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Cats are not known for being the calmest of creatures, they can be jumpy, skittish, aloof, and are definitely hyper-aware of everything by nature. Being a pet parent, you will know your kitty better than anyone, and so you’ll know to recognize when they seem to be having a tough time with stress or anxiety. Often you’ll notice it mostly when they are being transported, or taken to the vet, as this is a common cause of stress in a lot of pets, not just cats.
A lot of owners are not aware that they are able to purchase anti-anxiety products for their pets without needing to go to a vet and get a prescription for medication, well you can! We have compiled a list of what we believe to be the best selection of cat calming and anti-anxiety products on the market at the moment, along with a guide to knowing how to recognize anxiety in cats and what may cause it.
The 5 Top Rated Calming and Anti-Anxiety Products for Cats
*Ratings are from Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart at the time of publication and can change
Best Cat Calming Collar: Sentry Calming Collar for Cats
The Sentry calming collar has earned a regular customer base because of its reliable pheromone technology, which mimics the pheromones a mother cat would release in order to soothe her kittens. With a hint of lavender and camomile, essential oils added for good measure, this collar gives your cat up to 30 days of stress-free living. Ideal for any kitties that are adjusting to a new home.
Uses pheromones that mimic the soothing pheromones released by mother cats.
Has a pleasant lavender and camomile scent releasing pheromones for up to 30 days.
Can be adjusted to fit cat necks up to 15 inches in diameter.
Can be used to reduce stress and anxiety in cats of all breeds and ages with no lasting side effects.
Best Cat Calming Diffuser: Feliway Classic 30 Day Starter Kit
With effective, anxiety-relieving pheromones being released into your house for up to 30 days, you can be sure that your kitty will adjust to its new environment with ease. Each refill contains 30 days’ worth of pheromone liquid, and with this listing proving you with an extra refill, you will be covered for two months before you even need to consider topping up. This Feliway pheromone diffuser covers a vast area of up to 700 square feet, and is ideally suited as long-term anxiety relief for stressy cats.
This diffuser device covers an area of us to 700 sq. feet.
Can provide effective stress relief for up to 30 days, with a refill included for up to 60 days total.
The Pheromones used mimic the natural pheromones of a cat’s face for a better response.
Ideal for stressful situations such as house moving, furniture rearranging, and visitors.
Best Cat Calming Spray: Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Calming Spray
Quick and easy to use, Nature’ Miracle has developed a sedative-free formula that can give your cat fast and effective relief from their anxiety, as well as helping to curb hyperactive behavior in restless cats. This spray uses a combination of pheromones and essential oils to achieve its soothing scent and is perfect for spritzing into your cat’s carrier before heading off on a journey as a way to help them settle into the ride.
Quick stress relief for use during a long car journey or when put into a carrier.
The formula does not contain any sedative ingredients.
These sprays help to reduce hyperactivity, anxiety, and stress level in cats of all ages.
Utilizes essential oils instead of pheromones to provide a soothing scent.
Best Cat Anxiety Vest: ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for Cats
Many people assume that a compression vest is only really needed for dogs during firework season, however, they are also fantastically suited for cats too. The Thundershirt vest can be fitted and removed easily using the secure velcro strips that run along the length of it and works to provide a gentle and reassuring pressure to help your cat to feel secure. It is a design that has proven to work with more than 80% of cats.
A compression vest with quick and easy fitting and removal thanks to velcro connection.
Designed specifically to help cats and dogs that struggle during firework season or thunderstorms.
Recommended by vets and professional trainers and proved effective with over 80% of cats.
Applies even and gentle pressure across the body to give a sense of security and safety.
Best Calming Cat Chews: Pet Naturals Calming Cat Chews
Why not treat your kitty to some chicken liver-flavor treats that also double up as anti-anxiety chews that can provide rapid results. Though calming treats are not a permanent solution, they can be highly effective as a short-term assistant for stressed cats and are often used for positive reinforcement when putting a cat into its carrier. Their clever use of natural herbs and lack of sedatives provide a gentle anti-anxiety remedy without dulling your cat’s senses.
Delicious sedative-free supplements that use herbal ingredients for natural relaxation.
Treats can be used daily alongside cat food if needed, or can also be used just in times of stress.
Pheromone diffusers are often recommended with cats that like to eat their litter, as this can be a sign of stress in many felines. The Comfort Zone drug-free stress-reducing diffuser contains twice the number of pheromones than most other calming diffusers being sold and provides your cat with 30 days of consistent stress relief so that they can finally curl up and relax.
A drug-free method of stress reduction as opposed to anti-anxiety medication.
This diffuser device contains twice the amount of pheromones than many other brands.
Helps to deter undesirable behaviors such as scratching, hissing, and scent marking.
Pheromone diffusers provide a constant soothing atmosphere that lasts up to 30 days.
Rescue Remedy has developed clever, homeopathic, alcohol-free anxiety supplements that can be easily administered using a dropper a bowl of water. This particular supplement is often recommended by veterinarians over others of a similar design owing to its easy, chemical-free recipe and simple administering technique. By drinking the supplement with their water, your cat is constantly ingesting the calming agent without even noticing, making it a brilliantly covert remedy.
Simply add a few drops to water to constant and easy treatment.
Only contains 5 homeopathic flower ingredients for an alcohol-free calming solution.
Recommended by veterinarians to use with cats and dogs that struggle during stressful situations.
Contains five flower remedies; Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Impatiens, and Cherry Plum.
This Feliway Travel calming spray has been specifically designed with a potency that can last for up to 5 hours, meaning you can spray the inside of your cat’s carrier, or your dog’s bed, and be assured that they will be calm for a good length of time before requiring a top-up (if at all). It has been formulated to suited cats of all breeds and ages, so would be ideal for the day you bring that new kitten home too.
Helps for cats that have anxiety problems when adapting to new environments such as moving home.
A cat pheromone spray that uses natural pheromones to help with calming cats.
Can last up to 4-5 hours during car journeys when sprayed on a carrier bed.
Perfectly safe for cats of all ages and breeds and has proven effective in 9 out of 10 cats.
For cats that are a little more high-strung, calming collars are often the best solution. The Comfort Zone calming cat collar provides 30 days of steady pheromone release to help calm your cat’s nerves at all times, so they can go out on adventures with none of the stress that previously accompanied their outings. They have even thought to design it as a breakaway collar so that if your kitty gets snagged whilst they’re out, they can easily escape and return home to you safely.
A constant release of pheromones throughout the day helps control anxiety levels.
Effective for calming cats’ nerves for up to 30 days before needing replacing.
Can make trips to the veterinarian much easier for your feline friend.
Breakaway collar design as an additional safety feature, perfect for outdoor cats.
With these Animal Essentials Tranquility drops, each ingredient was carefully thought out to produce a remedy that is reliable, effective, and safe. They have not included and artificial preservatives in their glycerin-based formula, only completely natural products to minimize any possibility of a reaction. These drops can be used up to 4 times a day, and are ideally suited for emergency anxiety-triggering situations such as a trip to the vets.
Drops can be squirted directly into a cat’s mouth or mixed in with their water or food.
Can be used up to four times a day if your cat is going through a particularly difficult period.
No preservatives or sedatives in the recipe, natural preservative provided by the glycerin-based formula.
A completely natural remedy for situations that can trigger acute anxiety, such as vet visits.
Best Calming and Anti-Anxiety Products for Cats Buying Guide
Before trying to figure out which of these products you should buy, it is best that you understand the reasons behind cat anxiety and alternative methods to calming a stressed cat should one of these remedies not be close by. So we have put together a quick guide to hopefully help you to broaden your knowledge on the subject of feline anxiety.
What Causes Cat Anxiety?
Cat anxiety is triggered by several factors ranging from environmental to emotional but given a cat’s natural hyper-awareness it can be difficult to pinpoint what the problem areas might be. Whilst every cat had its own personality, therefore its own triggers when it comes to anxiety, knowing the most common causes may help you to narrow down the problem and potentially eliminate or minimize that cause in the future.
Because cats are acutely aware of their own environment, they can be distressed by the slightest changes that you yourself may take no notice of. The most severe changes being:
Moving home: Moving from one house to another means leaving a familiar territory and being taken into a new one. If the house was previously owned by cat owners you may find that your cat has a lot of issues with settling in, as they will naturally feel as though they are encroaching on another cat’s territory.
Moving furniture around: Shifting the boundaries of an already familiar environment can prove stressful for a cat that had become comfortable with the previous layout, as the sudden change can feel quite jarring, as opposed to refreshing.
Bringing a new person/pet home: Fear is a big factor in the anxiety equation when it comes to introducing your cat to a new person or pet, as they try to figure out a way to adapt to the new presence in their home.
Going to the vet: A common hatred among pets the world over, going to the vets. Not only is it extremely common amongst cats for them to hate traveling and going into their carrier (for fear of feeling trapped), but they have no real reason to enjoy the veterinarian prodding at them either.
Becoming a mother: Motherhood is a stressful time for cats just as much as it is for humans, if not more so! They have a glaring of kittens to attend to, whilst also having to watch out for predators and potential threats. During this time your kitty may seem standoffish with you, this is normal.
Being left alone: A lot of people think of separation anxiety as being more of a dog problem than a cat issue, but contrary to popular belief cats can become very attached to their owners and may find it difficult to be left to their own devices for long periods of time.
Additionally, cat anxiety can be triggered by smaller environmental changes or routine changes such as:
Emotional triggers are somewhat tied into the environmental figures in such a way that your cat may react badly to a change which could trigger a bought of depression, fear, anxiety, stress. Cat’s are subject and entitled to these emotions just as much as any human, and understand the emotions they could be experiencing at a given time may help you to figure out where to go next.
Bringing a new person into the house can cause fear and stress at the thought of them being a potential threat. Going to the vets can cause a general fear and anxiety from the anticipation of what could happen. Changing their litter tray or mealtimes can cause uncertainty, which can have anxiety-stricken results.
The Signs of Anxiety or Stress in a Cat
There is a list of known signs of stress and anxiety with cats that can be extremely useful to know, as it can help you to spot the problem sooner and seek a solution before the issue becomes too severe.
First of all, it is important to realize that scolding your cat during an anxious episode serves no purpose but to potentially create a negative association with anxiety which will only worsen the problem. You need to ensure you are doing everything you can to create a relaxing and safe space for them. If you have noticed signs of anxiety on your cat, be sure to have them checked over with your veterinarian to rule out the possibility of a physical cause for their behavior.
Cat calming techniques that do not require catnip or any other cat calming products are worth knowing in a pinch, though they may not always help, it is definitely worth trying.
Approaching your cat VERY gently with plenty of positive reinforcement, be it kind words or treats to aid you, can prove very effective depending on the level of anxiety your cat is feeling. If they are being aggressive pushing your presence onto them may only serve to may them feel as if they’re being back into a corner, so be sure to read the situation before attempting this approach. Treats and gentle tones can also help to keep a cat calmer inside its carrier case, though this is not true of every cat.
Sometimes all they need to do is get away from the position they are currently in, in order to calm down, so make a clear and obvious path for them to break free of their current environment wherever possible. Mother cats often need to know that they are sheltered, but have an easy exit in case of an emergency.
Visit a Behavioral Therapist
A cat behavioral therapist will likely either utilize one of two options: They may identify the trigger and then ease a cat’s response by repeatedly exposing them to the trigger in a safe and controlled manner until they no longer perceived the threat. Either that or remove the source of stress from the environment completely if possible.
Alternatively, they may use counter-conditioning in which uses the positive reinforcement method to train more positive behavior in replacement of the negative. For example, if a cat struggles with separation anxiety, this would entail teaching a cat to lie down when you are about to leave and rewarding it for doing so. By learning to lie down as you exit the house, your cat will naturally begin to adopt a more relaxed posture and attitude towards your departure.
Benefits of Cat Calming Aids
Cat calming aids can provide constant support for your cat, helping them to feel generally more comfortable in their environment, especially with calming aids such as diffusers and collars that are active 24/7. By reducing your cat’s stress levels you can curb unwanted behavior which might accompany fits of anxiety such as scratching, aggression, inappropriate urination, and excessive grooming.
Much like with humans, prolonged stress and anxiety will have an impact on your cat’s physical health, and so getting on top of whatever may be causing their upset will benefit them greatly in the long run. Cat calming aids are one of the best things you can do to try and nip the problem in the bud before medication becomes necessary.
What to Consider When Buying Cat Calming Products
When buying cat calming products you should always be sure to pick the one you feel would suit your cat best. If your cat is generally okay but has acute anxiety in certain situations such as during car journeys, then you would only really need to look into purchasing a calming aid that provides rapid, temporary relief for them, such as calming treats, or sprays. If you have just moved home and would like to help your cat settle in more easily and minimize the risk of stress to them, then a long-term calming aid may be more beneficial, so you would want to look towards one that lasts for several weeks such as a collar or diffuser.
Different Types of Anti-Anxiety Products for Cats
There are 4 main types of anti-anxiety products available on the market:
Pheromone Collars: these ordinarily sit alongside your cat’s usual collar and use pheromones and possibly essential oils to help your cat to calm down. Calming collars usually last around 30 days.
Calming Diffusers: Diffusers are plugged into the main living space to provide your cat with a calm space to relax in, if you have a particularly high-strung cat you can have several diffusers running at once. Diffusers last around 30 days before needing refilling.
Herbal Treats: Often using homeopathic recipes, calming treats can be used alongside your cat’s usual food and are often fast-acting and helpful in a pinch, like when you’re about to put your cat in its carrier. They usually last for a few hours, which is often longer than you need.
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.