When a cat feels safe and comfortable in its environment, it rubs its head against the furniture, the corners of walls or the bottom of curtains, leaving a substance called the facial pheromone (see figure 1). This pheromone is specific to cats and conveys a message of security, reassurance and well-being.
Figure 1: Facial marking
Feliway® is a synthetic copy of this pheromone and studies have shown that it reassures and comforts cats, helping them cope with environmental changes or other stressful situations.
The efficacy of Feliway® has been demonstrated by numerous clinical studies published within scientific journals or presented at international conferences.
It is now well known that feline stress can cause a range of health problems and affect a cat’s behavior.
Common stress-related behavior problems include:
- urine spraying (see figure 2)
- vertical scratching
- appearing withdrawn
- over grooming or decreased grooming
- tension between cats
- excessive vocalizations
- stereotypic behaviors
Common stress-related medical problems include:
- feline interstitial cystitis
- feline psychogenic alopecia
Figure 2: Urine spraying
The posture adopted for urine spraying is shown in figure 2. Spraying involves a well recognized behavioral sequence where the cat:
- selects a vertical surface
- paws at the ground
- turns its back to the surface
- lifts its tail to a vertical position whilst remaining standing
- sprays the surface with a horizontal jet of urine
The cat will perform this behavioral sequence of urine spraying:
- during a period of sexual activity
- following an event that changes its environment (see details below) and is perceived by the cat as stressful.
Urine marks produced in this way are characterized by a strong smell even though the quantity of urine deposited each time is usually small. They are found at about 8 in. (20cm) above the floor.
Feline tension or stress may be caused by one stressful event or result from an ongoing problem within the home.
Signs of stress are often subtle and can easily be overlooked in cats, especially chronic stress.
Feliway® Spray contains an analogue of the F3 fraction of feline facial pheromone and offers a natural and convenient way:
- to help prevent or control stress-related behaviors in your cat such as:
- urine spraying, in combination with Feliway® Diffuser for best results
- vertical scratching
- to comfort your cat during:
- other challenging situations (multi-cat households, adoption, moving home, holidays, boarding, building work or redecorating, new member of the family, parties at home), in combination with Feliway® Diffuser as required and according to the situation (see table below).
Feliway® can also be used under direction from a veterinarian or a feline qualified behaviorist to help cats showing stress-related behavioral or medical problems.
- Feliway® Spray should be stored at room temperature.
- The product will not stain or mark. Nevertheless, owing to the wide variety of materials used in household furnishings, we advise that you should test the product in an area that is not easily visible prior to using it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What pheromone is in Feliway® and is this safe to humans?
The pheromone released by Feliway® is identical in nature to the feline facial pheromone that cats use to mark objects in their environment. As pheromones are species-specific, feline pheromones will have no effect on humans or other pets.
Can Feliway® Spray be used directly onto the cat?
No, Feliway® should never be applied directly onto a cat.
How long will it take to have an effect on the cat? How long will the effect last for?
Feliway® Spray has an almost immediate effect. Renew application according to the situation for which Feliway® Spray is used. Please remember to leave the object which has been sprayed to dry for at least 15 minutes before introducing the cat to the area for excipient evaporation.
What type of behavior problems will not be helped by Feliway®?
If the undesired behavior is not stress-related, Feliway® will have no effect.
Do I need to use Feliway® Spray or Feliway® Diffuser?
In some situations, for best results, you may wish to use both of them (see table above for more information).
What is the most suitable way to clean up urine following urine marking?
The use of rubbing alcohol mixed with warm water is recommended. Approximately one capful in a small basin of warm water (it will turn a cloudy white color and this is normal). Wash the area with the solution and allow to dry naturally. Feliway® Spray can then be sprayed onto the area to reduce the likelihood of urine marking re-occurring.
Can the liquid from the Feliway® Spray be used in the Feliway® Diffuser?
No; the Feliway® Spray is alcohol-based and should never be used in the Feliway® Diffuser.
Can I use Feliway® and ADAPTIL® in the same household?
Yes, the pheromones in each product are what we call species-specific; ADAPTIL® will affect only dogs and Feliway® will affect only cats.