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Feliway Optimum, Feliway Classic or Feliway Multicat: Choose the Right Product for Your Cat’s Needs

Do you ever feel stressed about an upcoming trip or even a doctor’s visit? Do you get mad when your sibling is sitting in your spot? (C’mon, it can’t just be me!)

Did you know that your cat also gets stressed out by those things, and it can cause them to show a variety of behaviors, from hiding to urinating outside of the litter box? 

Cats may seem like aloof couch potatoes, but in reality, they need a sense of security and comfort, just like us. Feliway is an effective way to help us communicate with our cats by using pheromone-based products to signal that the area is safe and is home. 

Feliway comes in a few different formulations. Combine that with the fact that there are multiple pheromone products on the market, and you might be overwhelmed with choices. 

Choosing the right Feliway product for your cat depends on the problem or concern you want to address. For example, the Feliway Classic Diffuser would be ideal if your cat shows signs like hiding, scratching, or urine marking.

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How We Choose

If we recommend a product it’s because we have done the research on it and we believe it has the ability to help you and your cat. In our research, some products have been tested directly by us, while others have been researched using other methods, including reviewing comments from users online to ensure we have provided good coverage of what is working well for cats. As a team of qualified veterinarians, animal welfare experts, and cat parents, you can be assured we only choose the best products.

Understanding Stress in Cats

feliway optimum vs classic cat stress

Signs of Stress

Cats may exhibit a range of signs when stressed, and it’s not always easy to identify and relate to stress. Some common examples are:

  • Excessive grooming 
  • Hiding
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Urine marking
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

A one-off occurrence may be easy to dismiss, especially if you know of something that might have triggered your kitty’s anxiety, such as a large family get-together. However, if you’re seeing one or more of these behaviors repeatedly, it’s time to talk with your veterinarian.

Causes of Stress

feliway multicat causes of stress in cats

One of the leading causes of stress in cats is a change in their routine or environment. Examples include moving to a new home, having a baby, or adopting a new cat. 

With multiple cats, you need to be on the lookout for inter-cat conflict. Our feline family members are territorial by nature, and sharing space with other feline friends can create tension and anxiety. You might not see fighting, hiding, or growling. You might see one cat defecate outside of the litter box if his access is blocked by another cat. 

Other stress triggers could include insufficient space or resources, such as hiding spots, resting areas, or access to food, water, and litter boxes. Exposure to loud noises or unfamiliar situations can also induce stress in cats.

Effects on Behavior

effects on behavior feliway cat anxiety and stress

Stress is not just unhealthy for our pets: it can also majorly affect their behavior. Stressed kitties may become more aggressive, tense, or withdrawn. These cats may also take up destructive behaviors, such as tearing up your furniture or draperies, as well as urinating outside of the litter box. 

Identifying the signs of stress and understanding its causes are crucial to addressing your cat’s needs and providing appropriate care. Utilizing tools like Feliway products helps alleviate your kitty’s anxiety and promotes a more peaceful and relaxing environment, ultimately improving your cat’s overall well-being. And a happy kitty will make your life even better, am I right?

What is Feliway and How Does it Work?

The pet products manufacturer Ceva makes Feliway. The Feliway line of products uses pheromones to address different feline behavioral concerns. 

Feliway uses pheromones to work, and they tend to be pretty darn effective for many cats. Feliway products come in sprays, room diffusers, and even scratchers.

Feliway Products

feliway optimum classic products displaying in a row
Image Credit: feliway.com

There are several products in the Feliway lineup that your veterinarian may suggest. Each one targets something a little different. Let’s dive in for a quick overview. 

  • Feliway Classic: This product is perfect for helping cats feel calmer and more secure in their environment. It helps foster a sense of familiarity and reduce stress-related behaviors. 
  • Feliway Optimum: This product targets a broader range of behaviors linked to stress in our cats. 
  • Feliway MultiCat or Feliway Friends: This Feliway product decreases stress and inter-cat conflict to help everyone coexist peacefully in your house. 
  • Feliscratch by Feliway: This product encourages appropriate scratching behavior by redirecting cats toward designated scratching posts or surfaces.

Cat Pheromones

cat pheromones​ feliway cat laying down

Pheromones are chemical messengers that cats release into their environment. They have many functions, from signaling territorial boundaries to indicating a female is in heat. Feliway products predominantly use pheromones to send calming messages.

Cats have glands that release pheromones in different places around their bodies, including their

  • Chin
  • Cheeks
  • Tail
  • Paws

Synthetic Pheromone Copies

Feliway products use synthetic copies of pheromones, such as feline facial pheromones, the same pheromone that cats release when they rub their face against you, your couch, or even other cats. This scent is undetectable to humans but provides the cat with a comforting sense of familiarity and security. 

The Feliway products release these synthetic pheromones to create “happy messages,” which help increase the feeling of safety for cats in their environment.

Feliway is a great way to leverage the power of pheromones, decreasing your kitty’s anxiety. The different products help address specific feline behavioral needs.

Choosing the Right Feliway Product for Your Cat

Feliway Classic Spray

Feliway Classic Spray is based off of feline facial pheromone. It’s a great way to reassure your kitty during traveling or for vet visits. 

Spray this Feliway on your cat’s carrier or bedding to help create a calming environment. Consider trying this: set your cat’s carrier in a corner of the den a few days before your cat’s vet visit. Spritz the carrier with Feliway, and open the door so your kitty can investigate on their terms. Treat everything else like normal, and most cats are much more relaxed about the carrier.

Feliway Classic Diffuser

FELIWAY Classic Cat Calming Pheromone Diffuser, 30 Day Starter Kit (48 mL)
  • Vet Recommended and #1 selling solution: FELIWAY Classic helps cats adjust to challenging situations, and curbs stress related unwanted behaviors such as spraying, peeing, scratching, and general fearfulness
  • Reduces urine spraying in 9 out of 10 cats
  • FELIWAY Classic is a drug free solution that mimics cat’s natural facial pheromones, which may help your pet feel calmer in common stressful situations

The Feliway Classic Diffuser continuously releases comforting pheromones, creating a relaxing atmosphere in your home. This diffuser is ideal for cats that exhibit signs of stress, such as hiding, scratching, or urine spraying. 

Plug it into a socket in the room where your cat spends the most time, and the diffuser will help your furry friend feel more relaxed.

 

Feliway MultiCat Diffuser

Sale
FELIWAY MultiCat Calming Pheromone Diffuser for house-cats, 30 Day Starter Kit (48 mL)
  • FELIWAY is vet recommended, and the #1 selling solution: FELIWAY MultiCat may help to reduce common signs of tension between cats at home such as conflict, fighting, chasing and blocking
  • 84% of Cat Owners saw significant improvement when using FELIWAY MultiCat*
  • FELIWAY MultiCat diffuser is a drug free solution that mimics a mother cat’s natural nursing pheromones to stimulate social contact and acceptance

The Feliway Multicat Diffuser, also known as Feliway Friends, is an excellent choice if you have multiple cats. When you have multiple kitties, it’s easy to have tension regarding spaces to rest, food, litter boxes, and you. Feliway MultiCat can help.

This diffuser is a bit different from the Feliway Classic. It releases synthetic pheromones like those that a nursing mother cat produces. It helps create a sense of security amongst your family cats. 

You need to place the diffuser in a central location where all your cats have the chance to respond to the pheromones. (You can also consider getting more than one.)

Feliway Optimum

FELIWAY Optimum Cat, Enhanced Calming Pheromone Diffuser, 30 Day Starter Kit (48 mL), Translucent
  • FELIWAY Optimum is a new pheromone discovery, and the best FELIWAY answer to help reduce common signs of stress in cats such as: scratching, urine spraying, tension and conflicts between cats, fears, and reactions to changes
  • 93% of cat owners report enhanced calming, with an average satisfaction rating of 9.1 out of 10
  • FELIWAY Optimum is a drug free solution that helps cats with more signs of stress, in more situations, and calms cats better than ever; FELIWAY is supported by 25+ years of feline stress expertise

Feliway Optimum is the new kid on the block. It helps cats cope with more stressors by combining the benefits of the Feliway Classic and Feliway MultiCat diffusers.

Feliway Optimum can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve social interactions among cats in multicat households.

Feliscratch by Feliway

Feliscratch by Feliway Cat Scratch Attractant for Scratching Post/Tree, Prevents Cat from Scratching Furniture (9 Pipettes), Original Version, One Size
  • Feliscratch is the #1 Vet Recommended solution to help redirect your cats' scratching to the scratching post
  • This drug free solution uses natural pheromones to reproduce the scent marks and visual marks of scratches, thereby encouraging your cat to scratch where the product is applied
  • Clinically proven to work for 8/10 cats already scratching and 9/10 newly adopted cats/kittens

Feliscratch can help you get a handle on your cat scratching up your furniture, walls, carpets, or whatever else they fancy. Feliscratch encourages your cat to direct its clawing behaviors to more acceptable surfaces than your leather recliner. It emits pheromones that encourage cats to scratch on a particular surface, protecting your furniture and belongings.

Your veterinarian can be a great source of information and help you pick the Feliway product that’s right for your household.

Addressing Specific Cat Behaviors

Okay, now you know what Feliway is, so let’s go over some different cat behaviors and see which Feliway product might be the best one for you to use.

Scratching Furniture and Objects

cat scratching furniture

We’ll get the most straightforward scenario out of the way first. If your cat is scratching up your furniture, Feliscratch is a great way to direct your kitty’s destructive scratching to appropriate surfaces. After all, scratching is a normal cat behavior; we just might need to direct it slightly.

Consider using Feliscratch in combination with the Feliway Classic Diffuser. This duo will help create a comforting environment for your kitty. If there’s a room your cat claws the furniture in, try plugging in a diffuser and getting a scratching post with Feliscratch applied.

Urine Spraying and Marking

cat urine spraying and marking black cat outside

It can be hard to deal with a cat that sprays urine. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your cat is spraying due to a medical issue like a UTI or something less obvious, such as stress. 

For stressed-out kitties that are spraying, Feliway is your friend. Studies show it has reduced urine spraying in up to 90% of cats within a month. The Feliway Classic Diffuser can help your cat feel more at ease, reducing the need for urine marking.

Aggression and Conflict Between Cats

aggression and conflict between cats two cat fighting

Are your cats fighting constantly? That’s stressful for you and the cats.

To help manage this behavior, the Feliway Multicat Diffuser promotes harmony among multiple cats. It releases calming pheromones that reduce tension.

Reducing Anxiety During Stressful Events

reducing cat anxiety during stressful events cat traveling car with sunglass

Are you taking your kitty on a car trip or moving somewhere new? Significant changes are stressful for you and your furry friends, but Feliway Classic can help. If you’re away from home and can’t easily plug in a diffuser, look into getting the sprays or wipes. Use them on your cat’s carrier and bedding before the trip.

Using Feliway Products Effectively

using feliway products effectively instructions banner
Image Credit: feliway.com

Directions for Use

Feliway comes in multiple forms, so you’ve got options. Plug your Feliway diffuser in the room your cat spends the majority of their time, and make sure you use a refill every 30 days. 

If you’re using a spray version of Feliway, only spray it on surfaces or objects. I can’t emphasize this enough: do not spray it directly on your cat. You’ll need to spray several pumps on the area and wait about 15 minutes before your cat comes into contact with it. (This is important because Feliway sprays have an alcohol carrier that needs to dissipate first.)

Safety Concerns

cat safety concerns cat looking with fear

Feliway products are pretty safe for cats and humans, but allergies are possible, so be aware. (It’s not common, however.) 

When you use Feliway, make sure you use it in areas with good ventilation. And it probably goes without saying, but you should follow the directions on the label.

When to Consult a Veterinarian or Behaviorist

cat anxiety when to consult a veterinarian or behaviorist vet checking cat

Feliway is a great line of products, but there’s no real substitute for a conversation with your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist, especially if your cat is exhibiting signs of stress. 

Plenty of medical conditions can contribute to abnormal behaviors. For instance, kidney disease or a urinary tract infection could cause your cat to urinate outside of the litter box. 

Especially if situational management isn’t helping your kitty, your vet might suggest medication. Some common options are:

  • Gabapentin 
  • Fluoxetine
  • Amitriptyline

Helping Your Cat Adjust to New Situations

I don’t know about you, but sometimes things are a little off, and I get stressed out. Or I have to go somewhere new, and I don’t know anyone there. Your cat can be the same way. Using Feliway can help your cat cope with changes and new situations.

Introducing a New Pet or Family Member

cat stress introducing a new pet or family member boy cat and grandmother

I remember bringing my new puppy home and having my cat go crazy. She was probably thinking something like, “Who is this interloper, Mother?” Our cats don’t communicate quite the same way we do, so it’s important to use the tools we do have to help. 

Use a Feliway diffuser or spray to create a calm atmosphere while introducing your furry friends or new humans to each other. You should also have areas for your cat(s) to get away if they need a break.

Moving or Redecorating

cat anxiety moving or redecorating new room

Ready to bring home a new paisley sofa but wondering how your kitty will handle losing the spot where their cat tree goes? To help your kitty adjust, consider using Feliway, which will send out “happy messages” into the environment. It’ll help your cat adjust to the changes in their surroundings.

In conclusion

Feliway is an effective choice to decrease unwanted feline behaviors, particularly those related to stress. It’s also a great option before your cat gets stressed, so consider it if you and your kitty will be traveling or having visitors. 

Author

Samantha Devine, Veterinarian

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine