Comfort Zone Feliway
Before discussing using Comfort Zone Feliway,you should know that pheromones are chemicals that cats produce through their facial scent glands, which is why cats rub their cheeks against things: to leave their individual scent. A cat marks her territory with these pheromones, creating a calming effect for her while leaving a “calling card” to other cats who pass by.
There is a synthetic version of these feline facial pheromones called Comfort Zone Feliway, which comes as a spray as well as a diffuser that plugs into an electrical socket and is dispersed in the air of the room.
The product was originally developed to prevent urine marking, since a cat is less likely to mark where there is facial marking, but it has also been used for a long time as a calming agent, since research has shown that spraying objects with Comfort Zone Feliway in the cat’s environment has a positive effect in anxiety-producing situations.
Whether your cat is moving to a new house or into a cage at the vet clinic, this product can help calm her and accustom her to new places or objects by making them seem familiar to her. Spraying the corners and legs of furniture in the cat’s safe room makes the room less alien and more inviting to her.
As she ventures out of her safe room into the rest of the house you can make her transition smoother by spraying prominent objects throughout your home. “Prominent” means any surface that a cat might naturally rub her cheeks against—not a flat surface such as a wall or the back of a sofa, but rather the corners of low tables, chair legs, door frames, and so on.
You can also plug in a Feliway diffuser several hours before bringing in the cat, which will calm and comfort her by making the environment seem familiar. Feliway comes with instructions you should read and keep so that you have a clear sense of how to best use the product.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you are trying to mimic what a cat would do with her own facial pheromones, duplicating where and how she would rub objects. There is no need to use Feliway with a kitten because they do not begin facial marking until they are older, nor do they mark with urine at an early age.
Spray Comfort Zone Feliway beforehand when you are getting ready to move, there will be boxes coming and going. To the cat, these boxes represent alien objects invading her space. Although boxes are otherwise a source of fun to cats, having a lot of strange-smelling boxes coming into the house can be stressful. You can solve this problem by spraying Comfort Zone Feliway on the corners of the boxes before you bring them inside, to transform them into pleasant, unthreatening-smelling arrivals.
Using Comfort Zone Feliway
Comfort Zone Feliway is a spray that contains synthetic feline facial pheromones, meaning that some enterprising scientist has found a way to bottle the calming, happy-making chemical that cats produce when they contentedly rub their facial glands on surfaces in their environment.
That smell relaxes a cat and puts her in a Zen-like state of mind; best of all, she would not dream of spraying where she smells facial pheromones.
Each Cat Thinks Feliway Is Her Very Own Pheromones
The beauty of this product is that it can fool even that supersensitive kitty nose into thinking that she herself rubbed on those surfaces where she encounters Feliway.
If a cat believes that she already facially rubbed on a location, she gets an immediate positive association and assumes it’s a safe, relaxing place. By using this product, you can tap into your cat’s instinctual system and turn a location with negative association into a positive, nurturing space.
Use Feliway along with behavioral modification techniques such as moving your cat’s dinner dish to the area she soiled. You can also engage in play sessions with your cat in an area she soiled, which helps to transform its association for her.
How To Use Feliway
1. First Clean the Area with Plain Water. The chemicals in Feliway can be neutralized by detergent or a specialized cleaning product, so just wash down the area with water and dry it.
2. Spray One Squirt of Feliway Twice a Day Over the Area the Cat Previously Sprayed. Since natural cat pheromones fade after 24 hours, by spraying Feliway twice a day you keep a consistently high level of pheromones in the air.
3, Don’t Limit the Feliway to Sprayed Areas. Spray prominent objects in the areas where your cat spends the most time—and especially in those areas where you may have noticed she is not really relaxed.
4. Use Only a Quick Little Spray on Each Spot. Do not overspray.
5. Spray Twice a Day for 30 Days. The product is designed to flood the objects and environment with a positive association. After 30 days, evaluate your cat’s response and decide whether to continue spraying twice a day for another 30 days or cut down to once a day.
Your eventual goal should be to reduce to spraying the areas every other day and then finally 2 or 3 times a week. Don’t rush it; slow and steady wins the race, and reordering your cat’s perception and changing habits takes time.
6. Spray at a Cat’s Nose Height. Direct the spray 8 inches up from the ground and about 4 inches away from the object.
7. Spray Table Legs, Chair Legs, the Corners of Furniture, and Doorways. Any nose-height vertical object should be given the Feliway treatment.
8. Create a Network of Calming Pheromones. Your goal is to spin a web of positive association over the cat so that if she feels anxious or agitated when she first enters a room and has the desire to spray, she will have changed her mind by the time she walks by all the vertical areas that smell of Feliway.
Comfort Zone Feliway also comes as a plug-in diffuser. The plug-in is especially useful if the spray-marked area is all in one room, but it can work wonders in any area where a cat has been feeling skittish or insecure.
Tips For Using Comfort Zone Feliway
- Spray about 4 inches away from the object.
- Spray about 8 inches up from the ground, where a cat’s cheeks would reach.
- Use one squirt only—do not saturate. Spray only objects—never the cat.
- Spray each spot once or twice a day for a month.
- You can stop spraying anywhere the cat rubs her cheeks. Do not spray near the litter box (a cat would never rub there).
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