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Cat Pheromone Diffusers: 6 to Calm Your Anxious Feline

Cat smelling the air

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Like many people, you’ve likely experienced anxiety at one point or another. And you’re probably aware that dogs can suffer from the condition, as well.

But did you know that cats get anxious, too?

It’s true. Although they have a reputation for playing it cool, our feline friends can indeed experience the uncomfortable—and even debilitating—effects of anxiety. In fact, a recent study found that 13.5 percent of pet cats showed at least one symptom of anxiety.

“Changes like a new home, a new family member, or just that annoying cat next door can cause unwanted, anxiety-related behaviors,” says Alexandra Rodriguez, a veterinary technician in South Carolina. “Some pet parents turn to pharmaceutical options, while others try pheromone diffusers.”

What Is a Cat Pheromone Diffuser?

Pheromone diffusers contain synthetic chemicals that mimic a variety of naturally occurring pheromones known to soothe cats. Like electronic air fresheners, they plug into standard electrical outlets and require periodic cartridge changes. 

These plug-ins are odorless—humans and other pets can’t detect the scent of cat pheromones. 

There are two different types of pheromone blends used for cat stress relief: calming pheromones and multi-cat pheromones. 

Calming pheromone blends imitate a cat’s facial pheromone. These pheromones are helpful for homes with one cat. 

“When your cat rubs their face on you or the furniture, they’re claiming their territory by releasing pheromones,” explains Rodriguez. “These pheromones help a cat feel safe and secure by giving them a sense of familiarity and belonging.”

Multi-cat pheromone solutions replicate the pheromones that a mother cat releases to soothe her kittens. 

“These pheromones help put cats at ease in the presence of other cats,” says Rodriguez. “Multi-cat pheromone diffusers are best used in homes with multiple cats who are experiencing tension or conflict.”

Do Pheromone Diffusers Work for Cats? 

Calm cat lying down

Some studies have shown that cat calming diffusers are effective in reducing common anxiety-related behaviors. 

These feline behaviors include: 

  • Litter box issues
  • Spraying
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Withdrawal and hiding
  • Destructive or aggressive behavior

For cats with mild symptoms of anxiety, a pheromone diffuser may offer significant relief. 

“In cases of mild anxiety, they may be sufficient to calm the cat alone,” says veterinarian Dr. Joanna Woodnutt. “The nice thing about pheromone diffusers is that they’re natural, and unlikely to do any harm. They can therefore be used for non-anxious cats, and for cats with on-and-off anxiety, without any risk at all.”

However, like people, cats experience anxiety differently. Pets with more severe symptoms may need additional intervention. 

“Pheromone diffusers may not be enough for some very anxious cats,” says Woodnutt. “For these animals, extra calming tools and changes to the environment may be needed.”

Additionally, it’s important to note that anxiety symptoms can point to a wide range of underlying health issues in cats. 

“Be sure to get your cat checked out by a vet to rule out any potential health problems,” says Rodriguez. “Once your kitty is deemed healthy, you can try using a pheromone diffuser to help put them at ease.”

What to Look For in a Cat Pheromone Diffuser

Cat lying on rug

There are a number of things to consider when selecting pheromones for cats. 

The most important factor is the pheromone blend. If you have a single cat, select a diffuser that uses calming pheromones. If you have more than one cat, purchase a multi-cat pheromone diffuser.  

Other considerations when shopping for cat pheromone diffusers should include:

Research

There are a number of cat pheromone products on the market, some of which have been tested more rigorously than others. “Look for a brand that is clinically proven,” says Woodnutt. “Any brand that claims this should be able to back it up with actual scientific papers. If you aren’t sure whether to believe them, call and ask for them to send you some information. If they can’t, well, you have your answer!”

Range

Pheromone diffusers have a wide variety of ranges. While some disperse pheromones throughout the entire house, others only cover one room. Consider your home and your cat’s symptoms when selecting a product. If your cat is only marking one room, for example, a single small diffuser might be appropriate. If you have a larger home or issues in more than one room, you will likely need a more powerful diffuser or several devices. 

Scent

Although cat pheromones aren’t detectable by humans, some diffusers contain added scents, such as lavender. While some may consider this a bonus, make sure you enjoy the particular product’s scent. 

Longevity

Check to see how long the diffuser lasts. If you forget to change the cartridge, your cat may relapse into past behaviors, so choose a product that can go at least 30 days between replacements.  

Species

Ensure that the product you purchase is designed specifically for cats. Dog pheromone diffusers are also available, but will have no effect on cats. 

How We Ranked Our Top Cat Pheromone Diffusers

When researching the best pheromone cat diffusers, we considered a number of factors. The diffusers on our list:

  • Contain 100 percent pet-safe ingredients.
  • Have earned numerous positive reviews from pet parents.
  • Are available at major pet retailers.
  • Have readily available refill cartridges.

If you have any concerns when shopping for a pheromone diffuser, speak with your veterinarian or a certified cat behaviorist. These experts can answer any questions or direct you to a product that is the right fit for your feline. 

The Best Cat Pheromone Diffusers

Although pheromone diffusers are not effective for all cats, the following products have offered relief to many pets—which is why they’ve made it into our top picks. 

Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kit

Comfort Zone pheromone diffuser

The Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kit features a double dose of pheromones, meaning your cat receives twice the amount of feel-good vibes. Designed specifically for single-cat households and appropriate for both cats and kittens, the pheromone blend is clinically proven to be over 90 percent effective at reducing two common anxiety behaviors: urine marking and unwanted scratching.

The Comfort Zone diffuser can also be helpful when settling in a new cat. To set your pet up for success, plug it in the room you intend to allow your new pet to acclimate in.  

Many reviewers appreciated that the Comfort Zone vapor spray is visible, ensuring that the diffuser is functioning correctly and dispersing regularly. 

Highlights

  • Unscented. 
  • Refills last 30 days.
  • Automatic shut-off feature prevents the diffuser from overheating.

Things to Consider

  • This product covers one room. For household coverage, you will need to purchase additional diffusers. 
  • Formulated for single-cat households. 

Sample Buyer Review

“I recently brought home a new kitten who would not come out from his hiding spot. I plugged this in, and in the next 24 hours he was starting to become more comfortable.”

Feliway Multicat Diffuser Starter Kit

Feliway multicat pheromone diffuser

A mainstay in the pheromone game, Feliway was the first cat pheromone diffuser on the market. Woodnutt personally uses and recommends the brand. “I know they’ve done the research to show that the product is safe, and how and when it helps cats,” says Woodnutt. “I’ve used them when fostering cats and in the clinic, and they’ve been excellent.”

Feliway has a number of popular calming products on the market. Their Multicat Diffuser earns particularly good reviews among pet parents with feuding felines.

Formulated to reduce tension in homes with two or more cats, it disperses pheromones up to 700-square-feet. Within seven days, users should see a decline in aggressive behaviors including standoffs, stalking or chasing, biting, hissing, growling, and spitting. Plus refills are easy to buy and use.

The Feliway Multicat Diffuser may be especially effective when introducing a new kitty to your resident cat(s). When combined with other best practices—such as initially separating pets and slowly introducing the new cat—the pheromones can help make the getting-to-know-you phase less stressful. 

Highlights

  • Unscented. 
  • Refills last 30 days.
  • Covers up to 700-square-feet.

Things to Consider

  • Formulated for multi-cat households 

Sample Buyer Review

“Amazingly, having this product in our family room stopped two of our kitties from being aggressive with each other. No more growling or hissing, and they even lay two feet from each other in front of the fireplace.”

Sentry Behavior Diffuser

Sentry cat calming diffuser

Like other products formulated for single anxious cats, Sentry’s diffuser uses calming pheromones to help reduce stress behaviors including marking, excessive meowing, and scratching. 

What differentiates Sentry’s diffusers is the lavender-chamomile fragrance. Some reviewers enjoy the scent—especially in rooms with litter boxes—while others find it too strong. We personally don’t find the scent overwhelming. 

Highlights

  • Refills last 30 days.
  • Covers up to 215-square-feet.

Things to Consider

  • Lavender-chamomile scent.
  • This product covers one room. For household coverage, you will need to purchase additional diffusers. 
  • Formulated for single-cat households.

Sample Buyer Review

“Our cat was so shy! She wouldn’t come out from under the bed, and she would have little episodes that resulted in her peeing around the house. Since we’ve installed this she has truly blossomed!”

ThunderEase Calming Diffuser Kit

Thunderease Calming Diffuser

ThunderEase is a collection of pheromone products from the makers of the ThunderShirt, a popular compression garment used to help calm anxious dogs. 

ThunderEase cat diffusers use pheromone solutions created by Feliway, which have been extensively tested and reviewed over the years. The single-cat formula is designed to deter spraying and scratching, as well as help soothe cats in the event of a move or environmental change (for example, a stressful home renovation). 

Highlights

  • Unscented.
  • Refills last 30 days.
  • Covers up to 700-square-feet.
  • More than 90 percent effective during testing. 

Things to Consider

  • Formulated for single-cat households. 
  • If your cat hasn’t previously responded to Feliway pheromones, this product may not work for your feline. 

Sample Buyer Review

“Right away I noticed my cat’s response. He does not howl at night any longer, nor does he use certain areas of my home as a litter box. I am delighted with the results.”

Pet Remedy Natural De-Stress Diffuser

Pet Remedy Cat Pheromone Diffuser

Searching for a chemical-free calming diffuser? Pet Remedy uses a blend of essential oils and herb extracts instead of synthetic pheromones. The solution is designed to soothe both dogs and cats, and is also recommended for birds, rodents, and horses. 

Users note that Pet Remedy’s diffuser works particularly well for pets experiencing mild to moderate stress due to loud noises (such as thunder and fireworks) and environment changes. Those with aggressive cats and pets with more severe anxiety report having less success.

Highlights

  • 100% natural blend of valerian, vetiver, sweet basil and Spanish sage essential oils.
  • Formulated for all mammals and birds.
  • Refills last 30 days.
  • Covers up to 650-square-feet.

Things to Consider

  • Does not contain pheromones.
  • Emits a strong herbal scent. 

Sample Buyer Review

“All four cats came out to smell it. The result was immediate. I have tried other products, but they did not work.”

Felisept Home Comfort Plug-In Diffuser

Feliswept cat calming diffuser

Like the Pet Remedy Diffuser, Felisept’s solution does not contain synthetic pheromones. Instead, it uses a natural extract from nepeta cataria—more commonly known as catnip—to calm kitties and reduce stress behaviors including scratching and marking. 

Many reviewers note that their cats are immediately interested in the diffuser and react positively. However, some report that the solution causes cats to become hyperactive, and others notice no response at all. Cats react to catnip differently, so consider your pet’s previous interactions with the plant before purchasing. 

Highlights

  • Natural nepeta cataria extract.
  • Refills last 30 days.
  • Covers up to 500-square-feet.

Things to Consider

  • Does not contain pheromones.
  • Emits a mild herbal scent.
  • May not be effective for cats who do not respond to catnip.

Sample Buyer Review

“We have been using this for several weeks now and it’s amazing. My cat responded to it immediately. She has stopped her constant meowing, and hasn’t peed on the carpet or the laundry basket.”

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