We all experience anxiety from time to time. Maybe nerves about an upcoming presentation at work are keeping you from sleeping or you’re worried about a big assignment at school. Though we all have our individual worries, we are united in the experience.
You may not think about it, but your cat experiences anxiety too. It’s normal for your cat to startle at a loud sound or unexpected movement, but some cats exhibit nervous behavior all the time. If your cat seems chronically stressed and there’s no obvious reason, don’t play it off as a personality quirk – start investigating to determine the underlying cause.
Cat anxiety is not a minor issue. It can affect your cat’s quality of life and may affect other things like his appetite and behavior. In this article, we’ll explore the subject of anxiety in cats to help you learn what you can do to help your cat reduce his stress.
What Is The Best Calming Collar for Cats?
- Sentry Calming Collar for Cats
- NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Cat Collar
- Calm Paws Calming Disc Cat Collar Attachment
- Calm Paws Calming Cat Collar
- Comfort Zone On-the-Go Calming Cat Collar
- ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for Cats
- Feliway 30-Day Started Kit Plug-In Diffuser
- Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Pet Supplement
- Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Calming Spray
- Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Cat Chews
- Comfort Zone 2X Pheromone Formula Calming
- VetriScience Composure Behavioral Health
What Causes Cat Anxiety?
Your cat may seem a little aloof, like he isn’t bothered by anything, but the truth is cats can suffer from anxiety just as much as people. An unexpected change in routine or alterations to the cat’s typical environment can cause stress and anxiety.
The causes of anxiety may vary from one cat to another. Some cats are more high-strung than others. Some cats are perfectly fine most of the time but may become stressed with unfamiliar circumstances like 4th of July fireworks or an extended visit from out-of-town guests. For other cats, anxiety is a daily experience and there may not be an obvious cause.
Here are some of the signs of anxiety in cats:
- Hiding or withdrawal
- Separation anxiety
- Refusing to eat
- Urinating/defecating outside the litter box
- Becoming less active
- Excessive vocalization
- Repetitive behaviors
Tips for How to Calm a Nervous Cat
If you think your cat is suffering from anxiety, you should take the time to figure out what’s causing it. Watch your cat for the symptoms listed previously and see if you can make any connections. For example, if you come home from work to find a pair of your shoes shredded in the hallway, the destructive behavior could be a sign of separation anxiety. Think about any recent changes to your cat’s environment or routine and talk to your vet to rule out underlying conditions.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your cat’s stress level:
- Consider a Thundershirt. This is a cat-sized compression vest that mimics the calming pressure of swaddling a baby.
- Try a cat calming collar. Calming collars for cats are infused with pheromones that mimic the ones produced by mother cats to calm and soothe their kittens.
- Use pheromone spray or diffusers. Cat pheromone spray is a good alternative to a cat pheromone collar for cats that don’t respond well to wearing things.
- Offer calming food and treats. Look for special treats or food that contain ingredients like alpha-casozepine which are shown to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety in pets.
- Play with your cat. Having positive interactions with your cat makes him feel more secure, so make time to play on a daily basis. Play in different areas so your cat gets comfortable at home.
- Stick to a routine. If your cat becomes stressed about changes to his environment, try to stick to a predictable daily routine for feeding and playtimes.
- Provide plenty of exercise. In addition to playing with your cat every day, make sure he has other opportunities for exercise like a cat tree and an assortment of toys.
- Improve the litter box experience. If your cat is urinating or defecating outside the litter box, improving the litter box experience may help. Add another box to the house and try switching to a finer litter that will be gentle on his paws – you should scoop at least once a day as well.
Now that you have a better understanding of what’s causing your cat’s stress and what you can do about it, it’s time to take action. Read on to learn more about calming collars for cats and to see our top picks for the best options on the market as well as some alternatives to consider.
The 5 Best Calming Collar for Cats
When shopping for a calming cat collar, there are a number of factors to consider. First and foremost, think of your cat’s safety. The collar needs to be made from non-toxic materials and adjustable to comfortably fit your cat’s neck. Avoid anything that contains ingredients harmful to cats and make sure the product is safe for your cat’s size and age.
Here are our top picks for the best cat calming collar:
|Our 2020 Picks: Best Cat Calming Collar|
|Sentry Calming Collar for Cats
|NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Cat Collar
|Calm Paws Calming Disc Cat Collar Attachment
|Calm Paws Calming Cat Collar
|Comfort Zone On-the-Go Calming Cat Collar
|ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for Cats
|Feliway 30-Day Started Kit Plug-In Diffuser
|Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Pet Supplement
|Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Calming Spray
|Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Cat Chews
|Comfort Zone 2X Pheromone Formula
|VetriScience Composure Behavioral Health
Easily one of the most popular cat calming collars on the market, the Sentry Calming Collar for Cats is affordable and practical. Available to purchase singly or in a package of three, this collar fits necks up to 15 inches and lasts for a full 30 days. This calming collar uses pheromone technology to reduce stress behaviors including inappropriate marking, excessive meowing, scratching, and destruction. It has a soothing lavender chamomile fragrance and is safe for cats of all breeds and ages.
Pros: Mimics pheromones that calm cats, works for up to 30 days, soothing chamomile fragrance
Cons: Some cats dislike the fragrances, not a breakaway collar
Approved for cats and kittens to modify stress-related behavior, this NurtureCALM 24/7 Pheromone Cat Collar features sustained release pheromones. This collar works for up to 30 days to reduce anxiety and stress, soothing separation anxiety and more. It offers natural calming effects and has a natural, mobile design that fits cats and kittens with necks up to 15 inches.
Pros: Sustained release pheromones, reduce stress-related behavior, safe for cats and kittens
Cons: May not work for all cats, some found it uncomfortable
If you’d prefer not to change your cat’s collar, he can still enjoy the benefits of a cat pheromone collar with this Calm Paws Calming Disc Cat Collar Attachment. This attachment slides onto your cat’s regular collar to deliver up to 21 days of continuous aromatherapy for behavior support. The patented design modifies stress-related behaviors like inappropriate urination and meowing, all with the use of natural essential oils. This product is safe for daily use and even comes with a glow-in-the-dark design.
Pros: Essential oils for aromatherapy behavioral support, slides onto regular collar, lasts up to 21 days
Cons: May be too large for some cats, some cats disliked the scent
Deliver up to 30-days of calming behavior support with this Calm Paws Calming Cat Collar. This calming cat collar is ideal for smaller cats with up to 11-inch necks and it features natural essential oils. Using a premium blend of essential oils, this collar supplies 30-days of consistent aromatherapy to reduce stress-related behaviors like marking and meowing. It’s perfect for everyday use and priced under $20.
Pros: Provides up to 30 days of behavior support, made with natural essential oils, calming scent
Cons: May not fit larger cats (only up to 11-inch neck size)
Whether you’re looking for a short-term solution for a stressful event or long-term protection, this Comfort Zone On-the-Go Calming Cat Collar is a great option. This calming cat collar releases a continuous supply of pheromones to calm your cat, lasting up to 30 days per collar. It has a breakaway safety feature ideal for both indoor and outdoor cats, and it comes in a one-size-fits-all design.
Pros: Continuous pheromone release for 30 days, breakaway safety feature
Cons: Some cats may break out of it too easily
7 Other Calming Aids for Cats
Even the best calming collar for cats may not be the right option for you cat. If you’re looking for other solutions to reduce your cat’s anxiety, here are some choices to consider:
Calm your cat gently and naturally with this soft, fabric vest. The ThunderShirt is designed to apply gentle but constant pressure to relieve anxiety and overexcitement. It works well for fireworks, travel, and even everyday use and is proven effective in over 80% of cats.
Ease your cat’s anxiety with a 30-day supply of soothing pheromones. This Feliway starter kit features a plug-in diffuser that lasts for up to 30 days and covers an area up to 700 square feet. This veterinarian-recommended solution is clinically proven to show results within the first week and it is a simple solution to stress and anxiety for your cat.
Give your cat a dose of calm with this stress relieve supplement. Made from a combination of five herbal remedies, this liquid supplement helps your cat feel less stressed. The homeopathic, non-habit forming solution can be administered right into your cat’s water bowl using the included dropper.
This cat calming spray promotes relaxation and helps reduce hyperactivity in stressful situations. The non-sedating formula is safe for cats and it is concentrated for long-lasting benefit. Simply spray it in the areas where your cat spends most of his time to relieve stress and anxiety.
When your cat starts to feel anxious, give him a boost with these calming cat chews. These chews feature three main ingredients that work together to induce calmness without sedation and without changing your cat’s personality. They help manage daily stress and can be used for everything from visits to the vet or long-term changes to your cat’s environment.
Turn your home into a calming oasis for your cat with this Comfort Zone 2X Pheromone Formula Calming Diffuser Kit. The kit comes with a plug-in diffuser that lasts for 12 months, designed to be used with 30-day refills of the pheromones themselves. It contains twice the pheromone content of other options on the market and the kit is convenient and affordably priced.
Help your cat manage everyday stress with these chews from VetriScience. These bite-sized treats contain C3 Calming Complex, l-theanine, and thiamine to ease nervousness. The treats start working in 20 to 30 minutes and have a delicious chicken liver flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do cat calming collars really work? A calming cat collar is also known as a cat pheromone collar because that’s what they use. These collars are infused with pheromones that mimic the ones produced by mother cats to calm and soothe their kittens. These collars can be used to address temporary stress from things like a car ride or thunderstorm, or they can be worn continuously for long-lasting stress relief.
- How long do calming cat collars last? Most calming cat collars last for about 30 days. The collar is designed to continuously release pheromones for several weeks at a time. Whether your cat responds to the collar is not something you can predict, however – some cats respond well to them and some cats simply don’t.
- Should I consider anti-anxiety drugs for my cat? Before your veterinarian prescriptions anti-anxiety medications, he’ll want to ascertain that your cat’s symptoms aren’t caused by an underlying health problem. Once your cat has been diagnosed with anxiety, your vet may recommend short-term medications like Xanax or Ativan. For long-term anxiety, such as separation anxiety, Fluoxetine, Clomipramine, or Amitryptyline may be better options.
- Are there any herbal methods to relieve stress in cats? If you’re looking for a natural method of anxiety relief for your cat, there are a few herbs shown to have a calming effect. Chamomile flowers help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Catnip is another option. In many cats it awakens a hyperactive response but once your cat works off the burst of energy, he’ll be worn out enough to settle down.
Stress is a fact of life but it’s definitely not good for you to feel stressed all the time. If your cat tends to spend his days hiding behind the couch or only comes out at night, it may be more than just part of his personality – it could be a sign of anxiety or chronic stress.
Talk to your vet about your concerns and watch for other signs of anxiety. If you’re looking for a simple method to help relieve your cat’s anxiety, consider one of the best cat calming collars reviewed above.