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Does Feliway Work?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

This is my my first post in this forum and I'm looking forward to the advice and interaction with fellow cat lovers. I guess I should start my story at the beginning...

Mar 15 2006 we brought home a two year old neutered male from the local no-kill shelter. We both have mild allergies and had to think long and hard about introducing a cat to our small one bedroom condo. It's just my fiancee and myself and since we have become more homebodies lately, we decided to add a family member.

Simon is a black and white shorthair with a cute black nose. He is VERY talkative and intelligent and he fit into the family so well. He loves to cuddle, follows us everywhere and is very clean. He really was the perfect cat. (My sister has 4 cats, my mother has 3, and I had many growing up, so I know and love cats and all their facets...)

A week ago we noticed Simon was starting to demonstrate separation anxiety symptoms as he would be very vocal and worried when we would leave him home alone for a few hours. He would appear frantic for attention when we would come home. He then started to pee on our futon mattress. I used white vinegar and other homemade remedies to try and clean the mattress. We did not have time to get the enzyme cleaner from a pet store. He has peed on the futon two more times since and I tried the enzyme cleaner today. He only pees when we are not home and it's very deliberate as the last time he actually crawled under a makeshift blanket barrier to pee on the futon. We love him dearly and want to find a solution.

He shows no signs of a UTI, but we are going to get him to the vet ASAP for a check-up. Tonight we left him alone for about five hours for mother's day dinner and he did not pee (I used a citrus enzyme cleaner today) and appeared much calmer when we came home. I had also left a soothing music station on both TVs and left all his toys out.

I have found Vets in town that carry Feliway diffusers, but they are 80-100 dollars for the unit and one bottle. I know I can get it cheaper on ebay, but in the meantime I want to try it to see if it will help calm him down and stop the urine problem. We are planning to throw out the futon, buy a new mattress, spray it and the frame with Feliway and then plug in a diffuser right behind the futon. This futon is the only piece of furniture that he does not like, he sleeps on and repects everything else in the house.

Here are my questions:

1. Does Feliway really work?

2. Any suggestions on where I can buy it cheaper? I live in Canada...

3. Do you think he needs a playmate? We were considering fostering a kitten to test the waters.

Simon's dad loves him very much and wants to find a solution...

Thanks,
Erik
post #2 of 32
Hmm... that Feliway is awfully expensive to keep up long term.

I think a playmate would be a wonderful idea! I'd go for that option over Feliway, if I were you... but I'm not you, so I guess you'll have to decide what's best given your circumstances.

You should post pics!
post #3 of 32
I have used Feliway and swear by it. It has worked for me in inappropriate urninating as well as inappropriate scratching.
The bottle cost me $30. I sprayed it in the main places that our kitty was eliminating and would spray it once a day in those places for 2 weeks, as the directions told us. Then we cut it back to a couple of times a week, and now we just spray it whenever we remember to. We haven't experienced those problems again, with either cat.
I also used it when introducing our orignial stud, to our new stud boy, who we had hoped could become friends. They are both very calm and sedate cats anyway, so the Feliway was just a bonus, but we had no problems with introductions and they were fast friends, who now cuddle together.
I still have the bottle of Feliway even several months later and I have a house full of furbabies.
I do still recommend a check for an UTI, but if everything medically is ruled out, I would try the Feliway.
It is also amazing what a playmate can do in some circumstances, if he is bored or lonely. However, it could make things worse if it is territorial. I think fostering first, is a wonderful idea. You can find out if your allergies can handle a 2 cat household as well as see if Simon is hoping for a playmate!! I hope that is how it works out.
Do you have 2 litterboxes? Some cats, (all of mine) want a box to urinate in, and a separate to deficate in, if they were only given one box for both, we would see a problem in our household.
Good luck.
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! We are going to comparison shop for Feliway today and maybe I can get the diffuser, spray, and one diffuser bottle to start and then I can order refills from ebay as it would be so much cheaper.

Does anyone have any other ideas on where I could buy it? Amazon has it at a very good price, but will not ship to Canada...
post #5 of 32
Not sure. I got mine from a petstore, and ya, kinda spendy, but I do notice a difference in my cats behavior...
post #6 of 32
Feliway has never worked for me. I seem to be the odd one out though.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
Feliway has never worked for me. I seem to be the odd one out though.
It did absolutely nothing for my cat, either.

Expensive chemical water in a tiny bottle, is all.
post #8 of 32
I've found it very useful. I bought some spray a couple of years ago and took it with my cats when I put them in a cattery. I sprayed some around their pen and asked the staff to the same each day. When I returned they said they had noticed my boys seemed to settle in quicker than they had previously.

The thing to remember about feliway is it's not a magic bullet. It isn't going to solve every behaviour problem, esp if the behaviour has been going on a long time or is deep rooted. But it does sometimes reduce a cat's anxietyjust enough to help or solve a problem. I think it would be worth a try but don't only place a diffuser near the futon. Put a diffuser in every room as the aim is to reduce his anxiety when you leave him so it needs to be wherever he might go. You should be able to get it cheaper than the price you've quoted. Don't worry about having to pay that much constantly though. If it helps you'll probably be able to reduce the amount you use on a daily basis.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers
I've found it very useful. I bought some spray a couple of years ago and took it with my cats when I put them in a cattery. I sprayed some around their pen and asked the staff to the same each day. When I returned they said they had noticed my boys seemed to settle in quicker than they had previously.

The thing to remember about feliway is it's not a magic bullet. It isn't going to solve every behaviour problem, esp if the behaviour has been going on a long time or is deep rooted. But it does sometimes reduce a cat's anxietyjust enough to help or solve a problem. I think it would be worth a try but don't only place a diffuser near the futon. Put a diffuser in every room as the aim is to reduce his anxiety when you leave him so it needs to be wherever he might go. You should be able to get it cheaper than the price you've quoted. Don't worry about having to pay that much constantly though. If it helps you'll probably be able to reduce the amount you use on a daily basis.
Thanks for the advice! I bought a Feliway diffuser today (with one bottle incl.) and had to pay 66.99 Canadian to get it. He did not pee again today and has seemed much calmer when we got home. We are going to throw out the futon mattress tonight and plug in the diffuser for the first time. The futon mattress did also come from a home that had dogs, so that could also explain why he has never liked it. We only have a 700 square foot condo, so the one diffuser should be good for now. He loves the bedroom and I truly feel that he would never soil in there.

The other thing is that we have left a new age music station on both TVs for the last few days, and it really seems to make him mellow. He likes New Age music! Weird!

I'll keep everyone informed on how it works.
post #10 of 32
I should also say, that the Feliway plug ins never worked for me. As I said in my previous post though, the Feliway spray did work great.
I had heard that the spray comes in 2 color's blue and pink. I don't know if the ingredients are any different however.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Simon




post #12 of 32
Oh you are right he does have a very cute black nose!
post #13 of 32
I pretty much swear by Feliway.

I get mine here: http://pussycatgalore.com/index.php?...41b63243a91084

I'm not sure if they ship to Canada, but the refills only cost me $15.99 USD plus shipping.
post #14 of 32
I am using a Feliway plug in diffuser as the hissing was getting too bad when I introduced kitten Olivia to the rest of the crew.

I have noticed an improvement...definitately. Little Olivia is playful and interacting well with the kittens and Tinkerbelle (the kittens' mum) is getting more tolerant of Olivia.

Today, however, Tinkerbelle was hissing like mad at Olivia and I was surprised after the improvement they had been making. I then realised I had removed the diffuser from the mains socket to do the vacuuming and forgot to put it back it!! I put it back in and by this evening things are calm again.

I know people say that it takes about a week for it to start working...but I'm noticing a difference after 2 days.

So in a new cat introduction scenario - I recommend it. It is costly yes, but I think its well worth the price if it means that the cats are going to get on better for the next 12-16 years! I'll keep using it until all the cats are able to live side-by-side with each other.
post #15 of 32
I've had a similar thing happen recently. I got a diffuser a couple of months ago prior to bringing a new kitten home and plugged it in a week before he arrived. Things have been great between him and my existing cat - a bit of hissing and growling when kitty goes too far and pounces on my other cat when he doesn't want it but otherwise they're getting on great. About 4 days ago I noticed things seemed to be getting a little bit worse between them. Nothing to worry about but a bit more hissing and growling from my older cat. At first I thought it was due to the fact that my kitten is getting older and approaching puberty then I realised the liquid in the diffuser had ran out. the past few days I've been using the spray and things have calmed down and they are being lovely with each other again.
post #16 of 32
It has certainly worked well in my house! We have had a lot of issues between Molly and Willow, but the feliway does calm this to an extent!

I have just added a third plug-in and it seems to have settled things a lot!

I agree that it's dear, but in the long run calm is better than expense!
post #17 of 32
I was able to get Feliaway for about $20 American (diffuser and bottle) through Amazon.com via a small business web site. The site is www.revivalanimal.com

If you like the stuff, they offer a discount with bulk purchases.

Personally I didn't have any luck with it. The pheromone in there only aggrivated Luna more than calming her.

I was going to suggest changing the brand of litter you use. If a cat doesn't like the litter, he'll usually go anywhere else but the litter box. But from the sounds of it, you're doing pretty good!
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
We had a setback today. We have thrown out the futon mattress, but I covered the bare frame with an old blanket. It appears that he peed on the blanket this morning while we were sleeping. This would be the first time he has ever gone while we were home. The previous times were all when we were out. He seems much calmer and is not so vocal, but we obviously need to change the pattern he has created to pee on the futon. He uses his pan regularly to pee and only seems to be using the futon to send a message. We are going to try Feliway spray as it is much more concentrated and spray it right on the frame.

Wish me luck...................we're getting pretty frustrated....
post #19 of 32
Yes, it has worked wonderfully for my girls. I strongly recommend a Feliway diffuser.
post #20 of 32
I think it's good idea to go for the spray to begin with as it is more concentrated. I'll keep everything crossed that it works out - just don't expect overnight miracles and be prepared for setbacks. If it is anxiety related he's not going to stop overnight.

Incidentally - can't remember if it's been mentioned before but I assume Simon is neutered?
post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yes, he's a neutered male and is 2 years old. Tonight I washed the blanket and then we all played "catch the mouse" on the blanket so that he would get used to the blanket and the futon frame. He's never liked this futon and we want to encourage him to feel more ownership for it. The diffuser is plugged in nearby too.
post #22 of 32
Thread Starter 
Nevermind, I just walked back into the living room and he's peed on the blanket again. Our only hope now is the Feliway spray, or else he's going back to the shelter...

Twice in one day now, both while we were home.
post #23 of 32
I am not sure if this has been asked yet.
Do you have 2 litterboxes. Most of my cats refuse to urinate in the same box they deficate in, and vice versa. Even the tiniest imbalence can occur in an accident. Is there another cat in the home, he may want his own litterbox, one that the other cat doesn't go into.
You could try retraining, by placing him in a smaller confined area with his litterbox, and once he shows improvement, in the smaller area, then slowly give him more room.
I wouldn't remove the blanket all togther and spray down the futon with the Feliway.
If you can catch him in the act, a firm no, and placing him in the correct area, that works well with kittens, so if you can be diligent, maybe it could work for him. Try soaking up his urine and placing it inside the litterbox. If there are certain areas of the home he doesn't spray in, maybe this certain room could be locked off from him.
It is late, and I didn't take the time to reread this thread, and the exact problems, so forgive me if all of this has been answered. I do hope that something works for you.
post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
I just puchased the Feliway spray from an ebay seller and it came out to less than 25 dollars Canadian after shipping! The vet wanted 140.00 for 75ml. What a difference.

To answer the above question, he is still using his litterbox for peeing and "number 2" with no problem. The urine on the futon is a behavior problem for sure as he will use his box several times during the day (we keep it very clean) and then he will act out with urine on the futon. The futon is sending a message, so I don't believe that it is a training problem.

We are going to wipe down the whole frame with enzymatic cleaner and then spray it like crazy when the Feliway spray comes. I'm also putting tin foil on the futon frame as cats hate to walk on that.

I'm so frustrated. I know I'll get over it because I love cats and have had many over my lifetime, but this is the first feline for my fiancee and it is becoming a bad experience for her.
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
It's been 6 days now with no peeing! The Feliway diffuser is making him much more mellow. We have left a blanket and a towel on the futon frame, but we have also laid tin foil down on it to keep him off. He obviously hates the foil as he won't go near the futon now. When my Feliway spray comes in the mail we'll try to condition him to like the futon or we may just buy a loveseat and spray it like crazy.

Simon goes to the vet today, so hopefully nothing else is wrong...
post #26 of 32
I'm pleased to hear that the peeing has halted!

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for your appointment!
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 
No UTI, no mites. no problem!

His Vet visit went well. He got a Revolution drop on his back to kill any remaining ear mites from when he was at the shelter. The Vet said he saw one mite egg, but that was it. The revolution drop will kill any future mites.

I have some eye goop to put in his eyes as he has a little bit of an eye infection.

The Feliway seems to be working..........yay Simon!
post #28 of 32
Yay, Simon!

I'm so pleased to hear that he's all healthy and happy now! Glad the Feliway worked it's magic too!

Thank you for the update, I was wondering how things were going!
post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 
We just picked up a new futon mattress today. We have two futons. One of them he loves and sleeps on all the time and the other was the "Pee-futon". We have taken the mattress he loves and put it on the frame from the bad futon and we have put the new one in the spot that he already liked. We have sprayed both mattresses and frames like crazy with Feliway and the Feliway diffuser is still going too. He has not seen the new set-up yet, but I'll be home all afternoon and I'm going to encourage him to explore.

Please cross your fingers! This is Simon's biggest test yet!
post #30 of 32
I think it is a good Idea to get a playmate.When we leave the house Birdie starts to meow.So we got her a playmate.She loves him.I dont know that much about Feliway.My friends do. I will try to call them. Where did you get that cat bed? my cats will love it.LoL. wish you good luck!!!!!!
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