Pheromones are the name for the scent cats produce to communicate with each other. There are a few different types of cat pheromone that have different purposes, including:
Cat pheromones can be made artificially and put into sprays, diffusers, wipes, etc. These mimic a cat’s facial pheromones, the ones that help them to feel safe, secure and relaxed.
Owners will often use pheromones to help their cat when they are showing signs of stress. You can read more about stress in our guide.
Remember it is important to find the cause of any signs of stress in your cat. We’d always recommend visiting your vet if their behaviour suddenly changes.
There are a number of ways you can help your cat using pheromones, including:
If you’re using cat pheromones to help calm your cat, there’s no set timeline for how long they will take to have any effect. Each cat is different and some owners may see an immediate change within a few days of using a product while others may not see a change for a week or so.
It’s important that you don’t just use pheromone products to relieve your cat’s stress and anxiety. You will likely need to find the cause and make other changes alongside using these products to help your cat. If your vet has ruled out medical causes, then a referral to a qualified behaviourist, such as a member of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, can help to develop a tailored behaviour plan for your cat.
Humans cannot smell cat pheromones as our sense of smell is not good enough, so they cause no harm to us at all but can be really useful for our cats.
If you have a dog in the house, artificial cat pheromones in diffusers and sprays won’t affect them as long as they are used correctly. Products such as the ones by Feliway are made specifically for cats, so won’t help to calm your dog. Separate dog pheromone products are available.