Feliway – What Is It and What Does It Do?
Feliway is a product that I recommend on an almost daily basis in my practice of veterinary medicine dealing with cats. It is a product that many cat owners could use to their cat’s benefit but it is also a product with which many cat owners seem unfamiliar.
What Is Feliway
Feliway is a synthetic version of a pheromone called the feline facial pheromone. Essentially, a pheromone is a chemical that is secreted naturally by your cat’s body. It is a scent that only your cat and other cats will detect. You will not be able to smell or otherwise detect the substance.
As a cat owner and/or lover, I’m willing to bet you’ve had a cat rub his (or her) face against your leg or another part of your body. Part of what your cat is doing while rubbing his chin or face against you is marking you as his through the rubbing of feline facial pheromones on you. You may also see your cat rubbing his chin against a favorite chair, perch, scratching the surface, or other preferred areas. That’s the same type of behavior. When your cat chooses to rub against you in this manner, it’s a sign of trust.
What Can Feliway Do for My Cat?
Feliway, as a product, has many different applications. It acts to relax and calm your cat, especially during times of stress. I recommend it regularly for cats that are having litter box issues, for multicat households that are trying to deal with aggression between cats, for cats that are being introduced to a new environment or dealing with changes in an existing environment, or even simply for a cat that is not feeling well.
It also can play a big part in making veterinary visits easier for your cat. Spraying or wiping Feliway inside the carrier and/or placing a towel sprayed with Feliway over the carrier while traveling can be quite useful in making the carrier a more inviting place for your cat to spend time. Your veterinarian can also use Feliway in the exam room to help keep your cat calm, more relaxed, and under less stress during the visit.
Are There Side Effects with Feliway?
There are no side effects with the use of Feliway that I am aware of or have ever experienced, either with my client’s cats or with my own. Feliway is a natural product that is safe and effective in a number of situations. It can be used around other pets without danger as well. Other species will not even detect its presence.
Do I Use Feliway in My Own Household?
I do. I use the diffuser version primarily since my cats are strictly indoor cats. I do, however, use the spray version in the carriers when I find it necessary to transport my cats, such as to the veterinary office where I work.
I still find this a somewhat astounding fact. However, I can actually tell when the diffuser needs to be refilled based on how my cats interact with one another. When my cats start to squabble more with each other, I know it’s time to replace the refill. Once refilled, their behavior returns to normal. This happens roughly once per month.
For purposes of full disclosure, you should know that I am not being compensated for writing this post. However, as I stated, I use Feliway personally in my own home. I also recommend it regularly in my practice of veterinary medicine. So I can truthfully vouch for its effectiveness and safety.
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