What is feliway?

See Dr. Marie's recommendations for Buying Feliway online.

I recommend Feliway quite often in my practice. It is a product that releases something called a pheromone which helps to relieve stress and anxiety in cats. You can buy Feliway as a spray or as a diffuser (like a Glade Plugin). In this review, we'll look at what the scientific research says and also whay my personal experiences with the product are.

What is a pheromone?
Pheromones are pretty amazing substances. They are used by animals as chemical signals to tell each other things. Here are some examples of how pheromones are used in nature:
  • Bees release pheromones to signal danger, or a different type of pheromone to recognize the queen, and even a different type to signal to other bees where the best flowers are.
  • Female rats, hamsters and mice release pheromones that signal to males that they are ready to mate.
  • Some female snakes release pheromones that signal to the male to either start or stop courtship.
How do cats use pheromones?

Cats have something called “facial pheromones”. Have you ever wondered why your cat likes to rub his or her face on things? The cat is probably depositing facial pheromones which are meant to tell other cats that this is his territory. When a cat senses facial pheromones that it recognizes, this calms the cat. This is because the pheromones say to the cat, "Hey! This is my space! I feel safe here!"

How does Feliway work?

Feliway is a synthetic version of the cat facial pheromone. As mentioned above, when the cat senses the feliway, his brain gets the message that he is in a safe, stress-free environment.

Felway comes in a diffuser which is a plugin that you plug into the wall or as a spray that you can spray on objects in the house. The spray is especially useful if your cat is urinating in a certain area of the house or scratching on a particular piece of furniture. Some vets actually spray the spray on themselves when they are going into an appointment with a cranky cat. It seems to calm down fractious cats.

Are Feliway diffusers safe?

The Feliway plugin is safe to use and there are no known harmful effects on cats, people or other pets. If you have asthma that is normally bothered by perfume-like plugins then the feliway plugin may have the same effect. However, there is no smell or odor produced by the feliway plugin. I've used it in my house and could not tell that it was there at all.

What are some uses for Feliway?

I recommend Feliway in the following situations:

  • Urinating in the house. (spraying, urine marking, interstitial cystitis)
  • Intercat aggression (very common in multi-cat households!)
  • Anxiety disorders (overgrooming, interstitial cystitis, etc.)
  • For cats that hate to go in the carrier or travel in a car – use the feliway spray on a towel in the carrier.


Update: You can now buy Feliway Wipes. These are fantastic for using to wipe down the inside of your cat carrier before traveling with your cat. They are not meant to be used directly on your cat though.

Does Feliway really work?

So this is what you really want to know! Does feliway really work or is it just another hyped up scam product?

You can read through thousands of testimonials on the web of people saying that feliway worked for them. However, anyone can write a testimonial, so how do we know if this is an effective product or simply a scam to take advantage of cat owners who are desperate for a solution to their cat's behavior problems? When I want to answer a question like this I always look to medical research. There have been a number of studies done on the effectiveness of feliway for behavioral problems in cats:

There are many other articles which support the use of Feliway. I definitely recommend it.

Buy feliway online.

Although I sell feliway at my veterinary clinic I often will tell people to buy it online as it is often much less expensive. I have found that the least expensive place to buy feliway is on Amazon. Here are some of the products that are available:

More questions about Feliway

What is the difference between Comfort Zone and Feliway?

They are the same thing! Comfort Zone is a brand of Feliway.

Will Feliway stop my cat from urinating in the house?

This is such a frustrating problem! There are many reasons why cats would urinate in the house. I would encourage you to read this article about inappropriate urination. If your vet feels that anxiety or stress is a factor in your cat's inappropriate urination then Feliway really should help.

Is Feliway safe to use on all surfaces?

There have been reports of the Feliway spray staining linoleum, unfinished wood, raw silk and some leather.

How long does the Feliway diffuser last?

Each refill of the Feliway diffuser should last about 30 days. The company who makes this product recommends that every six months you replace the diffuser.

Note: I, Dr. Marie, will make a small commission if you purchase from Amazon via one of the above links. Recommendations are not based on commissions. The money earned helps keep this website functioning so I can continue to offer good, honest veterinary advice online.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.