Stress not only is bad for your kitty, but can lead to some pretty unpleasant behaviors, like urine marking around your home. To sooth your furry friend's frazzled nerves, use calming aids, available in pet stores, to put him at ease. Such aids include Feliway or Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease diffusers.
Feliway is a type of synthetic pheromone that comes in the forms of a diffuser and a spray. The scent of Feliway mimics the natural smell of our feline friends' natural facial pheromones, which they use to mark objects and people, claiming them as part of his territory. This scent is comforting to your kitty and when he smells objects marked with the scent, he recognizes them as belonging to him and safe. Feliway's synthetic pheromone is derived from oleic acid, according to PetPlace.com. Oleic acid is a type of unsaturated fatty acid found in vegetable and animal fats and oils. In spray form, Feliway contains alcohol as a carrier for the synthetic pheromone. The diffuser form contains paraffin-based mineral oil along with the pheromone.
Nutri-Vet Pet Ease
Nutri-Vet Pet Ease comes in two forms, one for dogs and one formulated for our feline friends. The kitty version is a special blend of essential oils, derived from plants and flowers. These essential oils include lavender, sweet orange, bergamot, cinnamon, clove, thyme and juniper berry, according to Nutri-Vet, the manufacturer. Each of these oils has properties that are supposed to calm your kitty. The blend of these oils combines these soothing effects on your kitty when used in a diffuser or spray form and smelled by your furry friend. The diffuser also contains water, emulsifiers to help blend the oils and water together, and other ingredients to stabilize the formula.
What's the Difference?
While humans can't smell kitty pheromone products, your kitty can. Those made from essential oils may have a slight odor to the human nose. While such products are available over-the-counter, you should check with your vet first before using them with your furry friend. If your vet has recommended use of a pheromone-based product to help with a stressed-out or spraying kitty, products like Feliway contain these chemicals while Nutri-Vet Pet Ease does not. These types of products have produced results with kitties dealing with inappropriate elimination. In fact, a study published in the April 2011 issue of "PLoS One" showed that kitties who sprayed urine around their homes were helped by the calming scent of a pheromone.
Whether you choose to use a Nutri-Vet Pet Ease or Feliway diffuser around your kitty, you'll need to plug the device into an electrical outlet in a spot that your kitty frequents. Don't place the unit near draperies and behind or near furniture, as these items can block the scent of the diffuser and even catch fire in some cases. Because kitties won't eliminate near spaces that smell like pheromones, don't place a Feliway diffuser near your furry buddy's litter box, as this will confuse him and possibly repel him from his box, leading to further issues with elimination. Each type of unit requires regular replacement of the refills to keep the soothing scents potent enough for your feline to smell. You'll notice that the level of liquid inside the refills evaporates down to almost nothing over time due to the heat of the diffuser, indicating the need to change it, typically every four weeks or so for both brands.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.