Pheromones are naturally occurring chemical agents produced by cats and dogs. These pheromones play an important role in the animal world. They have various functions – one of which includes marking territory. Cats use their face, paws and urine spraying to mark their territory while dogs similarly mark their territory with urine, often when they feel threatened or stressed by a change in their domain.
Although the activity is understandable, it is not something most pet owners want to deal with in their home. Luckily, there are synthetic versions of these pheromones available to help alleviate some of these unpleasant behaviours. Any dog and cat veterinarian is likely to suggest using products such as Feliway for cats or DAP for dogs to control and prevent this anti-social behaviour.
Understanding how Feline Pheromones Work
Cats are naturally territorial animals and if they detect any threat or change to their environment they will respond by marking their territory with pheromones. These warning signs are produced on their face, which they rub against things; on their paws, leading them to scratch; and in their urine, which they spray. Triggers may include a strange cat in the neighbourhood, a new pet or new baby in the home, moving houses, new furniture or even redecorating. They may also react to being boarded or hospitalized for a time.
You dog and cat veterinarian will tell you that once their territory is marked, cats will feel secure and unthreatened. By using synthetic pheromones such as Feliway, studies show that cats no longer feel the need to mark their territory. Unsociable habits such as scratching wood, rubbing their face on furnishings and urine spraying will then effectively cease. In short, synthetic pheromones can help your pet cat feel less stress and more at ease.
How to Effectively Use Feliway when Training Your Cat
Feliway can be purchased from your dog and cat veterinarian as a plug-in diffuser which will cover an area of about 650 square feet and lasts about 30 days. It continually releases synthetic pheromones which are undetectable by humans but effectively “mark” the territory for cats.
Feliway is also available in spray form which is beneficial for use on urine stains and objects such as curtains furniture and doorways where the cat would previously mark. First clean the area with water and then apply the synthetic pheromone spray as directed. Do not use detergent as it may reduce the effectiveness of the Feliway.
Using Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP) to Treat Anxiety
Even normally happy, well behaved dogs may occasionally suffer from stress which may trigger unsociable anxiety symptoms such as chewing, whining, trembling, hiding or urine marking in the home.Triggers may include kennel stress, car anxiety, introducing a new pet or baby into the home or even loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms.
For ongoing anxiety issues, introducing veterinary-recommended synthetic pheromones such as DAP (a Dog Appeasing Pheromone) into the home environment can reduce stress and have a naturally calming effect on dogs. This pheromone is available in diffuser, spray and collar form for your pet dog. Studies have shown that dogs brought into kennels have noticeably reduced stress-related behavioural problems while wearing a DAP collar.
Whether you have guests visiting from out of town or it’s time for your pet’s checkup, the use of calming, synthetic pheromone products can be quite beneficial to your furry friends in potentially stressful situations. Some veterinary hospitals routinely use these pheromones in their clinics to help reduce anxiety for their patients. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about the benefits of Feliway or DAP for your pet!
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