Trips to the vet can be stressful. Thunderstorms are loud and unpredictable. Changes in routine can be upsetting. These are just a few of the situations that can trigger anxiety in your cat.
Cats can become stressed and anxious about many of the same things as people, though the signs of cat anxiety may manifest in different ways. Changes in activity level, excessive meowing, uncharacteristic aggression, and changes in weight or appetite can all signal an increase in stress.
While chronic anxiety is something you should address with your veterinarian, occasional symptoms can sometimes be managed with at-home solutions like cat calming aids.
In this guide, we’ll explore the subject of cat calming treats to discover how they work (and whether they work) and which are the best options on the market.
At a Glance: Best Calming Cat Treats To Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Trio of clinically proven active ingredients
- Affordably priced under $0.30 per chew
- Appealing chicken liver flavor
- Contains five active ingredients for calming
- Affordably priced under $0.20 per chew
- Great for stressful events like travel and loud noises
- Protein-rich chicken and chicken liver as top 2 ingredients
- All natural ingredients, no artificial additives
- High in moisture, soft texture is easy to chew and break apart
How Do Calming Cat Treats Work?
Calming aids for cats take several different forms.
The Thundershirt delivers gentle but constant pressure to help ease anxiety in stressful situations. Plug-in pheromone diffusers like Feliway are clinically proven to reduce stress-related behaviors and can even ease tension in multi-cat households. The same pheromones can even be incorporated into cat collars for continuous calming relief.
Another popular product for relieving occasional anxiety is calming cat treats.
Calming cat treats are typically made with relaxing herbs like chamomile. They work in a similar way to calming teas for humans.
The best calming cat treats, however, contain clinically proven active ingredients like L-theanine, L-tryptophan, and thiamine (Vitamin B1) to relax the central nervous system. A bioactive peptide derived from the casein in cow’s milk called α-casozepine has also been reported to offer an anxiolytic effect similar to benzodiazepines.
The therapeutic effects of α-casozepine and L-tryptophan are supported by the results of a 2017 study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
While clinical research involving calming cat treats is limited, there are studies that support the use of these active ingredients.
A 2018 study published in the Irish Veterinary Journal reported that an oral calming supplement called Anxitane®, the active ingredient in which is L-theanine, helped improve the undesirable manifestations of stress in cats in as little as 15 days.
The calming effect of thiamine have been extensively studied in humans, though it’s difficult to say whether the same benefits can be expected in cats. A 2008 article published in Integrative Medicine Insights notes the use of thiamine and essential fatty acids like primrose oil.
The efficacy of calming treats for cats depends on the active ingredients used and their concentration. We’ve scoured the market for the best cat treats for stress and anxiety according to their active ingredients, veterinarian recommendations, and positive customer reviews.
Our Top Picks for the Best Calming Treats for Cats
Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them!
Here are our top 7 picks for the best calming cat treats: