Is your cat acting out or exhibiting aggressive behavior? Cats can act out for a lot of reasons: a change in housing, bringing home a new family member, losing a family member, or even your neighbor three houses down adopting a new cat! When these stressful events occur, your cat can begin venting their disapproval by inappropriately marking, becoming aggressive, or overeating. However, there is a way to combat this problem – cat pheromone diffusers.
Cat pheromone diffusers is a limited product category with just a few main players: Feliway, Comfort Zone, and more recently, ThunderEase, which is best known for its weighted vests that help to calm dogs’ anxiety. We reviewed 10 cat pheromone diffusers from these and other brands to identify the best of the best. We prudently studied each product’s reviews, effectiveness, lasting length, and cost to carefully rank each cat pheromone diffuser. In the end, we narrowed down our list to the top-five pheromone diffusers.
The Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kit for Cats features a clinically tested formula that has been proven to be 90% effective. It is designed to reduce inappropriate marking, scratching, and aggression. Unlike some of the other pheromone diffusers, this one is also completely unscented and undetectable to the human nose.
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Pheromone Diffusers
|Best Overall||Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kits for Cats||4.3|
|Runner Up||Feliway Classic Starter Kit for Cats||3.2|
|Best Budget Buy||Sentry Calming Diffuser||3.2|
|Best Multicat Pheromone Diffuser||ThunderEase Multicat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit||3.9|
|Best Cat Pheromone Diffuser for Urine Marking||ThunderEase Cat Calming Diffuser||3.2|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kit for Cats
It is very common for cats to scratch and inappropriately mark when they are stressed. While cats aren’t particularly bothered by this behavior, their human companions often are. Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kit for Cats is designed to calm your cat by mimicking a cat’s natural soothing hormones. In a clinical environment, this product was proven to be 90% effective. For maximum effectiveness, this product should be used for at least one month. However, it is recommended that you continue to use the product if the stressful situation is still present. Results have been reported to appear in as little as one week. Because of how the hormone is designed, it can create an instant effect in many cats.
However, each cat can react to these hormones differently, and some might respond faster and better than others. While these hormones are by far the most effective on the market, some cats will not respond to them at all. For these cats, a different cat pheromone diffuser might be more effective. Because this product has the largest range of effectiveness though, we recommend that you start here.
This diffuser comes in three styles: colored, plastic, and white. You can also purchase either a single diffuser or 3 diffusers with six refills. If your cat only acts out in one location, you probably only need one diffuser. If your cat appears just to be acting out in general, it might be better to purchase the set of three and spread them around the house. Refills are extremely inexpensive at only $60 for a pack of six. That works out to approximately 10 dollars a month.
Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser Kits for Cats Key Features:
- Clinically proven to be 90% effective
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Covers 650 square feet
Our Runner Up Pick: Feliway Classic Starter Kit for Cats
The Feliway Classic Starter Kit for Cats is an effective drug-free solution to calm your cat’s stress-induced behavior. According to the manufacturer, this diffuser is ideal for treating inappropriate marking or stress caused by boarding, environmental changes, introducing a new cat, or temporary stressful situations such as fireworks and thunderstorms. Many customers reported that it was very effective at keeping their cat calm in those situations, with results appearing in as little as one week. Some customers said that the inappropriate behavior began tapering off at one week, but took a month or two to stop completely. However, others stated that results showed up within a matter of hours. Each cat is different, and some might react differently to this diffuser than others. Remember, diffusers work better the longer you use them!
Some customers did report that this diffuser was prone to melting and starting fires. However, the company has reported that they sovled this issue with their new line of diffusers. We recommend only buying this diffuser new to ensure that you’re getting the model with updated safety measures. Refills are $15 for one, $38 for three, or $83 for six.
Feliway Classic Starter Kit for Cats Key Features:
- Works in 90% of cats
- Results appear within seven days
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Best Budget Pick: Sentry Calming Diffuser
If your cat is acting up, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a pheromone diffuser, then the Sentry Calming Diffuser is the perfect choice for you. This cat pheromone diffuser features key pheromones that are designed to modify stress-induced behavior like inappropriate marking, excessive meowing, and scratching. Refills are extremely inexpensive at only $18 for one. The range is smaller than most of our other top picks at only 215 square feet. But, if your cat only acts out in one room or area, this should be more than enough to stop the behavior. This diffuser does have a light lavender scent, so if you’re sensitive to perfumes and other smells, you might want to buy one of our other top picks instead. Many customers reported that the smell was not extremely strong, but some who used the diffuser in smaller areas reported that the smell built-up over time.
Because of this diffuser’s short range, we recommend buying a couple of them to ensure that your whole house is covered. If you are set on only buying one or want to test the diffuser out before making a large investment, place this diffuser in a central location and be sure that you’re keep your doors open to help the scent spread to every room.
Sentry Calming Diffuser Key Features:
- Compatible with some other cat pheromone products
- Lasts 30 days
- Works within seven days
Best Multicat Pheromone Diffuser: ThunderEase Multicat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit
One of the number one causes of stressful behavior in cats is the introduction of other cats into the home. Because cats are often protective of their “territory,” introducing a cat into the home can cause the existing cat to become stressed as the new cat disrupts their territory. Plus, the new cat can feel off-balanced as well as they struggle to set up their territory and safe places. As both cats struggle to figure out where their territory ends and the other begins, inappropriate marking and scratching can develop. On top of this, some cats just never get along at all! Luckily, ThunderEase Multicat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit was designed to combat that exact problem.
Featuring a special formulation for multicat homes, this cat pheromone diffuser reaches up to 700 feet. If your cats only gather in a couple of rooms, you might only need one diffuser until things settle down. Many customers reported that their cats tended to get into fights where they were fed. If that describes your situation, placing a diffuser only in that area might be enough to calm things down. But, if your cats have a tendency to get into fights everywhere, you should probably buy multiple diffusers to place around the house. A 180 day supply of pheromones for one diffuser is around $58, so you should definitely keep refill cost in mind when choosing which product to purchase.
ThunderEase Multicat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit Key Features:
- Covers up to 700 feet
- Plug rotates
- Refills last 30 days
Best Cat Pheromone Diffuser for Urine Marking: ThunderEase Cat Calming Diffuser
Inappropriate urine marking is perhaps one of the most disrupting behaviors that cats exhibit when under stress. After all, while scratching might ruin furniture, urine marking ruins furniture AND smells. The ThunderEase Cat Calming Diffuser was designed to calm your cat so that troublesome behaviors such as urine marking taper out and eventually stop. Like other refills of this brand, a 180 day supply of pheromones is $60. This diffuser is particularly useful against spraying, which is more likely to be stress-induced than simple accidents outside the litter box. If you’ve ever noticed your cat spraying around your home, then this is the diffuser you need.
Like all our top picks, this diffuser mimics a cat’s natural facial hormones, which signal to your feline that the area is safe. When cats smell that the area has been marked safe, they are less likely to act aggressively or attempt to mark their territory. This diffuser covers a 700 square foot zone, which will cover multiple rooms in most houses. Of course, walls and doors will affect how and where the scent reaches certain areas, so be sure to place it in a central location where the scent can flow freely from room to room. One refill lasts approximately 30 days, though we recommend changing the refills slightly before they are supposed to run out to be sure that there is a constant pheromone present in your home. Suddenly stopping using the product can cause your cat to relapse into the old behavior, often to a greater extent than before!
ThunderEase Cat Calming Diffuser Key Features:
- 90% effective
- Covers 700 square feet
- Refill lasts 30 days
- Clinically tested
Who Should Buy a Cat Pheromone Diffuser
Witnessing your once well-behaved cat turn into an untrained, stressed feline can be extremely disheartening. All sorts of situations can make your usual calm, gentle cat exhibit stress-induced behaviors. Some of the most common stress-inducing situations include a change in housing, the introduction of a new family member, or moving the litter box. However, even slight situations that have almost nothing to do with your pet’s housing can cause stress-induced behaviors. Even your neighbor adopting a new cat or a new visitor coming over can cause your cat to begin displaying stress-induced behaviors.
Once your cat begins displaying these behaviors, it can be extremely useful to purchase one of these diffusers to help your cat relax. Because some of these stress-induced behaviors can also be caused by various underlying medical conditions, it is important to take your cat to the vet to rule out another possible cause. If no other cause is found, it is likely that one of these diffusers will offset the behavior and return your cat to normal.
Important Features to Consider
A pheromone diffuser for a cat should have a number of key features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a pheromone diffuser for your feline.
- Effectiveness. The usual effectiveness of a cat pheromone diffuser is around 90%. Diffusers that do not meet this requirement or have not been clinically tested are usually not worth buying. Instead, choose a diffuser that has been clinically proven to be effective, like one of those on our top five list.
- Range. The range of cat pheromone diffusers differs widely. Some are designed to cover your whole house, while others are only effective in a single room. If you only need a diffuser in one area, you could probably do with one that was only effective in a single room. But, if you need a calming effect for your whole house, you should purchase a diffuser with a longer range.
- Longevity. The longer a diffuser lasts, the less often you have to change it. If a diffuser runs out easily and quickly, there is a large chance that it will run out before you have a chance to change it. If this happens, your cat will often relapse and go back to their past stress-induced behavior. Sometimes, this behavior can be even worse than it originally was. To avoid this, choose a diffuser that lasts for at least 30 days and change it regularly.
- Odor. Some diffusers will have other scents mixed in, while others will be completely odorless. Choose an option that best fits your tastes and needs. If you want the scent of lavender around your home, choose one that has an added lavender scent. If you’re sensitive to perfumes and odors, choose one that is odorless.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cat pheromone diffuser and how does it work?
Cat pheromone diffuser diffuses a chemical into the air that mimics a cat’s pheromones. Which pheromones a diffuser uses can differ from brand to brand, but the most common two are facial hormones and nursing hormones. Cats use the hormones in their face to mark their territory as safe. When a cat smells this pheromone, it helps them relax because they assume that the area is safe for them to be in. Nursing hormones have a similar effect. Mother cats release hormones when they are nursing their kittens to calm them and prevent them from excessively meowing, which can draw predators. These hormones can still affect cats into their adulthood.
What is a cat pheromone?
A pheromone is a type of chemical that allows members of the same species to communicate with each other. All animals have pheromones, even humans, though smelling them is usually a subconscious act and is not directly perceived. Cats can leave their pheromones in certain places through a variety of means, such as rubbing a surface with their face or marking it with urine. By doing this, they can communicate with other cats without actually having to be there and leave reminders for themselves for later.
Can cat pheromones affect humans?
No. Pheromones only work within the same species. Since humans and cats are not the same species, their pheromones will not affect each other.
Do pheromones work on cats?
For a pheromone to work on a cat, it must be a pheromone that cats naturally make themselves. Only pheromones that a cat has evolved to react to will cause a reaction. The exact type of reaction is dependent on exactly what pheromone it is. Still, some cats do not respond to pheromones well or at all. It really depends on their personality and the reason they’re acting out in the first place. For example, cats who are marking because of an underlying medical problem, such as a UTI for instance, are not going to stop marking when a pheromone diffuser is introduced. Because of this, it is important to take your feline to the vet to ensure that there isn’t a medical reason for their behavior.
Furthermore, just because a cat is acting out because of anxiety or stress doesn’t mean that a pheromone diffuser will provide a 100% fix. For some, pheromone diffusers are miracle products, while others don’t notice much of a difference at all. You will see this represented in the customer reviews; some customers will give a product 5 stars because it absolutely solved their cat’s behaviors, but another customer will give a product 1 star because it didn’t work for their feline. When it comes to using cat pheromone diffusers, a little experimentation is necessary.