Did you know that you can help keep your cat at ease with the help of a colorless, odorless substance? Thanks to pheromone diffusers, you can! In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of using a pheromone diffuser in your home for your feline friend!
What are pheromone diffusers?
Pheromone diffusers were first introduced to the pet health market in the early 2000s. The devices disperse substances into the air that cats find soothing, and studies show that use of these diffusers can help reduce the unwanted behaviors that often occur when a cat is experiencing anxiety or stress.
Pheromones are a naturally-occurring chemical form of communication that is used within, and sometimes between, species of animals. Cats receive pheromones through their vomeronasal organ, which is located between their nose and mouth. Diffusers use replicas of the pheromones cats use to communicate safety, security, and comfort. The scent of cat pheromones is not detectable by humans or other pets, and has no effect on any being other than cats.
When to use pheromone diffusers
Diffusers are a useful tool when dealing with a cat that may be anxious or stressed. Many factors can cause a kitty to feel this way, including minor changes in their daily routine. Some signs that your cat may be anxious or stressed are:
- Scratching more often than usual or on new objects
- Urinating or defecating outside of the litter box
- Unusual vomiting
- Excessive grooming
- Shaking, hiding, or other signs of fear or aggression towards people or other animals
- Abnormal meowing or vocalization
- Decreased appetite
Many of these signs can also indicate an underlying health issue beyond stress or anxiety, so be sure to get your cat checked out by a vet to rule out any potential health problems. Once your kitty is deemed healthy, you can try using a pheromone diffuser to help put them at ease.
Calming vs. Multi-cat
How do these diffusers decrease a cat’s anxiety? It depends on which kind of pheromone you’re using. There are two different types: calming pheromone and multi-cat pheromone.
Calming pheromone solutions imitate a cat’s facial pheromone. When your kitty rubs their face on you or the furniture, they’re claiming their territory by releasing pheromones. These pheromones help a cat feel safe and secure by giving them a sense of familiarity and belonging. Calming pheromone diffusers are useful for homes with one cat that is exhibiting negative behaviors (i.e. spraying or scratching) due to stress or anxiety.
Multi-cat pheromone solutions imitate the pheromones that a mother cat releases to soothe her kittens. These pheromones help put cats at ease, especially in the presence of other cats. Multi-cat pheromone diffusers are best used in homes with multiple cats that are experiencing tension or conflict between one another.
Although pheromone diffusers can be a useful tool, the devices alone will not solve the root cause of a cat’s stress or anxiety. Diffusers can help your cat feel more calm and less overwhelmed by their stressor(s), but should always be paired with other tools, such as positive reinforcement training or removal/reduction of stressors, to ensure long-lasting success. Noticing the effects of pheromone diffusers can also require patience. While some cats respond to diffusers within a week, others can take up to a month to be significantly affected.
BONUS: Interested in trying out a pheromone diffuser for yourself? For a limited time, when you adopt a cat from CVHS, a voucher for a FREE DIFFUSER will be included in the adoption packet! (Limit one per adopter)