Cats can benefit from calming aids for a variety of reasons. If you have a cat that is particularly nervous, overly energetic, stressed, or frightened from external factors such as thunderstorms, then using a calming aid for your cat can be helpful.
Natural calming aids are particularly recommended, as they are safer for long-term use and rarely have any serious side effects. One of the most popular forms of calming aid for cats is cannabis or hemp seed oils and products. Many cat owners notice a significant improvement in their cat’s general well-being after using natural calming products, or products such as collars and diffusers.
We have researched the benefits and safety of different calming aids for cats and put together this article of our favorite products recommended by both cat lovers and feline veterinarians alike.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||VetriScience Labs Calming Cat Chews||
|Best Value||Feliway Calming Cat Diffuser||
|Premium Choice||Comfort Zone Pheromone Cat Collar||
|Bach Rescue Remlinkedy Calming Cat Drops||
|ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel||
The 7 Best Calming Aids for Cats
1. VetriScience Laboratories Composure Calming Cat Chews – Best Overall
|Best for||Behavior issues, nervousness, restlessness|
|Main active ingredient||Colostrum, L-Theatine, Thiamine|
The best overall product is Composure, a veterinarian formulated calming aid for cats that have been approved by the veterinary review board to support and treat a wide range of behavioral issues in cats. These behavioral issues can vary from cats who are nervous, restless or cats who are overly excited and boisterous. The ingredients are primarily natural and safe for long-term use. Colostrum, L-Theatine, and Thiamine have been included in the formula to ease your cat’s symptoms without changing its personality. This bite-sized cat chew begins to work within 20 to 30 minutes and lasts for 4 hours. The dosage can be safely doubled or tripled to achieve the desired result in your cats’ symptoms.
Composure has an enticing chicken liver flavor that most cats will eagerly eat. The bioactive proteins work together to improve your cat’s cognitive function to induce a relaxed behavior during stressful situations. L-Theanine is a naturally sourced ingredient found in green tea and it helps the body produce calming amino acids and dopamine to manage your cat’s stress levels.
- Natural ingredients
- Dosage can be safely doubled for best results
- Works within 20-30 minutes
- Veterinary approved
- Expensive for value
2. Feliway Classic Calming Diffuser – Best Value
|Best for||Stress, urine spraying, scratching, unease|
|Main active ingredient||Natural nursing pheromones|
Feliway Classic is a veterinarian-recommended solution for cats who are experiencing prolonged behavioral issues from new environments or challenging situations to curb stress-related behaviors in cats. This best value product features a drug-free solution that mimics cats’ natural pheromones, which are chemical substances that send a “feel good, feel safe” message to your cat, helping to put them at ease and reduce their stress-related issues. It is effective in calming cats who have problems with urine spraying or stress-related disorders that cause the cat to scratch or experience strange outbursts. This calming diffuser for cats covers up to 700 square feet and should be plugged into a room where your cat spends most of its time, but avoid placing this diffuser behind curtains, shelves, and other furniture.
This diffuser is refillable, and refills can be purchased separately from the same manufacturer. One refill can last for 30 days which is standard in comparison to other feline pheromone diffusers. The pheromones released from this diffuser should not affect humans if that is something you worry about.
- Drug-free solution
- Lasts for 4 weeks
- Uses pheromones
- Includes one refill
- The diffuser itself must be replaced every 6 months
3. Comfort Zone Calming Pheromone Collar for Cats – Premium Choice
|Best for||Stress, nervousness, unease, unwanted behaviors|
|Main active ingredient||Pheromones|
The comfort zone pheromone collar is effective at reducing stress-related problems and behaviors in cats within 1 to 2 weeks of constant wear. This calming aid can be used on both indoor and outdoor cats; however, outdoor cats may lose the collar if they are particularly adventurous. The collar has a breakaway design for your cat’s safety in case they get caught on an item, but the overall design is not the strongest and can easily be chewed or broken by your cat. Calming cat pheromones are continuously released from the collar as your cat wears it. The pheromones mimic familiar pheromones that a cat would experience in a safe place.
This collar can be used as a calming aid while you are traveling with your cat, moving houses, or if your cat has been showing signs of stress and nervousness. The collar should be always worn and replaced every 30 days to ensure that it remains effective. If your cat does happen to lose the collar, then it should be replaced promptly to ensure the pheromones are still viable to control your cat.
- Can be used during traveling
- Lasts for 30 days
- Drug-free formula
- Calms stressed cats
- Collars can break or fall off
- For cats older than 6 months
4. Bach Rescue Remlinkedy Calming Cat Drops
|Type||Homeopathic pet dropper|
|Best for||Stress, thunder, fireworks, nervousness|
|Main active ingredient||Helianthemum nummularium|
This is a pet-safe rescue remedy formula to relieve cats of stress, anxiousness, and restlessness. It features Dr. Bach’s blend of natural flower essences that are vegan, plant-based, natural, and free from artificial flavors, colors, gluten, and major allergens. Four drops should be given orally or added to your cat’s food or water. It can be used in conjunction with other calming aids, such as diffusers or collars which is beneficial if you have a cat who displays unwanted behaviors such as urine spraying due to stress.
Bach’s rescue remedy is easy to use, but due to its natural properties, it may take longer to work than other competitive products that are typically fast acting. If you are looking for a natural remedy for mild symptoms of stress and nervousness in your cat, then this may be a good product for you to try.
- Homeopathic remedy
- Free from artificial flavors, colors
- Non-habit-forming formula
- Can be used with other calming aids
- Cats may not like the taste
5. ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel
|Best for||Situational anxiety (vet visits, traveling, car rides)|
|Main active ingredient||Oat and chamomile-extract|
A new form of calming aid for cats is a form of a gel that can be placed on their paws. The cat will then clean themselves and rub the gel around themselves to reap the stress-reducing benefits of oat and chamomile extract. It can help reduce your cat’s anxiety during travels, vet visits, environmental changes, thunderstorms, and fireworks. All you must do is apply one inch of the calming paw gel to the top of your cats’ paws. Furthermore, this product is veterinary recommended to manage your cat’s stress and situational anxiety.
A downside to using a paw gel is that your cat may try to lick and mess the gel around the house and potentially get it out of furniture. It has a salmon flavor, which can cause your cat to smell if they regularly rub this gel around their fur. However, it is effective as a calming aid for both kittens and adult cats.
- Veterinary recommended
- For stress and situational anxiety
- Naturally sourced ingredients
- Smelly and messy
6. Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Behavioral Support for Cats
|Best for||Everyday stress and anxiety|
|Main active ingredient||Thiamine, colostrum, L-Theanine|
This calming aid for cats has been specifically formulated to help your cat manage emotional stress and behavioral issues naturally. You can give this product to your cat daily, or only when needed. If your cat is particularly stressed and uneasy, you can double the dose till you notice a change in your cat’s behavior, when they seem calmer and more relaxed. These soft chews have a natural chicken flavor that most cats will willingly eat. The bottle contains 160 chews which means that this product will last quite a long time before you must buy more. It has been recommended by veterinarians for cats who get stressed during car rides, suffer from separation issues, storm stress, or during fireworks.
The natural ingredients and vitamin B sources work within minutes to calm your cat down without sedating them or causing them to be drowsy, however, it will still work to keep your cat calm enough to sleep if they are having issues sleeping due to environmental or emotional issues.
- No harmful side effects
- Safe to double or triple dosage
- Clinically shown to work within 30 minutes
- Only lasts for 4 hours
- May cause flatulence
7. Nature’s Miracle Calming Cat Spray
|Best for||Hyperactivity, stress, anxiety|
|Main active ingredient||Herbal extracts|
This calming cat spray has been formulated to reduce cats who have hyperactivity, seem anxious and uneasy, or during stressful situations. The formula is non-sedating, and it is long-lasting. The main active ingredients that are used to reduce your cats’ symptoms, which include both herbal and flower extracts. This product is sprayed on your cat’s fur and once they smell it, the soothing scents help to instantly reduce your cat’s stress and anxiety symptoms. It is a good way to soothe your cat without using a sedating medication. It is easy to apply but can cause their fur to become sticky and there is a potential that they will rub the spray along your furniture.
- Easy application
- Works instantly
- Natural product
- Safe for all pets and children
- Can cause the fur to become sticky
- It may be rubbed on furniture
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Calming Aid for Cats
When should calming aids be used for cats?
Calming aids for cats should be used for the following reasons:
- Feeling threatened
- Separation anxiety
- Urine spraying
- Excessive licking
- Excessive scratching
- Vet visits
- Multi-cat households
- Natural disasters
- Strange pets on the property
What do calming aids have to offer your cat?
Calming aids are exceptionally beneficial to help your cat relax and find a calm state of mind. It can help to reduce your cat’s anxiety and stress or even help to control your cat’s unwanted behaviors caused by these factors. Most calming aids will help control your cat during an emotional, situation, behavioral, and environmental stressful situations, typically without sedating them.
The use of calming aids on cats has significant support on your cat’s cognitive function and cardiovascular health to promote a state of relaxation and emotional control.
Types of calming aids for cats
This is the most popular and commonly used form of calming aid for cats. The chew or oil will contain certain ingredients that reduce your cat’s stress and anxiety after the product has been digested. Oral chews will typically work within 20 to 30 minutes and last between 4 to 6 hours. Most oral chews have naturally sourced ingredients, and the manufacturer will claim that the product can be double or triple dosed to see the desired results in your cat. Oils can be placed in your cat’s water or food, or even be directly placed on your cat’s tongue via the dropper.
Pheromones are naturally produced by cats and the calming aids based on synthetic cat pheromones are undetectable to humans. The pheromones are released from these products near your cat for an effective reduction in your cat’s stress and anxiety levels. The most common products that release pheromones are collars and diffusers. Diffusers with pheromones should be placed near your cat for a prolonged period before any differences in their behavior can be seen. The most common pheromone used to relax your cat is one produced from a nursing mother cat which your cat will associate with a feeling of comfort and familiarity.
- Recommended: Feliway Classic Calming Diffuser
Calming aid for topical application usually come in two main forms: sprays and gels.
Sprays for topical application are based on aromatherapy and the scent given off will start to work immediately to relax your cat.
Other products are rubbed on your cat’s paw. So they do not work topically but rather orally after your cat ingests the gel by licking it off its paw.
- Recommended: ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel
Factors to consider before purchasing a calming aid for your cat
- Your cat’s age, as some products are not suitable for kittens or cats suffering from certain conditions.
- The product should not contain an ingredient that your cat is allergic to.
- The type of product you choose should be ideal for your cats’ situation.
- The calming aid should be used according to the dosage recommendations and not overused as your cat may soon become intolerant to the product.
- The price should meet your budget, especially if you plan to regularly purchase and use the product.
- Check if the product is sedating, as this may not be ideal in certain instances.
- The product should contain no harmful ingredients or have serious side effects.
- If you notice that your cat has rashes, abnormal excessive itching, wheezing, or altered behaviors, you should take them to a veterinarian as they may be experiencing an allergic reaction to the product
- Avoid using diffusers if your cat does not stay in one room for hours at a time, as this reduces the effectiveness of the product.
- Do not leave a cat wearing a calming collar unattended, as there is the risk that the collar could get stuck on an item such as a tree branch and harm your cat.
- In some cases, calming aids may not work for your cat and you may need to get a prescription from a veterinarian for a strong and sedating product if the situation is necessary.
Out of all the calming aids for cats suffering from stress and anxiety that we reviewed, we have two top picks. Our most recommended product for oral use is the Vetriscience laboratories composure formula as it is effective, fast-acting, and convenient for struggling cats. Our second recommended product is pheromone-based, the Comfort Zone calming pheromone collar because it is long-lasting, easy to use, and has noticeable effects on your cat’s well-being over time.
Overall, each product offers your cat a unique benefit that may suit your cat’s needs and situation better. So, it is best to check through each product and understand how it works to make an informed purchase.
Featured Image Credit: Nikola Cedikova, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
- The 7 Best Calming Aids for Cats
- 1. VetriScience Laboratories Composure Calming Cat Chews – Best Overall
- 2. Feliway Classic Calming Diffuser – Best Value
- 3. Comfort Zone Calming Pheromone Collar for Cats – Premium Choice
- 4. Bach Rescue Remlinkedy Calming Cat Drops
- 5. ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel
- 6. Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Behavioral Support for Cats
- 7. Nature’s Miracle Calming Cat Spray
- Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Calming Aid for Cats
- What do calming aids have to offer your cat?
- Types of calming aids for cats