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SOLVING CAT BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS WITH FELIWAY

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Why do cats scratch and spray urine on walls, doorways, furniture, etc.?

Cats are territorial animals.  They are most comfortable with the status quo. Any perceived threat, change or stress can cause them to use naturally occurring chemical substances — pheromones — in their paws and urine to mark their territory. Male cats may also mark in response to the presence of a female cat in heat.

What types of situations can cause a cat stress?

There are two general categories of feline stressors — anything that would elicit a territorial response and everything else. Cats can react to greater or lesser degrees to:

  • Other animals: strange cats roaming outside the house, the addition of a new pet to the household, relationship problems with other pets in the home.
  • People: a new person in the house, even relationship problems among humans.
  • Their environment: moving to a new home, remodeling or redecorating, new pieces of furniture.
  • Temporary changes: being transported, hospitalized or boarded.
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Are there other types of feline pheromones?

Cats use the pheromones in their urine to send a statement that says, “I’m here.” Alarm pheromones are released from their paws as they scratch, as if to say, “Look out!” And yet another type of pheromone is released as cats rub their cheeks on objects or people. These facial pheromones have a calming effect on cats. Surfaces marked with these pheromones are recognized by the cat as familiar, non-threatening and comforting. The message they give is “I’m home and everything is fine.” While spraying urine in the house produces a strong, unpleasant odor, facial pheromones are sensed only by the feline nose.

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Are there other reasons why a cat would not use its litter box?

Spraying, or urine marking, is characterized by very distinct behavioral patterns. But there are a number of other reasons why cats urinate outside the litterbox. These include medical reasons such as urinary tract infections or problems with the type of litter, location of the litter box or cleanliness of the box.  If you are not sure whether your cat has a marking problem or a medical problem, consult your veterinarian.

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What is Feliway?
Feliway is a natural treatment developed to help prevent your cat from engaging in urine spraying or clawing behavior. When coping with a stressful situation, such as traveling to the vet or changes in their environment, Feliway also helps to calm your cat or kitten.

In new environments or stress inducing situations, many cats resort to spraying urine on vertical surfaces, including doors, walls, and drapes, to show their "ownership" of the territory. 

While spraying and marking are common emotional and instinctual cat behaviors, they are not appreciated by us humans. Treatment of vertical surfaces with Feliway helps curb these troublesome cat behaviors.
 

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What is Comfort Zone with Feliway?
If your cat is showing signs of stress, ComfortZone with Feliway may be able to help. ComfortZone is a unique electric diffuser that disperses Feliway into the environment through evaporation. Like the Feliway spray, ComfortZone also helps curb urine spraying and clawing behavior.

The calming effect of the diffused Feliway is especially helpful if your cat is exhibiting other worrisome behaviors such as hiding, loss of appetite due to stress, or showing a decreased interest in playing or interaction with you or other cats in the household.

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How Does Feliway Work?
A cat has several pairs of scent glands each designed for a specific and different purpose. The scent glands release pheromones. Pheromones are chemical substances secreted by animals to communicate ownership of territory and mating availability to others.

Pheromones can be secreted from various locations on the body. Those on the back end of a cat are used in times of stress and anxiety for territory marking. Those on the front paws are also used to mark territory, but may also be used indicate a "dangerous" area, and clawing leaves a visible mark as well. The facial scent glands on the top of your cat's head and on his cheeks release calming, "friendly" pheromones that indicate and area is "safe".

Feliway is a chemical copy of the facial pheromones present in cats. When a cat detects the presence of these pheromones, the result is an emotional calming, reducing your cat's impulse to mark his or her territory with urine spraying or scratching behavior.

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How Do Cats Use Facial Pheromones?
Cats use facial pheromones to familiarize themselves with their environment. The cat recognizes surfaces that have been marked with these pheromones as familiar, non-threatening, and comforting.
 
Facial pheromones are proven to have an emotionally calming effect on cats. Feliway is able to soothe cats and help prevent urine spraying and other stress-related behaviors. 

When Should Feliway or ComfortZone with Feliway be Used?

Feliway has been proven to help reduce a cat's stress in the following environments and situations:

  1. new home - or changes in existing home
  2. travel -either on a plane or in the car
  3. hospitalization or trips to the vet
  4. boarding
  5. introducing a new kitten or cat
  6. new furniture or plants
  7. rearranged furniture
  8. unfamiliar people
  9. presence of unfamiliar animals.
For best results, Feliway and ComfortZone with Feliway should be used in combination with other behavior modifying techniques. Talk with your veterinarian about what techniques are appropriate for your situation. Symptoms of a sick cat can mimic those associated with stress. Contact your veterinarian if you have any suspicion that your pet may be ill.

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How Well Does Feliway Work?

Several studies have shown significant reductions in urine spraying when Feliway is used. Feliway is so efficient that there is a decrease in spraying behavior 95% of the time! Take a look at the chart to the right.


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Are Feliway and ComfortZone with Feliway Safe To Use Around Children and Other Pets?

  • Because Feliway is ethanol based it should not be sprayed around children, or birds and other small animals. 
  • Breathing the mist can cause irritation of the mucous membranes. 
  • Once dry, Feliway is not harmful. Feliway should be stored with the cap on out of reach of children.
  • Neither the Feliway spray or ComfortZone diffuser has an odor that is detectable by humans.
  • Because the ComfortZone with Feliway diffuser does become warm when plugged in, use an outlet that is out of reach of children.
Feliway spray and ComfortZone with Feliway both reduce urine spraying, stress, anxiety and other stress-related behaviors in cats. However, one product may be more appropriate than the other, depending on the situation. Common situations and helpful recommendations are addressed in the chart below.

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Feliway Use Instructions

For best results, Feliway should be used at room temperature and shaken before use. If the product is colder than the room in which it will be used,
leave it in the room for 1 hour prior to use. Spray Feliway on prominent objects that could be attractive to your cat. These include corners, door walls, and chair or table legs. Depress the nozzle once, approximately 4 in (10 cm) from the object at a height of 8 in (20 cm) from the floor—this will ensure that the Feliway spray is applied at about the height of your cat's face.

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ComfortZone with Feliway Use Instructions

One ComfortZone with Feliway diffuser will treat an area of up to 650 sq. ft. If your cat is urine spraying in several rooms, use one ComfortZone diffuser per room if the total area is more than 650 sq. ft. If your desire is to reduce stress-related behaviors other than urine spraying, such as hiding, decreased appetite due to stress or desire to play, use a ComfortZone with Feliway diffuser in the room where the cat spends most of his or her time. One vial will last about 4 weeks.

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Common Situations and Which Product to Use

Situation Feliway Spray ComfortZone with Feliway
Urine Spraying Apply to urine sprayed locations and nearby objects in the area once daily for 30 days. Plug ComfortZone diffuser into an outlet in the room that has been urine sprayed
Clawing / Scratching Spray once daily to attractive clawing surfaces (generally vertical) or areas that have already been clawed. Plug ComfortZone diffuser into an outlet in the room where the clawing occurs.
Multi-cat Household Spray onto all urine sprayed locations once daily and to prominent objects 2 to 3 times daily Plug ComfortZone diffuser into an outlet in the room most often used by your cat.
Stress in Elderly Cats Apply to objects once daily for 45 days, then once every 2 to 3 days as maintenance. Plug ComfortZone diffuser into an outlet in the room most often used by the cat.
Travel or Boarding Spray Feliway into each corner of the carrier or cage 10 to 12 minutes prior to loading in the cat.  If boarding, repeat daily until facial marking Behavior is observed N/A
Initial Treatment for stress related behavior. Apply to objects in your household once every day for 30 days. Plug ComfortZone diffuser into an outlet in the room most often used by the cat.


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Precautions and Warnings

Feliway will not stain or mark surfaces. Nevertheless, owing to the wide variety of materials used in household furnishings, we advise testing Feliway prior to use in an area not easily visible.

Important:
Many cleaning agents and disinfectants can degrade the active ingredient in Feliway. Soiled areas should not be cleaned with bleaches, detergents, or their derivatives. If a cleaning product is used, the areas should be cleaned thoroughly with water or alcohol before applying Feliway.

Never spray Feliway directly on animals!

CAUTION FLAMMABLE, EYE IRRITANT - Keep away from sources of ignition. Avoid contact with the eyes. Avoid breathing vapor or mist.

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN - Keep container tightly closed. Store at room temperature.



















Feliway and Comfort Zone for Cat Behavior - GregRobert 


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