Product Type: Feliway cat accessories
Newest Review: ... pheromones. Apparently, when cats feel happy and safe they rub their faces on objects in the home, releasing hormones that have a scent to... more
Feliway- For Contented Felines!
Feliway Electric Diffuser
Member Name: Machair1
Feliway Electric Diffuser
Date: 20/11/12, updated on 20/11/12 (65 review reads)
Advantages: A very effective product to reduce stress in cats.
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!
Summary: A fantastic product