Pheromones for cats, what are they and how to use them?

Synthetic hormones for cats mimic those they naturally release by rubbing their cheeks against objects and help reduce stress.

Why do cats rub their cheeks at loved ones and objects in the houses where they live? The answer is hidden in small molecules, called pheromones, that cats secrete and disperse on surfaces through the caresses of their faces. Scientists explain that these pheromones or facial hormones help cats to calm down and feel safe. And, therefore, these qualities have been used by veterinarians to imitate them in the laboratory and obtain synthetic pheromones that calm stressed felines, but which, as explained below, should be used with caution .

Cats release hormones when they rub their cheeks on people and objects, calming substances that can now be purchased to use at home

Like people, cats can also get stressed. A move, the arrival of a baby in the family and even problems with another feline at home can cause anxiety in cats. And how do you know that you are under stress? Some of the signs that can warn them are that it destroys furniture, does its business outside the sandbox, spends most of the day immobile or hiding, he is listless, does not feel like playing and even meows in a plaintive way.

Pheromones for cats sold at veterinarians and animal specialty stores promise to help reduce anxiety in felines at home. But what are they and how do they work?

Pheromones for cats, what are they?

Why does the cat rub its face so persistently with its master’s leg or why does it repeat this gesture in corners, on cushions and even on the sofa at home? The answer, in addition to the large doses of love that the feline processes for its human companion, is in a few small molecules: feline pheromones.

The facial pheromones of cats are potent hormones released by these animals to communicate. These hormones are secreted by glands located around your mouth, chin, forehead, and cheeks. And what do they use them for? Pheromones help them to leave their trace in areas of their home, objects and even in people they want to just by rubbing their face on these surfaces.

The feline hormones dispersed in the environment create familiar smells that are pleasant to them and provide them with security: they allow cats to identify with each other and communicate that they have been there. In other words, pheromones are the furry feline version of the human resume ! “The facial pheromones of cats are signals that indicate familiarity and safety in an environment ; felines secrete them naturally to give each other information and feel calm.

Synthetic pheromones for cats, when to use them?

Felines are very territorial animals. This explains why they tolerate changes in their environment poorly: a move, the arrival of a baby or the presence of another unfriendly cat at home can be major causes of anxiety for them.

This also justifies why veterinarians have taken advantage of the calming and safety effects that facial pheromones have on felines to synthesize them in the laboratory. The objective? Help these animals to better cope with times of stress. Synthetic pheromones for cats mimic those that felines naturally secrete when they rub their cheeks on people or objects in the house, so they calm them, make the space smell more familiar and are useful when there is a stressful situation for the feline.

The facial hormones, sold in veterinarians and specialized animal stores, can be used in aerosol form or in diffusers to plug in at home, in a format similar to that of home air fresheners. Its price ranges between 22 and 32 dollar.

Synthetic pheromones for cats, are they dangerous?

These synthetic hormones are useful when used in a timely manner: when there is a major change at home, the cat must visit the vet, a new feline or dog is adopted or a trip is prepared with the animal.

The advice of the experts, however, is not to entrust to these products all the work of relaxing the cats every time they become restless. And it is that its constant use can hide the true causes of stress, a problem that should be solved with the help of the veterinarian or expert in feline behaviour.

There are tricks to reduce stress in cats that must be implemented while using synthetic hormones to, little by little, make felines less dependent on them: tricks to avoid fights between cats (such as separating their feeders, increase the number of beds and litter boxes) and even tips to prepare the feline for the baby’s arrival. Anything else? Remember that when the cat rubs its cheek on its master’s legs, it does so as a sign of its great love for its human!

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