Cats that live under stressful conditions can develop any number of behavior problems: inappropriate urination, scratching furniture and fighting between housemates to name a few. Even a previously well-adjusted cat can become stressed if her environment changes due to a move, a stay at the veterinary clinic, the addition of a new member to the family, etc. Behavioral modification protocols and anti-anxiety medications may be needed in severe cases, but if a situation can be addressed before it gets too advanced, a more benign form of treatment may do the trick.
When cats are feeling content they emit substance called feline facial pheromone. It acts to tell nearby cats something along the lines of “hey, don’t get upset, everything is cool here.” Several companies now manufacture diffusers, sprays and wipes containing a synthetic form of feline facial pheromone called Feliway. Owners can use these products in their cat’s environment, in essence bringing home the message to “chill out.” Research is mixed as to just how effective Feliway is, but it’s definitely perfectly safe, so why not give it a try?