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I have two cats and one dog. We got the first cat, Ollie and my Dog Oscar together at the same time. The second cat, Minnie, we got her about a year later.
Minnie has always been a bit of a nervous cat, she gets on well with Ollie and Oscar but has always been a bit jumpy. I can't really blame her with my two mad kids bounding around too!
Anyway, we had a bit of a problem with her urinating on my hallway carpet. I didn't know why at all, she had her litter tray upstairs that she had always used and she also went outside.
I basically had to spend my day constantly scrubbing and cleaning my hall carpet. It drove me crazy and no matter how many times I cleaned it and no matter what products I used it never felt (or smelled) properly clean again.
I asked advice from the vet and he suggested using Feliway as she is a nervous cat and that is probably why she is doing it. He said the main reason was probably because she was the third one in the house and it's quite a common thing to happen.
WHAT IS FELIWAY?
Feliway is an artificial version of the feline facial pheromones.
Apparently, when cats feel happy and safe they rub their faces on objects in the home, releasing hormones that have a scent to cats making them feel secure. Feliway is basically a copy of this hormone that only cats can smell........weird right?!
I didn't care what it was really as long as it works!
You can get Feliway in a spray or as an electric diffuser that you plug in.
The diffuser is basically a little plug, that is like an off white, browny colour, which I don't like, they could have made it white as I think off white makes it look dirty (that's probably just the clean freak coming out of me and a minor complaint I suppose). It then has a little clear bottle with the clear liquid inside it attached to the plug. It's not very big so not too noticeable
Feliway is odourless to us humans so isn't noticeable in the house at all and only detected by cats.
WOAH! HOW MUCH?!
I went into Pets At Home and the diffuser was £37!! I couldn't afford that especially as it was a gamble and might not even work!
I took to Amazon instead and found it for £20. Still expensive but I decided if it stopped Minnie weeing on my carpet it was a small price to pay! It was delivered really quickly too!
They seem to be roughly £20 everywhere and if it's cheaper you usually have to pay delivery to make it up to £20.
Each one lasts for roughly 4 weeks and then after that you can just buy a refil that is slightly (only slightly!!) cheaper.
SO DOES IT WORK?
I decided, to pull up my carpet and replace it with laminate flooring as I wouldn't ever be happy with it again no matter how many times I cleaned it. So I think that might have helped a little.
I plugged in the diffuser very close to her chosen spot in my hallway. I have to say, I didn't hold out much hope, how can this tiny little pot of clear liquid stop my cat from weeing where she shouldn't?! It seemed ridiculous. How wrong was I?!
Within an hour she was a different cat!! She was calm and more friendly. She was relaxed and purring at everything!
Since we first used the diffuser we haven't had a single kitty accident! I actually can't believe it!
Also, after 4 week the bottle ran out and I didn't notice for another week and the results remained the same, I haven't had to buy a refill or anything, it seemed that just one burst of it was enough to do the trick. If it came to it again though, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another. The results were amazing!
I cannot recommend this product enough if you have problems with your cat urinating, scratching and biting or just being generally unhappy or nervous.
Even with the massive price tag, I think its totally worth it. It has definitely helped my little Minnie (and me too!)
A definite 5 out of 5 from me!
Thank you for reading
xx Mrs K xx
Our cat, Rags, is a massive stress-head. This isn't surprising really since it was clear from the day she turned up at our house that she had been through a fairly traumatic time. Arriving in an extremely sorry state, she was underweight, riddled with fleas and worms, and had loads of big bald patches all over. We found that she was microchipped, so clearly had been someone's pet at some point. We tried to find the owner with no success, so she's lived with us ever since and generally seems quite happy. However, I'm convinced that her spell as a hobo-kitty has left her with a pretty nervous disposition.
Every 9 months or so, Rags will get distressed for seemingly no reason. There are some medical issues that have ongoing treatment, but these don't seem to coincide. Stress can be a real problem with cats, lowering their immune systems and affecting their normal routines. With our cat, she will lapse into spells of over-grooming and without intervention, would no doubt end up ripping out all her nice fur (she's massively fluffy) and would end up bald again.
Feliway has proved to be a useful tool in tackling stress. While ensuring that she's free of fleas and worms, and gets lots of play time and fuss, this isn't always going to lead to a settled cat. Steroid or hormone shots from the vets have also helped to settlle her down, but since bundling her in a box and driving her round town freaks her out, I try to keep trips to the vet to a minimum. This is where Feliway comes in handy, as it diffuses a calming scent that appeals to cats. while synthetic in nature, it mimics cat pheromones and brings a sense of calm to them. Or is supposed to, anyway.
I've found that this plug-in sometimes has an effect, and sometimes doesn't. From what I've read, it's of most use to cats that have been upset by changes to their environemnt, such as moving house or having building work done, or the arrival of new pets or family members. When we moved house, this stuff definitely made a difference, calming her down over the duration of the four weeks or so that a single bulb will last. However, for her recent bout of over-grooming and weird behaviour, it's made seemingly little difference. Back to the vet it is...
Feliway is quite pricey at between £15-20 for the diffuser, thought you do get a bottle that lasts a month with it. A refill isn't much cheaper, costing about £13. Clearly it's the scent itself that costs the most to produce. It doesn't really smell of much at all, which is good, but clearly there's something in it that appears on the cat nose-radar that's appealing. The diffuser is electrically heated, and isn't too conspicuous or bulky., so should fit in wherever there's a free power socket. If you have a big house, then it might be necessary to get a few of these and place them about in places that your cat likes to frequent, so it could get a bit pricey.
In my experience, this is far from a magic bullet for the problem of stress in cats. There are a multitude of factors that can cause over-grooming or stress in cats, including skin and food allergies, fleas, gum disease, blocked scent glands, new cats in the neighbourhood, a change of environment, pollen... ruling any of these out is hard, but should be tried. Feliway can certainly help, but I wouldn't expect it to act as a panacea for chronically freaked out cats. But it's worth a go.
My lovely 7 year old tabby is the best cat in the world. She adores my toddler, never has accidents in the house, nice quiet indoor cat. Until we moved house. Enter new carpets and hello scratchy!!
Desperate to save my carpets (and my marriage!) I searched high and low for a fix to this scratching before she teared my carpets apart. I couldn't confine her to a room because downstairs is open plan (archways instead of doors) and the stairgate is no opposition for her! When I next visited the vet I was told that she was probably scratching due to stress (new house, new carpets/smells, she was at a cattery for 4 days prior to the move also) and she recommended Feliway. I admit I was sceptical at first as it was so expensive, but I later found the diffuser on Amazon for £19.99 including one refill (not one extra, just one in total). The refills are expensive at £14.99 so I was hoping not to need it for long. There is also a Feliway spray available in travel size (15ml), 30ml and 60ml. The 60ml is approx £20 and I bought one of these from Amazon for the stairs.
So what is Feliway? Well it is a plug in diffuser (or spray) that mimics the natural pheremones of cats. You know when they do that adorable face-rubbing thing? Well they are leaving behind their scent, to make their territory known, secure and familiar. The same goes with scratching - there are tiny glands underneath the claws that secrete a pheremone. The idea is that Feliway smells EXACTLY like this pheremone and as such, the cat will no longer need to wee/scratch etc to leave a scent. The other function is that it helps to calm cats, which is useful for when cats are stressed/agitated or when they have a big change in their life (new home, pet, baby etc). It can also help calm multicat households where the cats don't get on! We used it in the cat carrier for trips to the vets (as Socks hates the vet with a passion) and found it worked so well she had a nap on the vet's table!
The diffuser and spray work in the same way, the only difference is that the diffuser covers a much wider area. It is suggested to last on average 30 days, but up to 90 days if not used continuously. I found it lasted just shy of 30 days being used most of the day and all night (only really switched off when Socks was asleep or out). The spray is handy for stairs and I found one squirt per step, 3 times a day for a week worked wonders although it was time consuming so the diffuser was needed instead. I had the diffuser plugged in the hallway which is carpeted, as is the stairs and upstairs (downstairs is laminate). I would've plugged it in on the landing but I have a curious toddler so thought better of it!
The scent isn't strong to humans and to be honest I couldn't smell it. It only works for cats so if you have dogs it will have no effect. You plug it in and it's ready. The spray however, you should make sure that you leave the spray about 15 minutes before introducing the cat to the area to allow the alcohol in the spray to dissipate, as that can be a strong offputting smell to the cat (and indeed to me haha).
According to my vet, it is recommended to use the spray for at least 1-2 weeks, preferably three weeks, three times a day every day. The diffuser is recommended for at least a month and then perhaps only the odd day or week thereafter. I personally used the spray for a week and the diffuser for three weeks and haven't used either since (apart from the spray when going to the vets which I use every time).
So does it work? Well I can't attest to the urinating behaviour as Socks never did this, though I hear it does work. What I can agree to is the scratching - Socks never scratched again, not even a little bit. I think during her period of stress this really helped, as it was the stress that caused her to scratch. I am thoroughly pleased with this product. Yes, it is very expensive - but a hell of a lot cheaper than new carpets! I will definitely continue to use it should we ever move, introduce new furniture etc. It really did work!
I must stress however, that Feliway is for stressed, agitated or unnerved cats. It will not stop scratching behaviour if the cat is doing it out of habit, boredom or play. Nor will it stop urinating behaviour if it is out of habit. All cats scratch, and most only do it outside, so if it is unusual behaviour for your cat to be doing it inside on your lovely new sofa, give Feliway a try!
Sometimes these behaviours are due to a medical reason, so you should always check with your vet as urinating can be due to stones or infection, and scratching can be due to the cat being distressed from pain. Always better to be safe than sorry!
I had heard numerous great things about these Feliways so when my kitten began suffering regularly with urine infections and really began to bite and scratch I decided to order one. I was keen to get one if it would ease his urinary problems as understandably he was very uncomfortable and by calming him down a little it was likely to have a soothing effect on his health. Where his scratching was concerned, he was only playing but my poor arms and legs were suffering so I thought having something that may provide a calming effect may be useful.
Feliways are known for being notoriously expensive and on the high street you can expect to pay around £30 for one. Money is extremely tight for me at the moment so I had a look online to see if I could get one any cheaper. By combining various offers of www.bestpet.co.uk I managed to get two Feliway diffusers for £24. I knew that at my mums house they had problems with Tigger spraying everywhere so she would like one too, especially for that price.
The Feliway has had a bit of a revamp since the picture above was added. The brand now has a purple and white logo with a cartoon cat and the top of the diffuser is a cream colour (though in some places you can get a purple one).
To use the diffuser you simply plug it in and turn it on. It will then pass the fluid up through the sponge and allow the scent to fragrance the room. Initially I was rather sceptical about what scent it would provide but to humans its completely neutral, I have even basically put my nose on the plastic and sniffed and you cannot smell anything.
The fluid is clear in colour but once it has been passing through the diffuser a few days the sponge bit turns a deep purple colour so I imagine it must have a very feint purple tint to it.
As I said, I bought this for Dukes urinary problems and his biting/scratching. After having this just a couple of days his biting had decreased by about 80% and he seemed a much happier cat who was keen to be stroked and to play. *Touchwood* since having this he has not had any urinary problems which is a great relief.
I'm afraid Tigger is still spraying so for him it hasnt worked but I have heard from numerous sources that it does help with spraying so maybe Tigger is just a super stubborn chap! However, he does seem a bit more chilled out. Thomas who is in the final stages of cancer wasnt very purry a few weeks ago but now he is back to his purry self. Of course we cant be sure it is down to this feliway but it could well be.
Sadly, Duke has been a bit of a nightmare this week when it comes to misbehaving and biting. But yesterday I realised his feliway had ran out so this may well have something to do with it. I am quite certain that when the one I ordered this morning arrives he will calm down a little.
The feliway is very expensive and each refill will only last 4 weeks. To buy a refill in Pets at Home at the moment it is £25 (usual price £28) for 48ml but on www.petsupermarket.co.uk it is something like £14.65 for the same price. Therefore as you can see it is definitely worth shopping around because there are huge savings to be had.
For around £15 a month it is another added expense that I could do without but for a more chilled out cat who seems happier and healthier I am more than willing to pay the money and will continue to do so unless it appears to stop working for him.
I would definitely recommend feliway, especially to anyone whose cats suffer with stress related health conditions or aggressiveness. I have heard that it does work for spraying but obviously with Tigger defying the odds I cannot vouch for that!
The feliway diffuser is a hassle free product which can be plugged in and forgotten about for 4 weeks. It is expensive but it does its job and I am happier knowing that Duke is happier and seems to be struggling with less health problems. Definitely recommended if you think that your feline friend(s) may benefit from one of these, shop around online first though!
Five and a half years ago my son married an American lady and started a new life in The US. At the time he had two three year old Persian cats that he had bought quite soon after leaving home. Having a succession of jobs and house moves these cats were quite stressed as they had no home for very long, and anyone who knows cats, and especially Persians, will know that they seek security and human companionship. Their life had not been ideal at the start, and it was no secret that I had not been pleased when my son made the decision to purchase the cats, as he was out at work all day and had a busy social life. However it was his love of my Persian cats that I have always had that had prompted his decision to purchase the two for himself, and I believe he did so in good faith, but I don't believe that it was actually the right time for him as he had barely started out in life and found them quite a tie.
When he announced he was emigrating he asked me to take them in and to adopt them, and I accepted even though I knew it would be difficult integrating them into my household, as at the time I already had four others. However I felt a degree of responsibility for them, and they have turned out to be very happy and adorable cats in many ways and have been a joy to own.
The first thing that I did was to insure them with Petplan as this was so important to me as I knew from experience they could turn out to have costly vet bills, and I am so glad I did as the little girl Lily developed a serious heart murmur, and has already cost several thousand of pounds at the cardiologist. However she settled in quite well into the household, but over the years we have had a few problems with Sage the tom cat who has always had insecurity issues especially around his toilet. My son being at work all day, and also at the time not being the most punctual attender to the litter tray duties that indoor cats require, resorted to using a large washing up bowl instead of a litter tray, with the idea of just piling on littler covering up waste until finally the tray would be done when there was no more room. The he would pay my daughter to go round and clean it out. Not the best start! I have to say he isn't like this these days but was as a teenager at the time! This early pattern of care however permanently scarred Sage, who has a toilet obsession and now cries out each time he uses the tray requesting that it be sorted promptly. If this was the only problem it could be manageable but it isn't!
The difficulty with insecure cats with this sort of upbringing is that they crave security and never trust owners to supply it. In multi-cat households several litter trays are needed if the cats are kept indoors, and these must be placed in quiet places to allow cats to use them discreetly. Sage is so desperate about the litter tray that he uses it immediately it is changed several times in a few minutes, and if there is even one other cat that has used it before him he will sometimes resort to finding a place to do it elsewhere. This could be anywhere he thinks is safe so anything at floor level- doormat or even a laundry basket of washing. This behaviour is also sporadic depending on what else is going on, so for example if I change the throws on my settee he has been known to urinate on them immediately as a protest. This behaviour also escalates if we have a visitor to the house such as a plumber or a repairman.
On consultation with my daughter recently who is a vet she advised me to try Feliway. This is a product that is designed to calm cats down and to prevent the kinds of behaviour associated with stress such as frequent urination. I purchased mine from Vetuk in two formats- the spray and the plug in diffuser. It isn't cheap- the diffuser and refill is just under £20, the refill is just under £15 and the spray is around £15. The diffuser lasts a month so ongoing use on a permanent basis would cost £15 a month.
Feliway is a product that contains the natural pheromones cats leave when they rub their faces on things when they are safe and contented. By releasing these into the air the cat feels a sense of contentment and becomes over a period of several days less agitated and more at peace with the surroundings.
I have to say I was very sceptical at first. Sage is a gorgeous cat in all other ways except for this reaction to his litter box, and to any kind of change, but in recent months we have had a lot of work done to the house and a lot of change and so these less than acceptable habits were starting to really annoy me so I was keen to try the product. It has been a complete revelation and a positive outcome, and the use of the product culminated in the final test last week when my central heating boiler died and we had to endure 3 days of plumbers fitting an entire new system. This followed on from two weeks of Guy Fawkes celebrations and rockets going off in all directions that must have stressed Sage to the limits- but for Feliway! The most incredible sight I think I will ever see was Sage lying upside down in his bed close to the diffuser with two plumbers using blow torches on a radiator in the same room! Since the purchase over a month ago he has not urinated anywhere except in his tray, and he is not as vocal either when he has used it! He is much more at peace with himself and his antisocial behaviour has stopped completely.
One diffuser is enough to cover the entire house and the scent is not discernible at all to humans.
The spray is especially useful on rugs and in places where he used to urinate before and has acted as a back up to the main unit. The spray is also very useful for spraying in cat cages before vet trips, and for any occasion where the cat is travelling or when moving house for example.
I think the important point about cats is to understand that urination is a tool they have to mark their territory which is threatened every time they are moved, or even when you rearrange a room. This is also very apparent in multi-cat households especially when cats are purchased at different times so are not litter mates. It is also important if they are doing this to get them checked out by the vet because cats especially toms are prone to bladder stones and this can be a veterinary emergency. If you see you cat on the tray, and he or she appears to be struggling to pass urine, you may only have 24 hours to save them as the stones can cause a blockage which can be fatal- so if this behaviour is new it is vital to get it checked out.
Feliway is also thought to lessen cat scratching which is another territorial behaviour and I can certainly report a lessening of this behaviour.
I would certainly recommend this product as it is a miracle worker and has given Sage his peace of mind for the first time. I wish that I had discovered this years ago. My daughter's advice is to use the product for several weeks, and then to just use it a week or so before any stressful situation to reinforce the benefits.
I don't believe this product is a substitute for the rather poor start Sage had as a kitten when his habits were first formed. Furthermore I am sure he will always have a propensity to repeat them when challenged, but at least this is a tool to help to prevent them, and the result is one very happy and contented feline!
I've got 3 cats who usually take life in their stride (paws) but recently we decided to move our bedrooms round and have a bit of a re vamp. For 2 of my girls Daisy and Layla this was cause for great excitement with a lot of running and pouncing but for my third cat Poppy it was an entirely different story. She was upset that the upstairs was different and despite making a lot of fuss of her and giving her time to re adjust she actually made herself poorly over it She developed stress related cystitis, visiting her tray virtually constantly, poor little girl. My vet recommended a Feliway Plug In and I bought one straight away.
Feliway is a product that reproduces pheromones synthetically that are found in a cats face. These are what a cat used to mark their territory with. When they rub around you or the furniture they are actually releasing pheromones so their scent is left behind. This makes them feel happy and secure. Its the same when cats sharpen their claws up the furniture, they are again releasing pheromones from tiny glands in their paws.
The Feliway plug-in diffuser is sold in a purple and white box which contains the actual plug-in diffuser and the little bottle of liquid. The front of the box informs the customer that Feliway is " The secret to happy cats". It also gives several pictures of cat behaviour which the plug-in could help with. These include fighting, scratching, being scared and spraying ( marking with urine). Poppy didn't display any of these problems but she was obviously stressed and I desperately wanted to be able to help her.
The plug-in is very similar to regular air freshener plug-ins. It is a white and cream coloured plastic diffuser which you just plug into a regular socket. The little bottle of pheromone liquid comes with a screw top lid which you simply remove and pop into the plug. The Feliway comes with full instructions but it really is simple to do. The whole unit is 11 cm's tall, 5 cm's wide and will stick out from the socket 6cm's. It fits into a double socket without affecting the other one, but if you are using a 2 way or 3 way adapter you must make sure the Feliway is kept upright all the time. Once plugged in the Feliway should be kept switched on all the time. It will need replacing every 4 weeks but refill bottles are available.
Feliway cannot be smelt by humans and doesn't affect us in any way. Its safe to use with all ages and if you are ok and suffer no reaction to plug-in air fresheners you should be ok with this product even if you suffer from asthma. Of course if you are in doubt you should seek professional advice but for the majority of people Feliway should cause no problems. The unit should be plugged in where there is nothing to block it for example under furniture. The leaflet also advises that the plug in may have a slight burning smell at first but this soon wears off and is nothing to worry about. I did personally notice this for the first few hours but only when I walked near to where the unit is plugged in. According to the instruction leaflet it takes 24 hours before Feliway is fully working and will benefit your cat.
I plugged my unit into a socket in the lounge and hoped that my little fur baby would be feeling happier after the next 24 hours. It was actually 2 days before I noticed a real difference in Poppy, she stopped her constant scrapping and was much happier and relaxed. She started sleeping on the bed again too. I'm thrilled the Feliway has worked for Poppy but I have also noticed a difference in one of my other cats too.
Daisy, although didn't get upset with the change round upstairs, has always been very nervous of loud noises and visitors to the house, bonfire night is usually hell for her. However this year she was so much better. She didn't like them, none of my girls do, but she wasn't half as scared as she has been other years. She is also much calmer when we have friends or family round. Instead of running upstairs she will come and say hello.
My third and youngest cat Layla hasn't really shown any different behaviour but she is a fiery little thing and nothing ever really bothers her anyway although I have noticed there's not so much paw waving from her.
Feliway also make a spray which I have since bought to use in the car when any of them have to visit the vets, I have yet to try this but I have every confidence that it will be as good as the diffuser.
I really recommend Feliway, I bought mine from my local Pets at Home where a diffuser will cost you £37.00, a refill £27.00 and the spray is also £27.00. However on Amazon a diffuser is just £14.99, a refill £14.47 and the spray is £12.00 so I will certainly shop around next time. Having said that though I didn't begrudge paying the full price it was worth every penny to see my cat happy again.
As some of you already know we have recently had a lot of work done in the house as the kitchen has been ripped out and completely replaced. It has been a nightmare as everything had a problem associated with it; from the fitter ordering the wrong doors to the saucepans being wrong for the hob to people sending the wrong remote control for the under floor heating. You name it - it had a problem, so instead of the three weeks (maximum) quoted the actual refit took more like ten weeks from the beginning of November to the beginning of January this year.
In our house we have a little sun room attached to the side of the kitchen with a door opening into the garden. This is known as Mew's room as it is where all his things are kept - litter tray, bed, food etc.
Obviously whilst the men were working in the kitchen we didn't want Mew wandering through to get to his room and getting under their feet so we put a spare litter tray in the bathroom and we put some food up there for him too.
We tried throughout the whole procedure to make everything as easy and as normal as possible for Mew so that he wouldn't get distressed and to be fair he seemed OK. That was until he began to scent mark / urinate against the skirting board in the lounge and the bedroom. This was only happening very occasionally and it didn't smell as Mew has been spayed but clearly something had to be done.
Hubby decided to take a look on the Internet to see if anyone else had experienced the same problems and, of course, they had! Apparently cats are very sensitive to the upheaval of DIY in the house, amongst other things, and we realised that it was this that had upset him despite our best intentions and our reassurance.
The name that kept cropping up in advice on how to deal with this was Feliway. There was a spray available for about £8 and a plug in diffuser for about £25 which included the vial of liquid to put in it.
We read some reviews and most people thought that the spray was pretty useless but that the diffuser was brilliant so we decided to go for the diffuser. Both the items are widely available and so we checked the prices and eventually purchased ours from Amazon at a cost of £21.85 although it is now just £17.21! Don't forget to go to Amazon via the Nectar site to get your points!
The parcel arrived promptly, as ever from Amazon, and inside we found a purple box labelled 'Feliway - The secret to happy cats'. This is what we wanted! There was a picture of the diffuser unit on the front of the box and a bit of information about the product on the side with a note to say that full instructions were enclosed inside the box.
I opened the box to find the instructions as promised, the plug in bit, a bottle of liquid and a couple of sheets of adverts for Frontline, Drontal etc.
Setting up the diffuser was easy enough. I just had to remove the screw top of the liquid bottle and insert it into the diffuser unit screwing it into place so that it stayed there.
The idea is that this unit is plugged into a socket in the room where the cat spends most of his time and, once warmed up, the facial pheromones that it gives off will help to calm the cat so that he feels safe and secure once more.
We plugged our unit into a socket in the bedroom as Mew sleeps on the floor (and sometimes on the bed!) in our room. I was a bit concerned that I would be able to smell the Feliway and that I would find it unpleasant but I can't smell a thing. Mew seemed as though he could smell it as he went up to it and investigated as soon as it warmed up enough to give off the pheromones but after that he completely ignored it.
I have to admit that, even though we had read good reports about this product, I was dubious but, since it has been plugged in, Mew has not seen fit to scent mark the skirting board - result! The plug in should last for four weeks and by that time Mew should be feeling contented enough not to feel the need to return to his bad behaviour. If he does we will just get a refill for the plug in for about £12 and use it for a further four weeks.
I did hope that it would help him sleep so that he wouldn't wake us up at anything after 4am wanting us to open the cat flap! Sadly this hasn't happened and, as soon as it gets a bit warmer at night, he will be sleeping in his own room again! Yes, I know we spoil him but he is lovely!
Feliway can also be used to help with the confusion created by a new arrival (baby or pet), parties - particularly fireworks, moving house and of course major refurbishments.
The instruction leaflet contains instructions for use plus the obvious warnings - keep away from children, don't get the liquid in your eyes etc., plus a list of frequently asked questions. Feliway is completely safe for humans as the liquid is just a synthetic equivalent of the facial pheromone produced by your cat as he rubs against things, so if you are not allergic to your cat you should be OK with Feliway too.
All in all I would definitely recommend the Feliway diffuser for stopping your cat from spraying / scent marking / urinating in inappropriate places. I just wish I could work out how to stop him waking me up so early!
Feliway is made by
CEVA Animal Health Limited
90, The Broadway,
The last time we moved house, at the start of 2010, we decided that we had to invest in something to stop the cats going quite as mental as they did the previous time we moved house - last time, one of them sulked for days and refused to come out from under the sofa, not even for food, whilst another prowled round attacking the furniture, scratching the walls and generally not being himself.
Feliway is a product which is used to calm stressed cats and help them to feel more at home and relaxed. I've used this in both the Electric Diffuser form, the subject of this review, and a spray form for when I've needed to transport my cats. I bought the Feliway diffuser from Amazon for £17.99, which is not cheap, but I knew I'd get a lot od use out of it and I wanted to stop the problem before I decorated and my cats would start to destroy the new house.
The diffuser is exactly like ones I've used in the past for things like mosquito repellant on holiday and plug in air freshners. It's very easy to use, you just take the cap off the bottle of liquid, insert this into the diffuser and plug it in to an electric socket which has good ventilation so the vapours can circulate.
The liquid is based on cat pheremones, and I found that a couple of hours after plugging the diffuser in, the vapours, which my husband and I couldn't smell at all, got to work on the cats. The one under the soft came out, gave the diffuser a friendly headbutt then went to get some food, and the one which had been going crazy settled down on the sofa for a nap, looking far more relaxed and happier.
We kept the diffuser on for the next few days, and it really seemed to help the cats calm down and feel less stressed out. Their behaviour was definitely calmer. When not in use you can screw the lid back on the bottle and store the diffuser away, getting it out if your cats get upset again. We still have the majority of a bottle left, so it's good value for money in the long run I think, particularly if you have nervous cats. We've found this to be a very useful item overall, and it made our cats feel at home in our new house.
I absolutely love my cat and couldn't imagine no having him but he does have some bad habits that can cause me some annoyance. I keep him as an indoor cat as I honestly believe it is just too dangerous for him to be allowed out. That's not to say that he is happy to be an indoor cat and he would literally go to the window and scream for sometimes hours at a time. Nothing I would do would stop him and it was getting to e stage that I couldn't sleep as he would be running around the house screaming.
I had no idea what was wrong with him and the vet told me that it was probably just him showing his dissatisfaction with not being able to get out when he wanted to. Now this was causing me great distress as I felt like I was being cruel to him and I spent a fortune on toys to try and keep him entertained and spent ages giving him atention in a bid to try and stop him.
After some time he did get a little better but occassionaly he would still get upset for no reason that I could find and run around screaming. When I mentioned his behaviour to a friend of mine she told me that her cat had done something similar and she had bought a Feliway diffuser which had helped with her cats behaviour.
I was getting slightly desperate by this point not only for some sleep but also because I was feeling terrible thinking that my cat was depressed and there was nothing I could do.
I had a look online and found the Feliway was quite well stocked by loads of different retailers and that the price varied significantly on every site. I ended up paying just £15 for it but the average price was around the £20 mark.
When the Feliway diffuser arrived and I had a good look at it I was surprised to see it looked just like one of those plug in air freshners. It comes in two parts which are the plug part and the bottle of liquid. You just screw in the liquid part to the plug and then plug it into an electrical outlet.
What the Feliway is supposed to do is that it releases a chemical that mimics cat's natural pheramones that they use to mark their territory. This pheramone tells the cat that the area is safe and secure for them and it is supposed to calm them down.
It is used to help with stressed cat's that are misbehaving and displaying such behaviour as urinating in places other than their litter tray, scratching the furniture and showing aggressive behaviour. These are all a sign of stress and the Feliway is supposed to calm them down and relieve their stress which in turn is supposed to improve their behaviour.
Now Dashiel wasn't showing the signs of stress such as urinating and being destructive to the furniture but he was obviously in distress so although it didn't say it was for this beahviour I thought it was the same thing just a different way of expressing it.
You need to plug the diffuser in a place where it isn't going to be covered by something such as a curtain so the the pheramones has the room to diffuse into the entire room.
When I turned it on I'll admit I was expecting miricles and thought it would work straight away into turning my cat into the happy little chappy I wanted him to be but I was disapointed that nothing seemed to change and that night he started his screaming again. He also didn't seem to be bothered by the diffuser and I had thought he would be curious to it as it was releasing the pheramones.
I was dissapointed but I was going to persevere as it said on the instructions it could take a week to start working. A few days in and I was convinced i had been a waste of money and then suddenly on about the fourth day something happened in his behaviour. It was subtle and I doubt anyone else would have noticed but he was definately calmer and less jumpy.
After about two weeks I managed to sleep through the entire night which really surprised me as his behaviour had been improving so gradually I hadn't really noticed that he had stopped screaming and running around so much during the night.
I was so impressed and happy with the Feliway that I immeditely ordered some refils to make sure that I didn't run out and have it happen again.
Don't worry about the smell that comes from the diffuser as it is scentless and only cats can smell it. I have to say that I was a bit worried about being able to smell cat pee or somethign but I reall don't smell anything coming from it.
Dashiel has become a much better behaved a since I have had the Feliway, he is much more playful and less depressed acting which is a relief for me. He still wakes me up early in the mornings with meowing in my face but this is because he has decided that I have slept enough and he wants attention rather than because he is distressed.
The Feilway is specific to cats so it is completely safe for humans and can be used by anyone. There is a contridiction for a small precentage of asthma sufferers because of a paraffin oil used which is used in the majority of air freshners. If you are fine with those then you will be fine with the Feliway.
The refils cost me around £15 per vial and lasts for about a month before it needs replaced again.
It isn't the cheapest thing in the world but if you want to help your cat then it is a small price to pay and something I highly recommend you give a try if your cat is displaying signs of stress.
As a Veterinary Nurse, one of the main problems I encounter on a daily basis is upset cats. They don't take a lot of upsetting; moving house, introduction of new people, children, other pets, even moving furniture to a new place in your house can upset them. Some cats become ill as a result of stress, urine problems and behaviour issues all too often follow and these can be costly to correct as well as time consuming, not to mention having one unhappy pet on your hands.
I was always a tad sceptical about products like feliway (DAP for dogs), I didn't understand how they worked and thought it was a bit of expensive hocus-pocus, that was until I moved house. I have two cats, I won't go into all the things I find wonderful about them, we'll be here all day! One of them, a young male didn't take the move too well. He went under my bed and stayed there for almost two days. He ate under there and crawled to his tray occasionally, leading to a nasty bout of cystitis requiring antibiotics.
My vet suggested trying feliway along side the prescribed treatment, I thought it was worth a go as I hated seeing Onion in this state (he's Pickle really, which is naff but I can't change it so he's become pickled onion, onion for short - probably enough to get stressed out over on it's own merit!)
I took a plug-in diffuser, assembled it easily by screwing the tub of liquid to the plug in part. I left it plugged into the wall socket, in the same way an air freshner would and waited, I went to work and came home. It had been 12 hours since I plugged the feliway in, I couldn't smell anything or notice anything unusual. One thing I do know, is that I was met at the top of my stairs by a huge ball of fluff, who threw himself onto the carpet and rolled over for his tummy tickling. Onion was purring and chasing inbetween my feet as though nothing had happened. He followed me everywhere again, sat watching telly and tucked into a treat of tuna.
He never looked back. I have used feliway in all potentially stressful situations such as Christmas and Bonfire night and I have to say I'm absolutely thrilled with the results and recommend it to all my clients.
Feliway is a synthetic reproduction of the pheromones a 'mummy' cat makes when her young feed from her. This soothes cats naturally, no need for medical or drug intervention. It's not a drug, it has no lasting or prolonged effect, it just creates a relaxed environment. Some cats are more susceptible to its effects, I wouldn't say that every cat will respond in the same way.
It is available in a travel spray for use on blankets and carriers, it comes in a 60ml household spray and of course the electric diffuser. If the diffuser is used 24 hours a day, one pot will last 4 weeks, refils are widely available. Prices vary greatly, online shops such as PetDispensary.co.uk are UK based and offer very competitive prices - £20.99 for a full diffuser, £16.50 for a refil. Prices at your vet maybe more expensive, but perhaps more convenient.
I would recommend this product as a non-invasive support treatment for the caring pet owner.
I've never had a problem in the past introducing new cats to my home. It helps that my first three cats all lived to ripe old age and with the exception of introducing the youngest to the elder two when he was just a kitten, I'd not had to deal with stroppy kitties getting all emotional about their territory. With my two elder cats both put to sleep, we found ourselves in March this year down to just the one cat, our elderly Maine Coon, Rocky. For the first time in 18 years we were a one-cat household and it just didn't feel right. Within a week, two new kitties, a mother and her kitten son, came home from the shelter to keep Rocky (and us) company. As the younger lad strode right up to his new big brother and kissed him on the nose, it was clear that they were all going to get along just fine.
Sadly in June Rocky went the way of his sisters, the vet acknowledging that his life had been happier and prolonged by having Pandora and Bagheera to entertain his last few months. Again I felt that two kitties was one less than ideal so we volunteered to take another cat from the shelter. Wendy, the lady who runs the excellent Kit Cat shelter in Northampton, knew how seriously we'd taken our responsibilities to the first two cats and called to offer us 'first refusal' on a 2-year old pedigree Burmese that she'd just been asked to re-home. We asked if it was a boy or girl and were told it was still too traumatised for her to find out. The poor cat had been abandoned by rental tenants who did a moonlit flit with their rent unpaid, leaving the cat to fend for itself. It took several days before it calmed down enough to be distracted by a bowl of food whilst Wendy lifted his tail and confirmed he was a boy. She kept him for a couple of weeks whilst we went on holiday and claimed to have calmed him down.
When Baloo came to us from Kit Cat all hell broke lose. I'd not really done my homework and hadn't realised how massive Burmese males are; he's about the size of a koala rather than a cat, and all my assumptions that cats from the Far East were dainty little skinny things with big ears went out the window. He's massive and as dainty as a rhinoceros. Talk about aggressive - this was a cat that needed an ASBO and a tag on each ankle. Baloo must have been an only cat in his former household and appeared to believe that our two little Siamese-cross cats were there for his amusement and entertainment. If they so much as twitched, he chased them. Cue two very stressed and unhappy cats who weren't amused at being pursued by the elephant of the feline world.
We tried all sorts of things to get them to get along. Wendy advised covering the scent glands on their necks and bottoms with Johnson's Baby Powder, the theory being that once they all smelled the same, they'd get along. I tried, really tried, but I think all three were about to call the RSPCA and get me locked up for touching their bottoms. Baloo was put into segregation - he had his own bedroom with en suite litter tray which kept things manageable but wasn't addressing the problem. We tried putting them together in controlled spaces - Baloo in the shower with the others wandering around the bathroom. Slow progress took place as he was let out of the shower and they sniffed one another. "Success!" we thought until the moment they got out of the bathroom and Baloo thundered down the corridor after whichever cat took off first.
Little Bagheera was taking the brunt of the attacks whilst his mum looked on disdainfully. The poor little fellow was so scared that he'd started running away from me and my husband and hiding behind the freezer and was too stressed to eat. We bought a large dog cage to put Baloo in so they could all be in the same room with Baloo behind bars whilst they got used to each other. This resulted in a very irate Baloo doing impressions of a Tazmanian Devil and some impressive 'Dirty Protests' that would have not been out of place in the H-blocks of the Maze Prison. Baloo could be found lying in his litter box swearing at the other two and us.
My husband was determined not to give up on Baloo but I really did think we'd go crazy before we got him to assimilate. I had been sharing my kittie-trauma with other members of the Dooyooers Den forum when an appeal for suggestions brought me a recommendation to try the Feliway diffuser. Dooyoo member Four Paws told me it was recommended for any kind of stressed-out cat situation and was based on creating a calming comforting smell for the cats which was said to work in a wide range of situations. Within just a few minutes I'd ordered a Feliway Diffuser from www.petmeds.co.uk for about £18. By that stage if someone had recommended holy water, I'd have been on the next plane to Lourdes with an empty coke bottle.
It felt like it took a lifetime for the parcel to arrive due to the Post Office getting up to their usual tricks. It was a week before the little bottle of potential life-saver arrived on the doorstep by which time I was several inches beyond the end of my tether. Baloo had progressed from attacking the little cats and moved on to attacking me and my husband AND the little cats.
I ripped open the parcel, hurriedly checked the instructions, worked out that the diffuser was exactly like an electric air freshener and popped up to Baloo's bedroom to plug it in. The instructions informed me that it could take up to a week to take effect but it was clear that Baloo was intrigued as soon as it warmed up and he headed over to rub his face on the diffuser. We left him in his room for a few hours before moving him and the diffuser down to the kitchen where my husband 'supervised' a few hours of contact time with the other cats.
I won't claim it was instant or magical but over the next few days, hubby and the kitties all started to calm down and the chasing and swearing got less frequent and less aggressive and gradually we let them out into the rest of the house. After two weeks the little cats were sufficiently calm to be allowed to play outside again because up to that point, we'd confined them to the house because we were worried that they'd run away from home. One week later Baloo finally got let out into the garden - somewhere he'd only previously been after he leaped out of his bedroom window to go exploring. We've now found that a good run around the garden seems to be particularly good for exhausting all three cats and leaving them with insufficient energy to continue being stroppy. A tired kitty really is a more peaceful kitty.
I'll never really be able to say to what extent the Feliway worked its magic and I can't rule out that they didn't all just eventually get bored of fighting, but I suspect that knowing we had it made us humans calm down and the pheromones meant that the cats benefited from a greater sense of calm and security. I've recently ordered another three refills for the diffuser and we'll keep them going for the next few months but already home is a much calmer place for all concerned. That's not to say that we don't still get attacks especially when Baloo does a vertical take off and lands on Pandora with all the grace of a bulldozer, but Bagheera is no longer frightened of his big brother and the chasing these days is more likely to be playing and less likely to be all-out attack. Yes they still fight but Baloo hasn't been having it all his own way.
So how does it work? The technology is based on synthetic 'feline facial pheromones' - not something to say too quickly or too often. Or to be precise, it's a 2% solution of the 'F3 fraction of the feline facial pheromone'. When cats are happy and feel safe they rub their heads against furniture, curtains, walls, you, your handbag, the corner of your laptop and just about everything in their surroundings. This isn't just about acting cute - it's their way of marking everything with their own scent and it makes them feel calm and stress-free. When something upsets the cat's normal surroundings - like bringing a new pet into the house, taking a cat to the vets, getting an intruder cat breaking into their home, or even when they spot you've got your suitcases out and they realise you're about to go on holiday, the kittie-panic button can get pushed and they 'come over all peculiar'. Some stop eating, others start peeing in strange places or scratching the furniture or go into a corner and just plain sulk. If you've got cats, you'll know exactly what I mean.
Using the diffuser is simple and instinctive. Remove the cap off the bottle of liquid, screw it into the diffuser and plug it in to an electrical socket. Ideally this should be one close to the floor and with no furniture above it to block the flow of the oil vapour that carries the pheromone vapour. Only cats can smell it so you won't have to worry about odd cat-sweat smells in your home. It is suggested that anyone with really bad asthma should check with their doctor if they've had problems with diffuser products in the past since the mineral oil that's used to carry the pheromone is similar to that used in electric air fresheners.
If electrical products aren't practical for you - for example, some cats seem to take great delight in peeing on electrical sockets - then Feliway is available as a spray product. This may also be more appropriate when you want to take a cat to the vet and can spray the bedding in its carrier to calm it down or for dealing with scratching, where you can spray directly on the area under attack. However for calming down general stressful situations, the diffuser is recommended as more suitable.
So finally I'd like to say a big "Thank You" to Four Paws for her recommendation. I seriously thought we'd never get the cats to accept living together and I really worried that one or more would pack their bags and leave home or that Baloo would have to go back to the Kit Cat shelter. I can't imagine that Pandora and Baloo will ever be best buddies and start cuddling together but they've learned to tolerate each other and the fighting and swearing are much more manageable and much less frequent. For us, the Feliway diffuser was a life-saver.
I first bought a Feliway diffuser early this year, as we had started having problems with our 2 cats. Another cat was continually trying to get in via the catflap, and they were obviously scared. It came day and night, and if we heard it in the night, we'd come out to see our cats sat at the top of the stairs looking worried.
That is when the urine marking started. Usually in the kitchen (which thankfully has wooden flooring so slightly easier to clean that carpet). We tried locking the catflap, keeping ours in at night, but to no avail.
After researching on the internet, I came across this product. It sounded too good to be true really, but so many people said it was effective so we thought it worth a try.
We bought 2 - one for upstairs and one for downstairs. It looks very similar to a plug-in air freshener, except that humans cannot smell anything. You can buy refills when the original vial of liquid is used up.
It was a gradual effect, but after a couple of weeks our cats did stop the urine marking. Since then we stopped using them, but the odd time when we have cats trying to get in over a period of a few days, we get them out again just in case, and leave them plugged in for a few days.
I share my home with two tom cats, Ivan and Murphy, who we acquired a little over three years ago as kittens. We currently live on a very busy road in the center of a small town in Aberdeenshire so both Ivan and Murphy are indoor cats at present as I dont feel its safe to let them roam just yet.
Ivan is the fatter, lazier cat and he has never really shown any interest in the great outdoors. I think if the back door was wide open he'd still stay indoors with his catnip mice and comfy bedding! Murphy, a much smaller and more agile feline, is becoming increasingly intolerant of our small two bed home. Sometimes, he sits by the door and howls and he spends a lot of time by the kitchen window looking out on to the bird table. He claws at the glass and growls at all the little sparrows; I hate to think what he'd do to them if he was given the chance!
About four months ago, he was crying a lot and spending long periods of time in his litter tray, straining to pass urine. After a few trips, he managed to relieve himself but I noticed he'd passed a little blood. Any cat owner will tell you how serious urinary tract problems are to cats, especially in males, as death can occur in as little as 48 hours if treatment isn't sought after immediately. I was understandably very concerned and called the vet who asked us to bring him straight in to the surgery.
He gave us antibiotics and told us that it was probably a common infection. Murphy was back to his old perky self in one day. However, the same thing happened again another two times at monthly intervals, and each time it was becoming more severe. I had to leave my unhappy cat at the vet for tests and when I picked him up ten hours after leaving him I anxiously waited for the results. The vet explained that he was suffering from Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the urinary bladder in a very small percentage of the cat population. He continued to explain that despite research the cause of FIC has still not been determined but that quite often stress and confinement to a strictly indoor environment can lead to the condition.
The vet gave us a Feliway plug in diffuser as part of the treatment. It is about the same size as any plug-in air freshener, maybe a little bigger, and the liquid inside is colorless and odorless so it isn't intrusive to the human environment. When cats rub their faces against the corners of furniture or whatever they come across, they leave behind deposits of facial pheromones which help convey a sense of security and well-being. Apparently, the Feliway device reproduces certain properties of these pheromones and helps to calm a stressed cat. I admit, I was skeptical at first but I was willing to give it a try. The vet also suggested we sprinkle chamomile tea leaves in Murphys food to relax him but that seemed a bit out there to me!
Since using the plug in, Murphy hasnt suffered from cystitis once and has seemed far more relaxed and happy. Of course, it could be a coincidence but I feel confident that the diffuser has helped him. Its not cheap to buy but it is worth the expense if it keeps my little cat content. You can buy the product online and prices seem to vary but I order it from vetuk.com as it is far cheaper than buying it direct from the vet. The diffuser unit and one 48ml vial costs just under £15.00 but you can buy refills separately from around £12.00. With continual use, one vial will last one month and Feliway is also known to help prevent scratching of furniture, urine marking and to help ease stress in cats who are experiencing a change in environment like when you are decorating or moving to a new house. For transporting cats, there is a spray available that costs around £12.00 which you can spray inside the carry case to help relax them. I havent yet used the spray but I have just ordered some as we are moving house in about one month, I just hope it works as well as the diffuser has.
I am very happy with Feliway as it seems to have worked wonders for Murphy. Once we move to our bigger house near Edinburgh, situated in a quiet estate, Ill finally be able to let my two cats out to explore the outdoors and hopefully Ill no longer have to use the diffuser.
I have felt so guilty keeping him indoors so itll be great seeing him out in the sunshine chasing butterflies!
Prevent cats from urinating where they shouldn't.