Feliway / Comfort Zone FAQ
Feliway is a funny word, how do I pronounce it?
What's the difference between Comfort Zone with Feliway, and Feliway? I'm confused.
Feliway is the original name and so we stick with it and use it a lot. Feliway is marketed in the US by Farnam/Central Life Sciences who several years ago decided to create a product range for cats and dogs which would contain pheromones manufactured by Ceva Sante Animale. They call the series of products Comfort Zone. Personally, we stay with the name Feliway because that's the pheromone we want and love. It's the name that has been around since 1997.
Cat Faeries seems really passionate about Feliway. Most of your website is devoted to stopping the peeing problem. Why is this your passion?
That question is music to our ears! We absolutely know that because of our work and our fussy product selection that we are keeping cats in their loving homes.
We know that our work and our commitment to Feliway, and products which compliment it, are keeping cats from being dumped in shelters or on streets. We are keeping millions of cats from being euthanised. We have heard more times than we can count "If it wasn't for you I think I would have had to put the cat down."
This work gives our lives much meaning and much satisfaction. Cat Faeries is a business with a true purpose and we take what we do very seriously. We are honored to be of service to cats and their caregivers.
From what we can tell other businesses who carry these products do not have our level of commitment and dedication. This is our life's work, its not just about making money.
This is a pheromone product. What is a pheromone?
According to Webster's dictionary: "A pheromone is a chemical substance that is produced by an animal and serves especially as a stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses."
Feliway is the name of the pheromone that cats produce in their cheeks. It is considered to be a friendly pheromone which sends friendly messages to other cats.
Are these pheromone products hard to use?
No, they are very easy. When you order from Cat Faeries you'll receive a handout which is relevant to every product on your order form. Our handout of Feliway is full of great information for you. The reason we do these handouts is that we have worked with each product on our website for many years. We have our ways of using them which will give you the most success and value for your money.
No one else does this. No one else has our experience.
I'm wondering if somehow the pheromone was extracted from cats or in some way hurt them. I do not believe in animal testing
We love this question because we are 100% against all animal testing! No cats were, or are currently harmed, to produce Feliway.
In 1997 when Feliway was introduced in the US Cat Faeries asked hundreds of tough questions about its creation. We learned that not one single cat was harmed. We know that during the research and development phase, the pheromone scent was gathered by rubbing a soft cotton ball against the cat's cheek. The pheromone residue was copied synthetically and bottled.
Who makes Feliway?
Feliway was created by and is manufactured by Ceva Sante Animale in France.. It is imported into the US and distributed by Farnam/Central Life Sciences Inc. which is a leading distributor of animal health products for stores such as Cat Faeries, and veterinarians.
I don't like to buy products made in China or similar countries. Is Comfort Zone with Feliway really made in France?
That's fantastic, we don't buy Chinese stuff either! The Feliway pheromone is manufactured in France by Ceva Sante Animale. They fill the bottles and diffusers then ship them to the US. The bottles are manufactured either in France or Eastern Europe in sweatshop free settings How do we know this - we ask! Central Life Sciences/Farnam the only US company allowed to distribute the Feliway pheromone in our country.
My vet has Feliway in different packaging than Cat Faeries has. Is there a difference?
No difference at all. It's the exact same product packaged for two different markets.
I've seen Comfort Zone with Feliway in stores packaged in those horrible clamshells. Why is yours in nice cardboard boxes? Is there any difference in quality or strength between the two products?
Well friends, we would like to prove that if you complain about bad ideas with a combination of good manners and tenacity, that you can create change!
We were horrified when Farnam/Central came out the clamshell packaging, and for so many obvious reasons. After countless phone calls and meetings, not to mention pouring on the charm, but with firmness, Cat Faeries got them to re-package Feliway in cardboard boxes - just for us!
The Feliway pheromone is exactly the same no matter what the outer package looks like.
Good news! In the not so distant future Comfort Zone with Feliway will be packaged in 100% recycled and 100% recyclable packaging which will be available everywhere! Cat Faeries is in contact with the marketing manager and we will help test and review the new packaging as its being created. Yet another reason why shopping with Cat Faeries is so cool!
What are the contents of Feliway spray and the bottles for the diffuser?
Feliway spray is based in ethanol. Feliway in a diffuser is based in oil. Both are safe for use in the home and may be used around animals, children, plants, antiques, and just about anything else you might have.
Is Feliway considered Vegan?
Another thoughtful question from our smart customers! Yes, both the spray version and the diffuser version are considered to be Vegan. No "animal products" are used in either product or their packaging.
Why do cats urinate outside of their boxes?
Great question, and a question with many answers!
We want to stress this loud and clear that in all cases There Is Always A Trigger (or more) For This Problem. And very often dear friend, you are the cause or your actions are the cause.
Your cat does not wake up one day and decide "I'm going to make them miserable and pee on the antique Oriental carpets."
Unless there is a health problem, ailments which we will list later, most of the time the problem begins because something is bugging the cat. Stress!
It could be that their litter boxes are not kept clean enough. Your cat may not like the litter you are buying or doesn't like the location of the litter box. Many cats don't like hooded litter boxes.
Other triggers include changes to the home environment, a move, a remodel of the house, or a new family member being added. Anytime there is chaos in the home a cat can stress out and begin not using their litter box.
Often there are family members or visitors to the home who taunt your cat. This is abuse and is one of the causes of stress in cats, which means the cat is likely to urinate outside the box.
What's the number one trigger?
According to Cat Faeries extensive research and experience - the number one trigger is cats that enter our gardens. Unwelcome cats pee around the house or spray doors and bushes - our indoor cats see them, hear them and SMELL them.
Some cats couldn't care less, but other cats care deeply and respond by peeing outside of the box or spraying urine.
Do not think that because you live on the 2nd floor or in a gated community that you don't have cats coming around who annoy your indoor cat. Do not think that because your cat has never set foot outside that the presence of outdoor cats is not threatening; your cat views your garden or property as theirs, even if they never actually go there.
Do I need to correct or remove triggers for the best results?
Yes! If you don't make some changes, and really they are usually very easy changes to make, you are fighting an uphill battle. We want to see you do well with your products, and we want to see your cats happy, so if you can make some changes peace will be restored to your home!
What are some of the medical reasons a cat will not use their litter box?
Among the medical reasons: urinary tract infections, arthritis and a stiff back end, hyperthyroid, diabetes, renal failure, old age, and more. Call your vet, request an exam and tests. It's good to rule out a medical condition.
Will Feliway work all the time, and for all cats?
Ceva's research tells us that there is an 86% success rate. There are some cats who do not respond to the pheromone, but they tend to be in the minority. We would say that these assertions are pretty accurate.
HOWEVER! Cat Faeries customers do even better because they have our years of experience and smarts, all of which we pour into our product handouts for support. Our expertise and experience will help increase the effectiveness of the product. We are full of good advice, both practical and behavior oriented.
Are there ever cats who have the opposite reaction? Instead of Feliway being calming it can set them off?
Because we are completely honest about all things we can tell you that we know this has happened a tiny handful of times. It's extremely rare. We have heard of instances where the diffuser caused a cat to spray on it. Why? Because it's something "new" in the house, and you know how cats are. Sometimes even a tiny change or the addition of a small object can be upsetting.
My female cat sprays! Isn't this odd? I thought only males sprayed?
The girls can do it too! Urinating outside of the box or spraying urine is not limited to male cats.
How long will I need to use Feliway?
It really varies. Two to three months seems to be the norm. If the cat has not been doing this behavior for very long 2 months might take care of it. If the behavior is an old one, or there is more than one cat doing it you'll definitely need to use it for 3 months, perhaps longer.
In some cases it's needed indefinitely. There are many customers who view Feliway as a forever-thing because their cats like it so much.
Read our section called What Products Do I Need For MY Situation. We have suggested plans for usage and time frames.
I'm watching my pennies, will one bottle of Feliway spray or one diffuser be enough?
Maybe, but probably not. It's going to take effort on your part, and products on our part. You need the pheromone, you need to clean up the old urine, and you need to address the reasons why the cat is doing this - our flower essences will help. You might have a look at our product bundles (many have free gifts). We have made these product groupings because we know what it takes to work.
If your cat is peeing outside the box you really need to invest in a cleaning product and we know of nothing more effective than Anti Icky Poo which is on our Urine Clean Up page.
Once my cat stops spraying urine, or goes back to the litter box, can I stop using Feliway?
Very often, yes. But sometimes it's a forever thing. Experiment! See what happens when you either stop completely or use the product a few times a week.
When the problem stops you can probably stop using your spray, but continue with the diffusers. We suggest 2 diffusers per room.
Does Feliway have other benefits for cats?
When Feliway is used in a multi-cat household people find their cats get along better. If Feliway is spritzed onto a cat's carrier pad it helps make trips to the vet or any destination outside the home less stressful for both cat and person!
Progressive vet hospitals install the diffusers in exam and waiting rooms. Smart vets and techs will spritz Feliway spray on their hands or uniform before examining a cat, or they might spray a bit on the exam table.
Feliway has a very calming effect on cats. We believe with all of our hearts that calm cats will live longer and have healthier lives. We people know that stress is a killer. Stress will shorten a cat's life too.
For reasons of stress control and good health, Feliway should be in every home with a cat even if the cat is perfect about their litter box. The scent of Feliway really does calm cats and makes them very happy - doesn't you cat deserve something so simple, and easy to use, that give them so much pleasure?
I saw on an Internet bulletin that some people say to spray the cat with Feliway. Or to spray some on a bandanna and tie it around the cat's neck. Is that safe?
No! No! No! A thousand times NO!! We love that the Internet is a wondrous place for information, we'd be lost without it. But needless to say there is a lot of very bad and potentially dangerous misinformation circulating on Internet bulletin boards and on lists.
Feliway spray is 90% alcohol. What if some of that alcohol got into a cat's eye? Or on an open wound? Logic tells us it could effect the cat's breathing. Spraying the cat is going to terrify an animal who might already be stressed or nervous. The cat would also lick it off and ingesting it could cause potentially harmful internal disorders.
Feliway spray is completely ineffective when applied to the cat's body. Rubbing or spraying it on the cat is not sanctioned by either Ceva Sante Animale, Farnam/Central, or Cat Faeries. Don't do it!
My cat is not spayed or neutered. I don't want to do it. My cat doesn't go outside. My cat is spraying my doors and walls. Will Feliway help?
Oh dear. It is absolutely unbelievable that this question continues to pop up.
Since the 1960's the need to spay and neuter has been discussed at length. The subject has the support of veterinarians, behaviorists, scientists, not to mention the over crowded animal shelters across the US, and anyone with common sense.
There are articles everywhere about the importance of spay and neuter. You'd have to be living under a rock to successfully avoid reading the articles or having conversations with people who know that spaying and neutering is super important.
There is absolutely no reason or any excuse to not do this for your cat! Not spaying or neutering is shameful. We will not mince words here:
- Every time your female cat cycles and does not conceive it's a death sentence. You are setting her up for mammary gland cancer. Most un-spayed female cats develop cancer by age 6. Such cancers are generally fatal.
- Un-altered cats spray urine and fight. They are responding to nature - they ARE NOT bad cats, they are awash with hormones and are acting accordingly.
- Many things go wrong when cats give birth to kittens. Often the mother cat is too young and doesn't know what to do. Kittens can be born dead. They can be born with their entrails outside their bodies. They can be born with birth defects.
- Every time you find a home for one of your kittens you are taking a home away from a shelter cat and this leads to more euthanasia.
- If you want your children to understand the birds and the bees take them to the library.
- Millions upon millions of cats and dogs are put to death in the US annually because there are simply not enough homes for them all. If your cat is having kittens, or impregnating female cats you are responsible for this mass genocide of cats and dogs. Anyone with an unaltered cat should be forced to watch as teary eyed vets or techs euthanize beautiful but unwanted cats - better yet, let the selfish individuals who won't spay or neuter be one to inject the fluid which kills the cat, and see how it feels to kill innocent cats and kittens. End of subject.
My cat didn't do this until I had him declawed. Any correlation?
We are 100% against this cruel, painful, and unnecessary surgery. It leaves a cat defenseless and the cat knows it! Many of the cats who are victims of this surgery become rather neurotic, and often mean. Cats will retaliate by biting, growling, and spraying urine or urinating out side the litter box.
We have noticed that roughly 60% of our Feliway customers have declawed cats. Declaw your cat and risk having a spraying problem.
One of the many reasons why Cat Faeries is against declawing is that many cats are left with permanent pain in their feet which is why they can be attracted to bathmats or carpets - these are smooth soft surfaces and don't cause pain. It's pain which can keep them out of litter boxes. If you suspect that's the problem switch from a grainy or rocky litter to something softer and finer.
If you adopted a previously declawed cat do not despair. With love, kindness, and Martha Stewart like attention to litter box duty you'll probably be pee-free!
Speaking of Martha Stewart. On a TV episode featuring one of her homes she showed several pieces of furniture that her cats claw at. Martha joked that this is something cats just do, and when we live with and love cats, its part of the deal. We figure if Martha Stewart can live with slightly shredded places on her very tasteful furniture, so can the rest of us mere mortals! Take a peek at this informative website where you'll discover new ways to protect your furniture, see the latest in cat friendly scratchers, learn to trim nails, and so much more: www.pawsneedclaws.com
I read about something called Litter Box Aversion. What does Cat Faeries think about that?
Yes, we know all about Litter Box Aversion. It occurs for many reasons, there are aspects of the litter box that puts the cat off wanting to use it.
Cats do not like scented cat litter. Those perfumes insult a cat's sensitive olfactory sensibilities (and many human's as well!) The scent is synthetic, a nasty brew of about 49 petrochemicals which cause headaches and neurological disorders in many individuals, and more simply put, they just don't smell good..
Many cats dislike the hoods on their boxes. Those hoods will keep the cat from stretching for proper elimination. They also hold the stench of urine and feces. Here's a scenario we've used for years - would you like going to the bathroom in a smelly dirty gas station men's room, with a ceiling so low it touched your head? Yuck! You'd pee on the floor too!
We are shocked by how many people do not remove the urine and feces from their cat's litter boxes twice a day. Cats are very clean little creatures, they do not like a dirty litter box!! A good rule of thumb is 1 litter box per cat, cleaned twice a day. But if space does not allow for that many litter boxes, then be extra good about scooping.
One last thing . . .no animal will, uh, you know - defecate where it eats! Litter boxes should NOT be placed near food bowls!
So, my cat started to pee in the living room and I put a box there. Then my cat started to pee in my bedroom so I put a box there. Do I need a box in every room of the house?
NO! This isn't about "I'm too lazy to walk to the kitty latrine area." This is about the cat being displeased with the litter box or some other stress (probably cats who are outside). When you scatter litter boxes all over the house you are telling the cat that's it ok to pee and poop in each of those rooms.
You want to create what we call The Kitty Latrine Area. Push a few litter boxes together to form a square or rectangle. Keep your scooper, trash can and extra litter close by. This creates one large area with the sole purpose of being the proper place for your cat to eliminate in, and no where else.
Why do cats like scratching so much? Will Feliway help?
There are several reasons why a cat scratches at objects:
- exercise which feels good,
- to deposit territory marking scent, and
- to show off claw marks which tell the world who this territory belongs to.
Feliway helps to cover up the territory scent from cat claws with the friendly cheek scent, but it must be used daily.
Feliway works best on vertical surfaces rather than horizontal surfaces. So, if your cats reaching up and scratching, rather than crouching down and scratching on the carpet you'll want to try Feliway spray. Why does Feliway work better when cats scratch on vertical surfaces? No one knows.
Since scratching is a natural thing for cats, you should provide your feline family "cat condos" or "cat trees" These will be their very own pieces of furniture for scratching at and lounging on. Generally they are made from carpet and wood. They should be at least 4 feet tall, have a few perches or levels, and be very sturdy. We wish to advise you from purchasing cat trees or condos made from particle board - it is cancer causing.
I've got a few very good quality cat trees but Fluffy still goes after the sofa sometimes. What can I do?
Two easy things you can do:
1) Spray Feliway on furniture every other day (test fabrics first)
2) Trim cat's nails every 10 -14 days. It's easy, and with a little practice, you'll be a pro at it in no time. Your vet or a vet tech can teach you how.
My cat defecates on the floor - will Feliway help?
In the years that we have sold Feliway we have kept track of what people tell us. Yes, it does help!
We want you to know that often a cat isn't pooping on the floor, per se. In our older cats we know that their digestion isn't' what it once was. Sometimes the piece of fecal matter gets stuck in their anus and falls off in the house.
Your flower essences for cats fascinate me. Will they stop the fighting and the peeing outside the box?
Our formulas were very sensitively and professionally crafted to address a very wide range of emotions and conditions that face our modern house cats.
Flower essences used in conjunction with Feliway help to boost it's effectiveness. In most cases it was the addition of a flower essence formula that gave the situation near or complete success.
Territorial Rescue is about possessiveness, anxiety over others trespassing, and territory battles among cats. Multi Cat Household is about making friends, accepting, tolerating, not feeling space encroachment, and bonding. Calm and Serene - self explanatory!
It is not intended that flower essences be added to the Feliway products!
Can Feliway spray harm my furniture, does it stain?
This is the list of surfaces that customers told us have been stained by the spray: vintage linoleum, un-finished wood furniture, some raw silk, some leather.
With regard to silk and leather, it depends on how it was made or treated - test first. We have customers who tell us they use Feliway on antiques, Oriental carpets, and a vast array or furniture without any staining. You should test first on an area that can't be seen.
I'm very chemical sensitive or intolerant. Will these products cause me problems?
Cat Faeries behaviorist is exactly like you - completely intolerant of chemicals, exposure to them will make her very sick. Therefore we will not sell or endorse anything which can cause any harm, ever!
But we are all unique, and anything is possible. But a reaction for you isn't likely. We have sold thousands of Feliway spray bottles, and thousands of diffusers. We have only heard from a tiny handful of people who objected to it.
Feliway spray will smell like alcohol (we think it smells like a martini!) for about 15-20 minutes after use, after which it evaporates. What remains is the barely-there pheromone scent which most of our customers cannot smell, but their cats can.
Those few people who do smell something say it's a very faint and odd musk, but it's so faint they are barely aware of it. We are all individuals and whether or not it could trigger an asthma attack is not known. We suggest that when you spray it that you have windows open for a short period of time.
Not one customer has said that they can smell the diffusers, nor has anyone said they couldn't tolerate being around them.
I'm pregnant, is Feliway safe for me?
As with any household product you might use during your pregnancy your doctor should be consulted prior to using it. You absolutely do not want to swallow Feliway or any product with a high alcohol content. We have heard of no problems when pregnant women used Feliway spray or had the diffusers in their homes.
My ob/gyn is telling me that since I'm pregnant I need to "get rid of my cat." That seems extreme. Thoughts?
Oh dear. Well, doctors love to issue the warning about Toxoplasmosis, but since they are not veterinarians, they cannot know for sure if YOUR cat has it! Is your cat 100% indoors? It's very unlikely your cat will a carrier for the Toxoplasmosis parasite.
Toxoplasmosis CAN be in cat feces but it's not likely that it's in your cat's feces, especially if the cat is an indoor cat.
Toxoplasmosis is only a problem if the fecal matter is allowed to sit in the box for more than 24 hours. This is yet another reason why keeping litter boxes clean is vital.
Call your vet and ask for the cat to be tested. You'll feel so much better knowing the truth. In the event that your cat is positive, very easy solution, have someone you live with scoop the litter box and have them do it daily without fail.
I have a dog. Will Feliway effect our canine friends?
Not at all. This pheromone is "species specific." It will have zero effect on your dog or any other animal - including humans. Your dog will not purr or beg for tuna!
Are these products safe around birds?
We were disappointed to learn that Ceva never tested Feliway or Comfort Zone on birds. So we did our own research.
We asked Dr Lynn Dustin of Bay Area Bird Hospital in San Francisco. "I have no problem with Feliway spray as long as it's used at least 4 or 5 feet from the bird, and not sprayed at the bird. I do have a problem with the diffuser, and do not think it should be used in a home with birds."
Of course you should consult with your own avian veterinarian first.
I have a small child. Is Feliway safe?
Yes it is safe - we would never sell or endorse something that is not safe for all beings.
It's important to note that you are not saturating surfaces with Feliway. You are using a few sprays at a time which dry in a few minutes.
We suggest that when you use Feliway spray in a home with small children that you keep the child in another part of the home for about 5 minutes while it dries.
As you would expect, it's recommended that you keep Feliway spray away from small children
How can I get an MSDS? (Material safety data sheet)
You may obtain a copy of the Feliway MSDS calling 800-234-2269.
I have more questions about Comfort Zone with Feliway, how can I learn more?
We hope that we have tickled your curiosity so that you'll want to learn more about your cat and Feliway. We recommend that you also read What Products Should I Buy For MY Situation which is a guide to figuring out how severe your situation is and what you need.
When you order you will get our handouts which pertain to the items you bought. We work hard on putting together handouts which are full of advice and tips, please read them and save them. We revise our handouts all the time, so you'll always want to read what we currently have to say.
When you order Comfort Zone with Feliway from us you'll get our informational handout.