You love your cat. What you may not love is their behavioral issues. One way to possibly manage some behavioral issues is the use of an artificial pheromone product. What are these products and do they work? Dr. Jess will break down two of the most popular of these products, Comfort Zone vs Feliway below:
What Are These Cat Products?
These products are diffusers, sprays, liquids, and wipes used to help manage certain behaviors in some cats.
What are These Products Used For?
These products are used to manage behavioral problems in cats.
From urine marking to increased cat-to-cat aggression, Comfort Zone and Feliway products can be used to ease certain behavioral issues in some cats.
These products contain a manufactured pheromone to try to calm the pet’s behavior.
What Are Pheromones?
Pheromones are produced naturally by your cat.
These naturally-produced pheromones are chemical markers used to create a sense of security and calmness for your cat. They can mark boundaries and enhance boding, both necessary communications in your cat’s world.
There are multiple types of pheromones that cats give off., including:
- F3: Feline Facial Pheromone: (try saying that 5 times fast!?!) These are the chemicals released that give off the sense of comfort and relaxation.
- Cat-Appeasing Hormone: This chemical is produced by mother cats to help her and her baby kittens live in harmony and bond.
- Feline Interdigital Semiochemical Hormone: I’ll let you guess what this is after I tell you the meanings of all these big words. The breakdown: Inter = ‘inside‘, Digital = ‘toes‘, Semiochemical = ‘pheromone‘. Yep, you got it, this is a pheromone coming from the inside of the toes, so coming from between the toes and paw pads!
When a cat rubs their face against objects or on a person, they release pheromones, where the objects rubbed upon are then deemed safe and calm to the cat.
Other cats can also smell these pheromones and is a way that cats can communicate friendliness and peace to one another in your own multi-cat household.
And… artificial pheromones can be used to achieve the same calming effect as the naturally-produced ones can.
Comfort Zone and Feliway products are used to mimic the spread of pheromones by releasing artificial (man-made) pheromones into your cat’s environment to achieve a calming effect that a cat’s natural pheromones would typically do, helping to improve some behavioral issues in the home.
What Types of Behavior Problems Can They Fix?
There are no cures or magic pills or medications that your cat can take to fix or cure a behavior issue.
However, there are many common feline behavioral issues that these artificial pheromone products can work on. Most of the behavioral issues are due to stress, aggression, anxiety, or a combination of these causes.
Typical behavioral issues that could be helped by artificial pheromone products include:
- Urine Marking: Spraying or marking inside the house
- Litter Box Issues: Voiding (urinating or defecating) outside of the litter box
- Increased Aggression: Aggression towards other cats or animals or humans in the home
- Seclusion/Hiding: becoming more and more standoffish or scared to be around others
- Chewing: chewing on items in your house such as furniture, walls, etc.
- Clawing: clawing or damaging furniture or walls with claws
- Adjustment Issues: such as traveling or moving into a new home or bringing a new pet into the house.
- Over-grooming: the tendency to over-lick and clean themselves.
Do Cat Calming Pheromone Products Work?
They definitely can. But not always.
What Is Comfort Zone For Cats?
According to Comfort Zone’s website, the Comfort Zone diffuser is drug-free and releases odor-less pheromones that calm your pet. A refill can last up to 30 days and can work in a room up to 400 square feet.
Directly from the company website:
“It normally takes up to a week to see results in your cat’s behavior. After that, you should gradually see your cat reduce stressful behaviors over time.”https://www.comfortzone.com/education-center/faq#diffuser
The website also claims that it’s product has been proven to be effective in 88% of cases of multi-cat tension, 93% of cat scratching cases, and 95% of urine marking cases.
Now how they are measuring these numbers…?
I do not know. I haven’t read their studies. I’d love to though.
The website also states that they have a money back guarantee for purchases made within 90 days and following a few parameters outlined in their website’s FAQ section.
What Is Feliway For Cats?
Feliway is manufactured by Ceva Sante Animale in France and is available in sprays, diffusers, and liquid (Feliscratch) to spread this artificial pheromone throughout the home in multiple ways.
According to the Feliway website, cats using this product can start to see improvements and results within 7 days but pet owners should try the product continuously for one month to see results.
It can work in rooms up to 700 square feet in space, with the diffuser being replaced every 6 months and refills should be replaced every 30 days.
The Difference Between Comfort Zone with Feliway vs Feliway:
Both products contain synthetic pheromones, but they are two different brands, even though some Comfort Zone products are advertised as containing Feliway.
There are many online reviews and forums that say that the Feliway products have a higher concentration of the F3 feline facial pheromones when compared to Comfort Zone. However, where are the sources behind that claim?
I can’t find any source for this information.
So… I don’t know about that tidbit, but just note that it’s out there.
Comfort Zone Reviews:
Comfort Zone currently has over 350 reviews with an average of 4 stars on Amazon….
Feliway currently has over 4,700 reviews with an average of 3.5 stars on Amazon….
Can Cat Pheromones Affect Humans?
Pheromones are species specific, meaning that they only work on or with one certain species, in this case, cats.
They will have no effect on your other types of pets or any other animal for that matter, including us humans.
According to the product description, Feliway spray is ethanol-based and the Feliway diffuser is oil-based.
Both are safe for use in the home and may be used around animals, children, plants, antiques, and just about anything else you might have.
I would definitely do a spot check of the product on things like furniture just to make sure that you won’t be ruining anything in your home!
Are There Adverse Effects of Using These Products on My Cat?
Feliway spray is ineffective when applied to the cat’s body. In fact, I’d highly recommend against it.
Not only does the product’s directions say NOT to do this, but putting a substance, either alcohol-based or oil-based onto the fur, skin, or around the orifice of your cat could be asking for some trouble if the product is not meant to be put on the cat.
Trouble in the means of topical issues such as skin irritation or allergic reactions, respiratory issues if inhaling the substance, eye issues, or even digestive issues from licking off the product during grooming.
Do not….. I repeat….
Do not put these products directly on your pet.
So Which Cat Pheromone Product is Best For Your Pet?
That’s for you and possibly your vet to decide.
I personally have recommended and seen Feliway diffusers work amazingly well with some cats with some major behavioral issues.
Like night and day differences in their behavior!
I will say that there have been a handful of cat patients where neither product has worked for them.
Weight your options, prices, ratings, varieties, and see what your cat thinks!