Which calming collar for cats is best?
Although most domestic cats are easy enough to get along with, some cats are prone to stress or anxiety. When a cat’s stressed out, they may start to behave in ways that disrupt the home environment. An anxious cat may cry at inopportune hours, scratch at furniture or even urinate outside the litter box. If you have an anxious cat and are looking for a premium collar designed to provide 24-hour calm and relief, consider the Comfort Zone 2 Pack Cat Calming Pheromone Collar.
What to know before you buy a calming collar for cats
Cats are highly sensitive creatures, but some cats are especially particular about changes in their environment. Even something as simple as rearranging the furniture could trigger a stressful reaction in your cat.
Because of this, if you have an anxious cat, it’s important to try to figure out what’s causing them stress. The first thing you can do is try to view things the way they would. At the root of things, cats are creatures of habit. A tiny change for a human could be a major change for them.
Some common stress triggers in cats include:
- weather changes
- loud outdoor sounds
- sight of other cats
- dietary changes
- moved furniture
- strangers in the home
- confinement to a specific room
Anxious cats tend to adjust very slowly to new things. So, if you need to make changes at home, try to do so as slowly as possible. If this isn’t feasible, then introducing a calming collar for your cat or other pheromone diffusers around the home could help.
Every cat is different, so the way one cat behaves or reacts to certain stress triggers may be different from the way another cat behaves. For many anxious cats, their stress response could be any of the following:
- Refusal to eat
- Larger than normal eyes and the appearance of being on edge
- Extra alertness as if they’re about to pounce or run at any moment
- Urination or defecation outside the litter box
- Aggression toward other cats or members of the household
- Pica (attempt to consume nonedible items like plastic)
- Frequent hiding
- Lack of grooming
- Lethargy or disinterest in the usual activities
The cat may also exhibit physical or health-related signs of stress, such as a urinary tract infection or dull coat. If your cat is becoming more anxious and you can’t find a way to fix it yourself, consult a veterinarian.
Calming methods and cat collars
There are several ways to help calm an anxious or stressed-out cat. If the situation is severe, you may need to make use of multiple calming aids or even vet-prescribed medication.
Before resorting to this, see what you can do to make the environment more cat-friendly. For instance, if you have multiple cats, set up separate food, water and litter box stations for each one. Place these things throughout the home so your anxious cat doesn’t try to hoard or guard their resources. If your cat is an indoor cat, make use of vertical space by adding a couple of cat towers or shelves they can climb or perch on.
Next, look for at-home calming solutions like a pheromone diffuser. These diffusers emit a pheromone similar to the feline facial pheromone that helps lower anxiety in cats. Calming diffusers are a great alternative to cat collars, especially for felines who get more stressed out due to having an object around their neck. Depending on the square footage of your home, you may need multiple diffusers.
Calming collars for cats operate similarly to diffusers since they have built-in pheromones that reduce stress. These pheromones are similar to the ones a mother cat emits to soothe her kittens. Some calming collars work great with certain cats, while others have no noticeable effects.
Combine various calming solutions and strategies and you may just see a positive effect on your cat.
What to look for in a quality calming collar for cats
The size of the collar should fit comfortably around your cat’s neck. If it’s too loose, it may fall off. If it’s too tight, it could cause the cat discomfort or even lead to choking.
You should be able to fit between one and two fingers between the collar and your cat’s neck when it’s on. At the same time, you should be able to easily turn the collar while the cat is wearing it. If possible, use a soft tape measurer to measure the circumference of your cat’s neck to make sure you get the right size.
Some cat calming collars are adjustable or one-size-fits-all. Even these collars may have a maximum and minimum size though, so keep this in mind.
Calming solution types
Most calming cat collars use pheromones that work on both adult cats and kittens to reduce anxiety. Some calming collars use essential oils though. The problem with this is that many essential oils are toxic to cats.
Lavender, for instance, is safe for cats if it is heavily diffused or used as a lavender plug-in. On the other hand, chamomile essential oil can cause health problems in cats. If you plan to use essential oils to reduce anxiety in your cat, consult a veterinarian first to make sure they’re safe.
Most calming products, including calming collars and plug-in diffusers, will last around 30 days before needing to be replaced. If your cat is particularly anxious, get a few backup products so you always have enough to combat the stress triggers.
Calming collars for cats have different opening and closing mechanisms. Collars with breakaway mechanisms are safer than others because they can easily open or close with the press of a latch or button. If your cat is wearing a collar of any sort, a breakaway mechanism is a good way to make sure there’s minimal risk of strangulation.
Other calming collars are designed to simply slip over the cat’s head. While this may be convenient, these types of collars are more prone to coming off.
If you get a calming collar for your cat that is too large, cut off the extra length. That way, the collar will be the right size and your cat won’t be able to chew on it.
Depending on the clasp and the way it holds together, it could be hazardous to the cat’s safety. For instance, some collars have loose bits and easily get caught on things, which could hurt the cat. Other collars may get caught on the cat’s lower jaw, which could also be dangerous. Always test the opening mechanism to make sure it’s safe.
How much you can expect to spend on a calming collar for cats
Most cat calming collars cost between $5-$30, depending on the type and whether the pack contains multiple collars.
Calming collar for cats FAQ
What are some alternatives to calming collars for cats?
A. If you don’t want to use a collar, consider getting a plug-in diffuser (Feliway has some good options) or even a calming vest. There are also calming cat chews that have ingredients that reduce anxiety like L-theanine and Thiamine.
How long does a cat calming collar take to work?
A. This depends on the brand and type of calming collar. Some calming collars for cats start working in a few hours, while others may take several days or even a couple of weeks.
What’s the best calming collar for cats to buy?
Top calming collar for cats
What you need to know: This pair of calming collars for cats releases pheromones 24 hours a day to help reduce stress and anxiety.
What you’ll love: These one-size-fits-all calming collars are drug-free and nontoxic for cats. They have a breakaway design that prevents strangulation, making them safe for both indoor and outdoor cats. They also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as inappropriate urination and scratching.
What you should consider: The calming collar is not compatible with calming diffusers. It may also catch on the cat’s lower jaw when you initially put it on.
Top calming collar for cats for the money
What you need to know: This pheromone calming collar lasts 30 days and fits cats with a neck size up to 15 inches.
What you’ll love: The collar can help reduce unwanted behaviors such as scratching, yowling and marking. It can also help your cat remain calm in potentially stressful situations or when exposed to loud noises like thunderstorms. It comes in a one-pack and a three-pack option.
What you should consider: The collar contains chamomile and lavender fragrances as well as a calming pheromone. These ingredients are generally considered safe in low quantities, but there may be safer alternatives.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This three-pack of calming collars for cats uses essential oils and calming pheromones for up to 30 days of stress relief.
What you’ll love: Adjustable to accommodate cats with a neck up to 15 inches around, these calming collars help reduce anxiety and relieve tension in felines. They are also water resistant, making them ideal for outdoor cats.
What you should consider: The essential oils may cause an allergic reaction in some cats.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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