Thursday, November 12, 2009

We Love Feliway, and ModernCat's New Boutique


We love the Feliway diffuser. Feliway is a synthetic version of feline facial pheromones. When your cat rubs his or her face on you, or a corner of table, or a wall corner, or anything else, s/he is rubbing a pheromone of well-being onto those objects. It is a form of marking, but not necessarily a territorial type of marking, like urine marking or vertical scratching. So veterinarians decided that this pheromone was a good thing, and that diffusing it into the local atmosphere would keep cats calm. They also found that it reduced territorial behavior like urine marking and vertical scratching.

I'm here to tell you that it works! We first used it when our 20-year old male cat Ian was diagnosed with cancer. He was given prednisone tablets, which helped him somewhat, but the Feliway diffuser, after a few weeks, really seemed to help Ian calm down and feel more relaxed. He had fairly advanced lymphoma, but with the use of the Feliway and prednisone, he lived a comfortable two months, during which he was eating well and interacting a lot with us.

After we lost Ian, having lost our dear Aggie 10 days earlier, we adopted two kittens, littermates, from our feral cat colony in the country. The Feliway helped Ivan and Boo transition into their new home. Now it helps them remain calm when their tendency is to fight over who is top cat. We can tell when it's time to replace the Feliway diffuser refill - Ivan starts terrorizing Boo! Boo, though the bigger, heavier cat, is so polite that he will not fight back much. So the Feliway diffuser is a true aid in keeping these silly brothers from fighting in the first place.

The diffuser is very simple to use. It is a small unit that plugs unobtrusively into a wall outlet. You screw in a diffuser refill, which lasts about 30 days. The refills are admittedly pricey (typically around $25.00 US), but it's a small price to pay for maintaining peace in the household, not to mention preserving furniture and carpets! We occasionally find the refills on sale and stock up. There is also a Feliway spray, which is useful for spraying in a cat carrier, when you need to take an uncooperative kitty to the vet, or for spraying in a room, when a new kitty has arrived but is in seclusion before being slowly introduced to the indigenous cat population.


Our friends at ModernCat have opened a new shop in Phoenix. They plan to make their wares available via Etsy. Check them out at their Facebook page to keep track of when you can buy their products on line. And if you're in Phoenix, drop by and pay them a visit.

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