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Feliway and Feliway-like products?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm looking into these products to help Possum with stress and anxiety. By the way, he's been doing fine since his last vet visit when they gave him a shot for the fur-pulling. I just want to make sure I'm doing all I can to prevent him from doing it in the future.

Feliway seems to be expensive, so I was wondering if there were other comparable products. I was pricing Feliway at PetCo today, and they mentioned another product called Pet-Ease Pheromone Plus by Nutri-Vet. Is this any good? Are there any others? I'm not using this for inappropriate urinating problems, just stress. If Feliway is the best out there, then I'll just get that despite the price.

What about the sprays vs. the difusers?

Also, the girl who checked me out at PetCo mentioned a product called "Good Cat" which I can't find any information about online. It's a liquid which you put in their water every day which calms the cats down. She said she used it when she was introducing her dog to the cats (the cats were beating up the dog!). Does anyone know what this is? Any experiences? Thanks!

post #2 of 17
I use a variety of products for my two. Feliway is better than Pet-Ease. I have one of each and I'm not impressed by the Pet-Ease one. Here's a tip for you: if you have a PetSmart in your area, go to their website, print out the pages for the plug in and refills... and then go into the store... Petsmart honors their own website prices, which are MUCH better than the stores. Petco does not. I've asked.

Diffusers are better, IMO...

As for stuff you add to water... I've used Good Cat. I've also used a couple of others... whichever store I'm in at the time (Petco and Petsmart carry different products). I don't add to the water, though. I give them a little wet food in the morning and evening and add it to that. If you only feed dry, then try it in the water, but my two refuse to drink the water if it has something added. They just know.

Good luck!
post #3 of 17
I've only used the Feliway. I guess I never realized there was any alternative. I used the diffuser when introducing Lola to Cleo and Maggie. I think it worked pretty well, because I did notice some increased aggression on Lola's part when the diffuser went empty after the first 30 days. I think I used it for 3 or 4 months and then didn't use it again. I've used the Feliway spray when I've taken Cleo down to Michigan State University Vet School for her abdominal ultrasound and then, again, when she had her echocardiogram. I sprayed her carrier and also rubbed Bach Flower essence on her ears every hour or so. I'm not too sure how much it affected her behaviour. I think she really cued into my anxiety. I was uptight and worried on the trip down, and she cried and paced the whole way there. I was worrying about what the tests would show. Once I knew what the results were (good both times) I relaxed on the drive home, and so did she....she even fell asleep! I like to think that the Feliway and Bach Flower helped. It certainly didn't hurt, lol!
post #4 of 17
I really like the Feliway! It has done Löki a world of good. Not sure about the other ones - haven't tried them. But Feliway, even though it was difficult for me to find here in Canada and very expensive, was worth every penny in the improvement in Löki's behaviour! We can have company over now without fear of him cowering in fear and hiding or else trying to attack anyone that tries to talk to him. He's fairly sociable now.
post #5 of 17
I think it may also have to do with your kitty.

I have used Feliway with so so results with my Arlokk. I picked up the Nutri-Vet diffuser when my Petsmart was out of Feliway and he has been remarkably laid back and lovey. He has been purring like I've never heard him purr before.

I just have this feeling that he reacts better to whatever is in the Nutri-Vet. The version I have has St. John's Wort in it, so that could be the difference.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I wish I had a PetsMart here! I prefer it to PetCo! And the PetCo here seems to be on the smaller side, too, and their cat department is a little lacking. Sigh. Maybe when my car comes I can go to some of the other pet supply stores I've seen advertised.

I forgot to ask; do any of these diffusers have odors? If so, what do they smell like?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh, and my apartment is 640 sq. ft., would I need more than one? I have a separate bedroom, but the door is usually open.

post #8 of 17
for a place that size one diffuser should be fine... I'd plug it in a fairly central outlet to the whole place.

As for different stores... one thing I've noticed is that most of the smaller mom-n-pop type places charge the same as Petco and Petsmart do in-store. I looked at refills at one here in Portland... yikes! If you can order online, I'd suggest doing so... if it's possible.

post #9 of 17
I use Feliway. It doesn't have much of an effect on Lilly, but it makes a huge difference with Leo.

The diffusers have no smell; it's "happy kitty" scent that only the cats can detect. One diffuser will be enough for the space you have.

Definitely order them online; I got a six-pack from a seller on Amazon for the cost of three if I had bought them in store. A diffuser lasts about a month; you're supposed to change it after six weeks (max), even if there's liquid left over.
post #10 of 17
A totally off the wall thought, but the hair pulling is for sure anxiety?

What about a medication like Buspar. My Ophelia is on it. Buspar is an anti-anxiety med & has helped Ophelia be less fearful & aggressive.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
White Cat Lover - I'm not sure Possum needs to be on medication at this point, though. He only starts to pull out his fur when something triggers it, it seems. He just over-grooms himself to the point where it's unhealthy and probably dangerous, as he licks his skin raw.

I've only dealt with 2 episodes so far. The first one I didn't know what it was, and I'm not sure wha triggered it. In fact my vet thought it might be bacterial at first. I'm now 99% sure that it was Possum's doing all along, which is why the vet couldn't figure it out. He gave Possum a shot which cleared everything up.

The second episode was about a month later. I went out of town for 5 days and left the kitties at home with someone coming in to feed them twice a day and my mom even drove 2 hours to visit and spend time with them. However, when I got back I noticed tufts of fur on the floor which I thought were new. I watched him for a few days and I realized that the earlier episode was his doing because his skin was getting raw again (and he was only having problems in places his mouth could get to).

I took him to the vet who gave Possum another shot, and Possum's been fine since. That's why I think it's just stress/anxiety. I haven't been out of town at all, and he's been okay. It definitely wasn't fleas or anything like that because the boys are strictly indoor kitties and both are on Revolution.

Also, I think this is an ongoing problem because Possum has what the vet called a classic flea infestation pattern on his back. However, he'd been in foster care since he was a few days old, and I got him at 1 1/2, and I don't see how he could get infested with fleas that badly being in someone's home.

So, apparently this is a problem that's caused by him becoming overly stressed. He's shy and somewhat fearful at times, but he's come out of his shell so much in the last 6 months and is doing really well. He's definitely not aggressive. So, unless this anxiety problem gets worse, I think medication might be too much at this point. But thank you for your suggestion. If you think, from what I described, that I'm wrong, please feel free to let me know!


P.S. I hope to god I don't need to give him pills! Something tells me he'll take after his Aunt Lady (my dog) who is quite known in my family for her ability of knowing when we were feeding her pills and her ways of not taking them.
post #12 of 17
What kind of shot did the vet give him? I'm thinking it almost sounds like he's allergic to something and it's triggering the over grooming...
post #13 of 17
Even completely indoor cats can get a bad flea infestation. When I was a teen we adopted one cat who was a 4-paw declaw completely indoor cat. That poor cat was covered in fleas. We also adopted a DLH that had had a nasty case of fleas. We had to use a few different treatments to get him cleared of them. He came from a foster home like that. Some cats are also allergic to flea bites and get bald patches and lick themselves until scabs form.

I use feliway 24/7. We have a diffuser going. Just one, our apartment is 648 sq ft. I notice a big difference with Stimpy's behavior towards Raven with it going.
post #14 of 17
A tip for getting Feliway at much better prices. Look on Ebay. There are a lot of sellers on Ebay that sell the diffusers and refills too. I always get Feliway on there and most times I can get it half price or close to it. Some sell refill packages of two or more, giving you a chance to get them even cheaper.
post #15 of 17
My Angel Spooky was so allergic to fleas that she would need a steroid shot as well as a steriod pill taper just for one or two bites! She would get huge open, weepy sores, lose her fur, over groom, quit eating...the whole nine yards! She was strictly indoors only, and an only child, so I really don't know how she'd get them. She was on some kind of oily oral liquid (Program, I think) when it first came out, then they came out with Advantage, which was a Godsend!

It sounds like Possum is getting a steroid shot, which is clearing up his problem. This kind of shot wouldn't be effective if the problems were caused by anxiety, but would be very effective if they were allergy related. It sounds like you need to find out what kind of shot Possum is getting, and what your vet's rationale is behind them. Perhaps an allergy is really what you're dealing with, and the Feliway wouldn't have any effect whatsoever on that!
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Possum was given a shot of Depo-medrol, and according to the website, it "has the power to quickly relieve inflammation and seasonal itching, with minimal side effects. One injection provides a slow, consistent release of effective anti-inflammatory medication providing sustained relief. The acetate formulation maintains gradually declining levels to allay symptoms for weeks."

My thoughts were that Possum would get stressed out, overgroom himself, it would start to itch, and he would keep overgrooming himself. Just a viscious cycle.

At this point I don't think it's allergies, but if it happens again, and there's no obvious reason for stress, then I'll look into it. It was about a month after the first shot that the second episode happened, and I'll be coming up on a month after the second shot in about 2 weeks, so I'll keep an eye on him.

post #17 of 17
I agree with the post above regarding the possibility of allergies, etc.

However, if you are still seeking a behavioral remedy, I've had success with Flower Essences. The last I tried was www.spiritessence.com. I put it in a spray bottle of water and sprayed my whole house and it was like a miracle, over night my scardy cat was ruling the roost and hanging out with the dog that one day earlier had sent her into hysterics...

I haven't had much luck with Feliway, but I used the spray.
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