Can Calming Aids Soothe Your Cat?
Maybe… There’s evidence—both scientifically analyzed and anecdotal— that cat pheromones can reduce stress-related behaviors by 90% or more. These behaviors include inappropriate scratching, spraying, and cowering in fear.
Multiple cat homes benefit from them, too. The best calming aids are feline social lubricant, minimizing aggressive and territorial behaviors.
Once you know how to choose and use calming diffusers, sprays, collars, treats, and drops, we’ll talk about long-term solutions. You’ll learn how to manage your cat’s stress throughenvironmental and behavioral modifications.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Calming Aid for Cats
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.
- A vet-formulated product
- May support cognitive health
- Appetizing chicken liver flavor
The 5 Types of Calming Aids for Cats
1. Synthetic Pheromones
The most popular pheromone product on the market, Feliway, replicates your cat’s F3 facial pheromone. Your cat secretes this pheromone in their cheeks and releases them when they feel relaxed in an environment. When you apply a synthetic pheromone product, you’re sending the same chemical message your cat would communicate by rubbing their face against an area.
Feliway is recommended by veterinarians and it gets rave reviews from customers, but there’s no conclusive evidence that it works. Here’s a summary of the studies performed on this calming aid.
The F4 pheromone and its synthetic analogue, Felifriend, can help to minimize cat-to-cat aggression. Cats use this pheromone to mark familiar individuals.
If your house is a feline stress zone, a pheromone diffuser is your best choice. These devices cover a large area and distribute pheromones 24/7, meaning that they’re working at all hours to minimize your cats’ stress.
While diffusers are a great choice for at-home stress management, pheromone sprays allow you to control your cat’s stress anywhere and anytime. You can spritz the product in your cat’s carrier or bedding when on vacation or headed to the vet.
Like pheromone sprays, these are best for temporary stress. You can use them to wipe down your cat’s carrier or kennel when traveling to a boarding facility or vet’s office. But compared to sprays, wipes are less versatile. They work best on hard surfaces and, like baby wipes or any other wet wipe, they’re likely to lose moisture before you have a chance to use them.
Sergeants Pet Care Products introduced pheromone collars in 2009. They’re a good option for those who don’t want to worry about applying the product and would prefer to let their cat carry it around on their body.
Treats and Herbal Products
These calming aids don’t contain synthetic pheromones.
Instead, they use herbs, flower essences, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to produce a calming effect. One of the most promising ingredients used in cat calming products is L-theanine, an amino acid naturally found in green tea. This amino acid soothes without sedating.
Others contain herbal blends or flower essences. Soothing herbs include chamomile, hops, valerian, skullcap, and passionflower.
And a final consideration—try hemp. Hemp-based CBD oils have a well-documented reputation for treating feline anxiety. Check the labeling to ensure that you’re giving your cat a safe, non-psychoactive treatment that will calm your cat without making them feel ill.
Our Top Picks for the Best Calming Aids for Cats Reviewed
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 5 picks for Best calming aids for cats:
Here are our top picks for the Best calming aids for cats you should consider:
How To Reduce Your Cat’s Stress
Think of cat calming aids like a scented candle. Lighting one can help you relax, but no amount of melting praline cheesecake—scented wax will make you forget that you’re behind on the rent and about to miss a deadline at work.
Environmental and behavioral modification will help to reduce your cat’s stress to a manageable level, allowing calming aids to take care of the rest.
1. Create a Species-Appropriate Environment
Without appropriate environmental enrichment, your home is designed for humans alone, providing none of the stimulation and security that your cat requires.
Ways to create a species-appropriate environment:
- Provide large, clean litter boxes
- Install cat shelves or trees for vertical space
- Ensure that your cat has private places to explore and hide`
2. Manage Tension in a Multiple Cat Home
As social creatures, humans like the idea of feline friendships, but the reality is that cat-to-cat alliances are rare. Bonds between three or more cats are even more unlikely, meaning that most multiple cat homes are unnaturally and stressfully crowded. Space constraints can be hugely stressful in a multiple cat home.
If you have multiple cats, mentally categorize them in social groups.
Cats who sleep together, groom one another, use the same litter box are one social group. Each social group—even if that group consists of just one cat—requires their own place to eat, sleep, drink, hide, play, and use the litter box.
Try to minimize your cat’s stress by creating species-appropriate accommodations for each of their core needs. Litter boxes should be in peaceful locations. Each social group should have one or two of their own. Their food and water bowls, likewise, should be in quiet locations.
3. Provide Stimulating Activity
Your cat is a predator who needs the mental and physical exercise of the hunt. Stimulate these hunting instincts by encouraging your cat to play at least once a day. If possible, bring your cat outside for safe adventures in nature.