A Cat Collar That’s Calming: Does it Work?

Black cat in a calming collar sitting behind a door

It’s upsetting to see our pets anxious and distressed.

As owners, we want them to be happy and to feel safe and secure in their environment. 

There are a few products on the market that are designed to reduce anxiety in felines and one is a cat collar that’s calming for distressed pets.

Himalayan cat in a blue collar about to receive a treat

Calming collars are regular cat collars that release a scent or pheromone to reduce problem behavior. The scent could be a simple plant extract like Valerian or lavender or it could be a pheromone collar for cats. 

Pheromones are chemical markers that cats use to feel secure in an environment.

You’ll have seen this with your own cat when it rubs its cheeks and head against objects and people. It’s marking these things as safe. Synthetic pheromones were developed to mimic this process to help calm agitated or distressed pets.

You might decide to buy a calming collar if your cat is exhibiting anxious or problematic behavior such as excessive meowing, spraying, going to the toilet outside the little box, scratching at furniture or acting nervous or fearful.

Pheromones aren’t just available in collars.

Feliway and Comfort Zone sell a plug-in diffuser which can be used in the home.  They also have a spray which is useful if you’re traveling with your catThese are better options if your cat doesn’t like collars or if you think collars are dangerous.

You can also buy Rescue Remedy for pets which is a plant-based tincture if you’d prefer a more holistic approach.

Do Calming Collars Work on Cats?

Calming products seem to work very well for some cats but not for others.

We know it’s a frustrating answer but it’s one that’s reflected both in the scientific research that’s been done and in reviews on Amazon.

Some owners report massive changes in their cat’s behavior but others say that nothing changed.

It’s probably worth a shot though, right?

Are Calming Collars Safe for Cats?

Pheromones aren’t dangerous to cats but wearing a collar can be.

If a cat’s collar snags on a branch or on something sharp, then it can be difficult for the cat to release itself.  It could choke to death. It’s a terrible image to put into your head but it has happened.  Collars have also been known to cause neck injuries and to aggravate the skin and fur around the neck.  

Of course, many owners use collars without any difficulties but it’s worth bearing in mind.

If you are going to buy a collar, then we’d encourage you to pick a breakaway collar.  These have a quick-release function and are designed to come apart when too much pressure is applied.

This should reduce the risk of choking.

It’s also worth mentioning that if your cat is scared then putting a collar on could make the situation worse.

Reviewers on Amazon are split on whether its safe to wear a collar.  Many say that the calming collars have been invaluable in helping to reduce anxiety but others have said collars have injured or distressed their pet. 

It’s worth scrolling through the reviews before deciding.

What are Cat Calming Collar Side Effects?

There doesn’t appear to be any side effects to pheromone products.

As mentioned above, there may be some rubbing or chaffing if the collar isn’t fitted correctly.

How Long do Calming Collars Take to Work?

SENTRY says that a cat wearing will notice the pheromones immediately after a collar is fitted but that it may take a while longer to see a noticeable change in behaviour.  Collars work for up to 30-days so it’s worth giving them ample time to start working.

What’s the Best Calming Collar for Cats?

Comfort Zone Calming Pheromone Collar for Cats is our choice solely on the basis that it’s a breakaway collar.

We feel better about recommending one with a safety release and also Comfort Zone is one of the biggest names in the cat behavior control market. 

  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Voted product of the year by 40,000 people by TNS
  • Easy to put on
  • 4% pheromones
  • Good for urine marking, scratching, veterinarian visits and traveling.
  • BreakAway safety feature

Other brands of Calming Collars available on Amazon


Relaxivet Calming Collar For Cats

  • Starts working in 1 hour
  • Lasts up to 30-days
  • Isn’t a breakaway collar
  • Lots of positive reviews
  • 1% pheromones with lavender and chamomile essential oils

Sentry

Sentry is one of the most well-known brands.

  • 30-day release of pheromones
  • Says its scientifically proven
  • Isn’t a breakaway collar
  • Lavender chamomile fragrance

Beaphar Pet Calming Collar

Beaphar pet calming collar

  • Uses Valerian and lavender
  • Can smell quite strong
  • Breakaway collar release
  • Doesn’t contain pheromones

Cat collars are one way of reducing anxious behavior in our pets but they may not be the best or the safest option for your cat so it’s important to do your research and to read reviews.

You might also like to consider using other products.

We’ve written a post about using pheromone plug-ins and sprays here.

If you’re really concerned about your cat’s behavior, then we’d recommend you contact your veterinarian for advice.

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