Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Why a cat-calming diffuser is what your anxious kitty needs

If your cat is stressed, having disagreements with another pet in the house, or otherwise just not coping well, cat pheromones could help reassure and comfort him. Pheromones are available in many forms, but choosing a cat-calming diffuser makes it incredibly easy to ensure that they’re constantly supplied to your cat for the best results. Pheromones add another layer of comfort to your home, complementing any efforts you’ve already taken to reassure your cat and minimize his stress. If you haven’t yet bought a cat-calming diffuser, it might be time to make the purchase to help your cat.

Orange cat sleeping on a couch

What are cat pheromones?

To understand how a calming diffuser works, you need to understand what cat pheromones are. Pheromones are scent hormones that send messages to cats to comfort and calm them. (Dog pheromones work in the same way, but dog pheromones won’t work for cats, and vice versa.) As pheromones are emitted, cats may feel comfort similar to what they felt when they were kittens and were cared for by their mother.

Pheromones help reassure cats, and that can be helpful in many situations. If your cat is stressed by the addition of a new family member or pet, has recently had to move to a new home, or is experiencing anxiety for another reason, adding pheromones to the home can make it a more reassuring environment for your cat.

Pheromones are delivered in multiple forms, including collars, wet wipes, and sprays. Some popular options include the Feliway spray or diffuser and the Relaxivet diffuser. While any pheromone delivery form can be effective, diffusers offer specific advantages over some of the other methods.

How does a cat-calming diffuser work?

Cat-calming diffusers contain synthetic ingredients that replicate the pheromones that cats naturally release. While a spray or a wipe will last only so long, diffusers gradually release pheromones, so your cat continuously benefits from them. This can help make your home a more calming place for your cat. It also means that you don’t have to add “use or release pheromones” to your daily to-do list, so you save time, which you can spend with your cat in some quality bonding. It also means you won’t forget to use the pheromones, much to your cat’s benefit.

Diffusers plug into a traditional outlet and use electricity to heat up. The liquid they contain then evaporates, gradually releasing pheromones into the air. You won’t smell the pheromones, but your cat will receive the soothing, reassuring messages they release.

Relaxed cat sleeping on its back on a couch

How to use a cat-calming diffuser

  • To get the maximum benefits from a diffuser, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Typically, a diffuser is recommended for up to a certain square footage. A large home may benefit from multiple diffusers, but strategically locating them is also important.
  • You’ll need to place the diffuser wherever your cat spends lots of time. If your cat is displaying unwanted behaviors in certain areas of the house, like scratching furniture or marking walls, then it’s a good idea to place a diffuser in those areas.
  • After installing your diffuser, you’ll need to monitor it to see when it needs to be refilled. Most diffusers are available with refill packs, saving you the expense of repeatedly buying new diffusers. Stock up on a few refills ahead of time so you have pheromones when Kitty needs them. You might also set calendar reminders based on your diffuser’s typical usage.

Calming diffusers can help support your cat through stressful situations, and they’re particularly helpful in multi-cat homes where your pets are feeling out of sorts. While pheromones can help comfort and reassure cats, they won’t fully resolve every issue or stress that your cat feels. They’re a supportive aid that’s best paired with other steps, like gradually introducing new cats to the home, giving your cat a place to retreat to where he feels secure and safe, and making an effort to minimize your cat’s stress when possible. However, diffusers are one more way you can make your home environment ideal for your cat.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
When do kittens start eating food? Know the facts for your fur baby’s health
Consider this your guide to weaning kittens from milk or formula to solids
a white kitten with blue eyes in a cat tree

By the time you usually bring home a brand-new kitten at eight to nine weeks old, they’ve already gone through a significant transition: being weaned from milk to solid foods. However, you may find yourself in the trenches of new kitten parenthood at an even earlier stage. If you are fostering a kitten or have found a newborn, you have likely been bottle-feeding them milk or watching their mother nurse.
In these cases, you may wonder, “When do kittens start eating food?” Weaning is usually a natural process, particularly if the Mom is involved. If you’re bottle-feeding, the process may be a bit trickier, and you may have to help lead it. Regardless of your situation, understanding what to expect can help you know when to have kibble and water on hand as a kitten gets ready to wean. Consider this your guide.

When do kittens start eating food and drinking water?
The weaning process involves going from the mother’s milk to kibble and water, which is what a kitten will eat and drink in some form for the rest of their life. If the mother cat is around, she’ll know when the time is right to start weaning, and it’s best not to interfere.
Generally, kittens will start to be ready to take small tastes of solid foods and water at around three to four weeks. The food and water are complimentary at this young age, so don’t worry too much if they play with it more than they eat it. They’re still getting most of their nutrition from Mom or a formula in a bottle.

Read more
When do kittens’ eyes change colors? The answer is so cool – here’s what to know
What color will your kittens' eyes be? The answer and timeline vary
White cat with blue eyes on a couch

Cats are unique, but they all have at least one trait in common. Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They start opening them at different times, usually from 2 to 10 days after birth. By 2 weeks old, a kitten’s eyes should be completely open.
When kittens open their eyes, they can start paring visual information with all the sounds, touches, and smells they’ve been experiencing. When you bring your young kitten home at around 8 or 9 weeks, they'll be ready to explore and stare deep into your eyes. Kittens' vision will still develop over the next couple of months, as will something else: eye color.
As you gaze back at your kitten, you might notice changes. When do kittens’ eyes change color, and is there ever a cause for concern? Here’s what vets have to say.

How long do kittens have blue eyes? What are the most common eye colors, and when will I see the changes?
Kittens are born with blue eyes, which is apparent when they open them. They may still be blue when you bring them home at 8 weeks old, but chances are they’ve already begun to transform into their adult color. A kitten’s eyes start to change between 3 and 8 weeks old. Common colors you may spot in your kitty’s eyes include:

Read more
Your cat trilling is actually a good thing – here’s why
This cat behavior explained
Alert cat looking into the camera with wide eyes

When you share your life with cats, you'll hear them make all sorts of different noises. Meowing, purring, and even hissing or growling are all sounds that your cat uses to communicate. But there's another noise that your cat may use and reserve for special occasions and special people. Have you heard your cat trilling? And have you wondered just what this distinct sound means?

The trill is a less common vocalization, but if your cat trills at you, you're a lucky person. Why do cats trill? This is how to recognize cat trilling — and why it's such a good sign.

Read more