Here’s what a veterinary professional has to say about cat pheromones and the numerous benefits they can offer our feline companions!
While it’s true cats can’t talk, they do communicate through colorless, odorless chemical signals called pheromones. More specifically, felines deposit facial pheromones to mark their spaces as safe and bond with other cats. For a primer on the science behind these wondrous pheromones, we turned to veterinary professional Ellen Carozza, LVT, who runs the Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation.
Reducing your cat’s stress
“Routine, familiarity, and safety are all important to cats,” explains Carozza. “We know pheromones assist with signaling the brain with those ‘familiar and safe’ feelings.” By using cat pheromones, you can help quell your furry friend’s anxiety by sending positive messages. In turn, pheromones also help lower stress levels in cats, often helping keep illness and discomfort at bay.
“Stress is caused when you upset the balance,” says Carozza. This includes challenging situations from holidays to trips to the vet, environmental changes and conflict with other animals. “Pheromones can ease the stress hormones that are released,” Carozza explains, noting other factors like proper diet, pain control and handling felines in a respectful manner also play a crucial role. Additionally, pheromones alter chemicals that will help lower stress, which can in turn help lessen pain, and allow your cat to “actually relax and heal herself,” Carozza says.
Once we identify a cat’s potential symptoms, from fears to anxiety, we can take steps to help improve their behavior. Just like humans, when cats are relaxed and balanced, they’re more likely to perform better. And while pheromones help, Carozza says, you need to “address the other pillars to make everyone happy.” Therefore, it’s important to discuss behavioral concerns and underlying medical issues with a veterinarian.
The key for a happy cat? “It’s a multifaceted approach with stress reduction playing a large role in success,” confirms Carozza, who champions bSerene’s everyday diffuser and fast-acting spray in helping reduce stress-related behaviors. Of course, Carozza also reminds pet parents about their role in a cat’s behavior. From the litter boxes, to the food and toys, “you play a crucial part,” she says. Her recommendation? Pay attention to signs of stress before the problem spirals. Carozza says it simply: “Prepare ahead of time for a happy cat!”