Feline Behavior: Feliway

Discussion in 'Cat Training & Behavior' started by Griffin, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Griffin

    Griffin Moderator

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    What causes cats to scratch and spray urine on walls, doorways, furniture, etc.?
    Cats are territorial animals, and 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.
    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.
    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 litter box. 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.
    What is Feliway®?
    Developed for pet owners by veterinarians, Feliway is a synthetic copy of cats' naturally occurring facial pheromones that calms them and discourages both male and female cats from spraying and scratching. Studies show that cats will not mark locations where they already have applied facial pheromones. Feliway is available as a diffuser that plugs in to an electric outlet, and as an environmental spray.
    How is Feliway used?
    Feliway is an easy-to-use "plug-in" diffuser that consists of an electrical plug-in unit and disposable (30-day) bottle that will deliver the pheromone 24 hours a day. It continuously releases the active ingredient into the cat's environment and allows trouble-free treatment in a 650-square-foot area for approximately four weeks. If using Feliway spray, it should be sprayed directly onto urine marks and prominent objects, including furniture, drapes, window frames and doorways. Urine marks and objects should be treated one to two times daily for 30 days. Clean urine marks with clear water only, as detergents and other cleansers may degrade the product.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  2. zibiga

    zibiga Newbie

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