac but without a pill or a pricey prescription. There are special collars that emit these pheromones, wipes, and a diffuser that you can plug into your wall like an air freshener.
They have no effect on humans and there are no negative side effects like a lot of medications.
Depending on your kitty’s stress level, you might start with one of these or try all three. Veterinarians say that in some cases, you can see results in just a few hours or a few days. Either way, they’re worth a try.
One of the most popular is Comfort Zone with Feliway.