Wondering about Feliway Plug-In-any thoughts? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Wondering about Feliway Plug-In-any thoughts?

I'm thinking of getting the Comfort Zone with Feliway Plug-In, to help ease the intros of my kitties. I've read either five-star OR one-star reviews. Conclusion - it works for some cats.

My biggest concern is that this is just a temp fix. Lots of people have reviewed the product positively, but have also commented that they see an immediate change in their cats behavior once the plug-in runs out (so they go out to get another, and another, and another).

I was considering the product if it will help the kitties get used to each other, but I don't want to have to rely on forever.

Has anyone used it and then weaned or stopped using the plug-in once the acclimation process has moved along a bit?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:02 PM
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Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
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Yes, I have been using the Feliway plug-in for a while. When plugged in, my cats both appear to be more mellow with each other. The two times I have unplugged it, after using it for a couple of months, my cats went right back to fighting again. I noticed my cats had bite marks on their ears. I did not want to rely on this product either but I cannot have my cats biting each other and causing bite wounds on their ears so I purchased another 6 refills on Amazon.com. You can buy them in bulk to save money. I will also be looking into something called Composure and Spirit Essence recommended by some Cat Forum members. These are supposed to also be good for different cat situations. Good luck with your introduction phase and keep us updated!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:29 PM
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I have used it to good effect during introductions, then stopped using it after about two refills. Everything went fine (at that time).

I'm back to using it since there's been another change in my household, but I anticipate buying only one set of refills this time (mostly because this change was for the better, and I'm only attempting to improve the current relationships rather than introduce a new one). As soon as I open my windows for summer, I'll stop running the plugins.

Not sure it matters, but I'm using Feliway throughout my house, rather than in just a room or two (seven plugins total!). I also buy my refills through amazon.com.

Good luck!

AC
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:49 PM
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I went through a difficult integration with my girls, lasting about 3 months. I found Feliway had a very positive impact on Muffs. Once the integration was over, I removed the plug-ins when they ran out. I never bothered replacing them. It's been over a year since my integration ended and I've never had any problems with my girls. They get along well 99% of the time, and the 1% of the time that they don't is easily fixed just by distracting one or the other.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 11:05 AM
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I use it - started when I got my second cat - I'm on my second refill because when the first ran out I could definatly notice a difference in their behavior with each other so it worked for me.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! Good to know stopping the plug-in has been done. I suppose this will be a last resort for me. I'm still early in the re-introduction phase and have some other strategies I want to find first. Unfortunately, the door to the safe room did not latch properly when I exited the room tonight. A few minutes later, I heard unhappy cat noises, with Lay on the bed about 6 inches from Bianca (new cat) and Bianca on her back super upset (hissing, earns back, arms/legs up). I ran in there, and the two were frozen in their relative positions. Then I pushed Lay off the bed and out of the safe room.
At least B didn't let loose with the urine! Honestly, it's like two steps forward, one (or two) step back with my two ladies.

I appreciate all of your input!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:44 AM
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After hearing Feliway suggested to others for a while now, I finally decided to actually do some research.

As far as I can tell... we don't know what Feliway actually is; we don't know what the "feline facial pheromone" it claims to replicate is (or if it even exists!); and if it does work, it might work through an entirely different mechanism than its creators suppose

If there exists a 'feline facial pheromone' that communicates to cats "this is a safe place", and if Feliway contains an analogue of said pheremone, and if your cat is deficient in producing said pheremone, then I'd expect it to help (but only for as long as your cat is deficient). That's a lot of "ifs" though...

Feliway ingredients basically include a solvent (ethanol or water), fatty acids (in varying proportions), an amine, and plant extracts. If you're up to reading through it, their patent is here: Feliway Patent

Note the "plant extracts", from Valeriana Officinalis L. to be precise. Valerian contains nepetalactone, the "active ingredient" in Nepeta, aka "catnip", so...

Incidentally, nepetalactone is apparently detected by cats via their vomeronasal organ (although I'm having a hard time digging up an actual study demonstrating that conclusively), which in where an animal detects... wait for it... "pheromones"

My conclusions?

(1) Don't ever blindly trust a manufacturer's claims, or their explanation for said claims.

(2)(a) If Feliway contains some sort of "pheromone" analogue, it may work in the short term, but would be ineffective in the long term, except in the very specific case that your cat is deficient in producing something that Feliway actually replaces.

(2)(b) If Feliway's effect is because of the presence of nepetalactone, it is likely to be effective in cats that respond to catnip, but not in those that don't. In this case I could actually see it having a long-term effect. Note that this suggests that a (typically less expensive) catnip spray with a similar concentration of nepetalactone should be equally effective

(3) The contents of Feliway are relatively harmless (when used as per the instructions, of course!), so while you're exploring other options there's rather little harm in trying it and seeing if it helps.

Personally, I'd just suggest a slow introduction if you're worried about putting the two of them together.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 09:56 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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I tried Feliway. Didnt really notice any major effects. Maybe slightly, it didnt hurt anything. But was expensive thats for sure.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 07:40 PM
Tom Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southwest Ohio
Posts: 589
Feliway is the only thing that keeps our house happy. Jack absolutely stalks Harley all day long without it. It is a small price to pay for happiness, especially considering they are all young healthy inside cats. I too buy mine in bulk. As long as it works I'll keep buying it.

Leslie
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