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Thread: Feliway and similar - anyone tried it and does it work?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Default Feliway and similar - anyone tried it and does it work?

    So as most of you know, the Crazy Cat Lady headcount is up to five furfuckers after we took in a very dear friend's cat as a temporary boarder while they were in hospital and she is now a permanent fixture after the old bugger went and died on us. The problem is that she is very loving but also very needy and one of our other cats has decided that she will pretend she doesn't exist for 50% of the time (i.e. when she thinks she's being watched by us) and declare her a sworn mortal enemy for the other 50%.

    We've had a few incidents of Lucy (the newbie) suddenly starting to pee and poop in a certain corner that seem to have been resolved by rearranging the furniture and blocking access to the site after multiple scrub downs with pet odor spray and making sure to give her some extra attention, even if it's just scratching her head as we pass her. However, the problem still remains with Misty, and to a lesser extent Misty's sister Pandora (AKA The Kray Twins) suddenly deciding to launch attacks on Lucy if she tries to wander about. Mist is the main culprit although sometimes Pan joins in to help, with the pair of them hunting her like the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park (one distracts, the other attacks). The other cats (Kitsy and Pebble) are fine with having Lucy about and mostly do their own thing and expect her to do hers but because of the way The Kray Twins are acting Lucy is obviously very wary of them too.

    We don't want to rehome Lucy if it can be at all helped because she's been through a hell of a lot and been through waaaaay too many upheavals already* but we also don't think she should feel mostly confined to one area of the house due to Mist being a cunt and we could do without being woken at 3am by screaming cat battles. They've had since May to get used to each other and while it is slowly getting better (one or two major screaming matches a week when we're there to see/hear them and at least Lucy isn't living under the stairs anymore) the whole thing is going achingly slow so I'm considering trying one of the pheromone diffusers, but don't really want to have to start finding the money for something like that if they are bunkum.

    Are they worth the cost and do you have to keep using them forever or can you start tapering them off once things start to improve?


    *For anyone who doesn't know Lucy's history, she was in some sort of horrible accident when young that cost her both ears, several toes and at least a broken back leg that wasn't set right or immediately. Her original owner had to place her in a facility as a boarder when they were taken ill and then stopped paying and never reclaimed her so she was put up for adoption by the rehoming section of the same place (they believe her owner probably passed away, which is why she was never claimed). So after nearly nine months of being up for adoption and constantly being passed over in favour of kittens/more outgoing cats/because of her odd appearance etc my dear friend adopted her and she lived with him for a while until he too became ill and died. So you can see why, aside from the deep sentimental reasons for wanting to keep her, we don't want her to have to be rehomed yet again.
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

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  2. #2
    Silver Member denny's Avatar
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    Sorry, I won't be able to say anything about Feliway. Just everything I read about it online was a so-so hit or miss thing, in some cases it worked out and in others it failed. As with humans, no cat is alike and what works for one problematic situation may not be suitable for the other.

    I don't know if you are open for this kind of thing: Have you ever contacted an animal communicator? Some are also trained in animal behaviour but some of them also communicate on a telepathic level. I know, most people think this is crazy and it's just charlatans.

    I tried one with our 4 cats - we had a bit of a similar case like yours. Boyfriend and I moved together in one house - 3 young kittys (1 and 2 years old) and 1 senior cat (14 years old). There was constant screaming fights with the oldie - so senior cat lived in two rooms with closed doors whereas the other 3 resided in the rest of the house. We tried a long time with opening the doors a bit every day, but after 6 weeks of "desensitisation", we couldn't see any progress - the anger and fights didn't calm down, it was like day 1 every day. Also a lot of peeing in corners because of the stress it caused.

    I was at my wits end so I looked up an animal communicator. I went with my gut feeling and found one that came across as serious and no-nonsense, no chi-chi, just that he also had the ability to talk with animals telepathically. (He also made house calls, but as we lived too far away, I chose the long-distance option.)
    As I had nothing to lose, I tried it out. I sent pictures, names, age, gender of the cats and wrote about the general problem between them. After a week, he send me a transcript of his talk with all four of them. It was very moving what the little chou-chous had to say (they are all females), they could really name specific wishes and needs for themselves and their personal well-being. They also "talked" about their past experiences (oldie cat was rescued from a garbage dump).

    It helped us tremendously to gain an understanding of their relationship to each other and gave us insight in a lot of their problematic behaviour (also peeing in corners from stress). After I implemented the changes suggested by our cats, the whole thing relaxed. We could leave the doors open, no more fights - they are still not the best of friends in so far, as they don't cuddle with each other - just everyone of them minds their own business and senior kitty can do her own thing in the house and the young one do theirs and go out of their way.
    Kittylady likes this.

  3. #3
    Elite Member o0Amber0o's Avatar
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    Kitty, I loved reading your post, haha Poor Lucy, I'm glad that you were able to take her in. I hope that something breaks and you're able to keep her around, sounds like she could really use a nice loving home to spend the rest of her life in.

    Anyway, I took a long hard look at Feliway diffusers recently for my out of control kitten (I know I know, he's a kitten, but at the same time he does nothing but terrorizes my older boy and I feel just absolutely awful for bringing him into the home at this point). I ended up trying out the spray because I was really nervous about the plug-ins. A lot of the reviews said they were poorly made, fire hazards and I wasn't willing to take the risk.

    The spray did nothing. Again, kittens will kitten so there's that, but I'm glad I tried it through that method first. It's cheaper, safer for my home etc. You may want to try that out first? I will say it's a small aerosol can and it's not recommended that you spray it everywhere, just where the cats hang out together. But it goes quick. There are collars too, but they're plastic, non breakaway collars so I won't use them.

    Also, because denny mentioned it - my mom used a cat whisperer type person many years ago to help locate one of her cats that had jumped in between the floors during construction that was happening in her apartment at the time (it was a 2 family home she lived on the top floor, he jumped into a hole in the bathroom floor - the bottom floor was vacant at the time). Long story short, her conversation with the woman was able to help her learn that the cat was alive (this was after it had been missing 3+ weeks), and to help her figure out where the cat was hanging out in between the floors and how to get the cat out (why it was anxious about jumping down). The next day she was able to retrieve the cat. So it's something I've thought about doing in the past and would definitely be willing to do myself now...it's definitely an option.

    Good luck Kitty - I wish I had more solid advice for the situation, having lived with cats my entire life I think I've been really blessed to have such well behaved cats that always got along (or maybe I just forgot the times they were terrors) so I'm struggling now myself with a new feline addition. I get how stressful it is, keep us posted!
    Kittylady likes this.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    After some more Googling I found that you can get pheromone collars and spot-on drops too, so with it being something that some people say work and others say don't we might give the drops a try as they are by far the cheapest option if we are going to potentially throw money away (5.00 for drops, 15.00 for collar, 30.00 for Feliway). If the drops make a difference then we'll start looking at the more expensive, longer term solutions.

    This is the first time that I've ever had so many problems getting two cats used to each other, and I've had a lot of the buggers over the years. Normally they work out the pecking order between themselves and everything calms down (or at least as calm as any multicat household can expect ) but this one is proving pretty difficult as Lucy is timid and Misty is being a Grade A bitch who's taking advantage of it.
    o0Amber0o and Nevan like this.
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

    How big would a T-Rex wang be?! - Karistiona


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