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Do Calming Collars Work for Cats? Benefits, Side Effects & FAQ

Written by: Cassidy Sutton

Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat with red calming collar

Do Calming Collars Work for Cats? Benefits, Side Effects & FAQ

Does your cat get stressed easily? Maybe your cat is marking their territory everywhere. Or worse—maybe your cat is attacking other animals in the house. You need to keep reading if this is your cat because we’re discussing calming collars.

Calming collars are great options for cats heavy on the wild side. These collars provide temporary relief for destructive and unusual behavior. If you need your cat to be as cool as a cucumber, calming collars can help. But first, let’s talk about how exactly these collars work.

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How Calming Collars Work

You know how certain scents encourage relaxation? A quick whiff of a dozen roses or delicious baked goods in the oven instantly lifts our spirits and alleviates stress and anxiety.

Calming collars do just that. They produce a synthetic pheromone, mimicking the same pheromones a mother cat produces in her mammary glands to help bond with her kittens.

As they nurse, kittens smell this pheromone called the Cat Appeasing Pheromone (C.A.P.). When they do, they feel calm and content. The scent even helps the kittens coexist better. And if the kittens were to get lost, the mother cat can identify her kittens using these pheromones.

It’s these same pheromones infused in a calming collar.

Your cat’s olfactory senses kick in when they wear the calming collar. The result is, usually, a relaxed, happy cat that’s more civil toward people and animals.

cat wearing a purple calming collar
Image by: MarinCa, Shutterstock

The 5 Benefits of Calming Collars

Helping your cat stay relaxed is the number one benefit. Still, there are other benefits to using a calming collar you might not realize.

1. They’re Non-Medicated

The best part about calming collars? They’re not prescription medications. You don’t have to worry about giving medication at the right time, and you don’t need a veterinary appointment to start using one.

2. They’re Available at Major Pet Stores

Pet stores like Petco and PetSmart carry calming collars and other calming products, which we’ll discuss later.

3. They’re Easy to Use

Calming collars are easy to use. You snap it on your cat’s neck and let science and nature take over.

beautiful cat wearing a green calming collar
Image by: Julia Sudnitskaya, Shutterstock

4. They Don’t Take Up Space

All you have to do is put the collar on your cat’s neck. You don’t have to find an available outlet in a room, and you don’t need to make space for a piece of calming cat furniture.

5. The Scent Follows Your Cat

Unlike diffusers, the scent from the calming collar follows your cat wherever it goes, like to a new home or the vet’s office. So, your cat feels calm at all times.

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Side Effects of Calming Collars

Calming collars don’t have any side effects because they’re not medications. However, calming collars do have some drawbacks. The good news is these drawbacks are small.

The most significant drawback is skin irritation. It’s unlikely your cat will experience this, but it’s still possible. This can be from the synthetic pheromone or the collar’s material. When you first attach the collar, check your cat’s skin every couple of hours. Remove the collar if you notice any redness, swelling, or flakiness.

The other drawback to a calming collar is finding the right size. If you don’t choose the right fit, the collar becomes a nuisance to your cat and can even pose a safety threat by catching on surrounding objects. And sometimes, the collars fall off, which can be very annoying.

How to Choose a Calming Collar

Choosing a calming collar isn’t tricky. However, there are a few collar characteristics to consider when deciding the best collar for your cat.

  • Size: Most cat collars are the same size, unlike dog collars. When you attach the collar to your cat’s neck, make sure you can fit two fingers between your cat’s neck and the collar. This is how you know if the collar fits. If you can’t do this, the collar is too small.
  • Longevity: Some calming collars may last longer than others. The best collars last up to 2 months but typically last 30 days. Decide what you think is best for your cat’s emotional state.
  • Material: Calming collars are typically made of rubber, fiber, or plastic. Pick at least two different materials if this is the first time you’re trying a calming collar. That way, you have another option to test if the first one doesn’t work.

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Our 4 Favorite Cat Calming Collars

Now that you know what to look for, let’s look at some of our top picks for calming collars!

1. Nurture Calm Pheromone Collar

Nurture Calm Pheromone Collar

Nurture Calm Pheromone Collar does the basics—it keeps your cat calm during pet/human separation, reduces destructive behavior, and reduces inappropriate marking. You can find this collar in a one or two-pack.

Lavender and chamomile help camouflage the pheromone, but it might be overbearing for some people, especially since it lasts for 30 days. Some owners report the collar being too loose and falling off, and some said the collar didn’t work.

However, most cat owners who have tried this collar report improved cat behavior.

2. Sentry Calming Collar

Sentry Calming Collar

Sentry Calming Collar is a favorite amongst many cat owners and is recommended by vets. It helps with all the basics: aggression, marking, stress, and anxiety. Several cat owners report happy, calm kitties at home with this collar. Plus, you can get a three-pack in one order.

The downside is the collars come off easily. Owners say the fastener on the collar loosens over time. But overall, thousands of customers are happy with their purchases. And many cats are happy, too.

3. Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone is another brand worth mentioning. These collars help with everything you’d expect a calming collar to help with, plus it has a breakaway collar design in case your cat catches it on something.

This is a pricey option, so it’s best to choose a different collar if it’s the first time you’re trying it on your cat.

4. Pzlagia Calming Cat Collars

Pzlagia Calming Cat Collars

Pzlagia offers a four-pack cat collar option, perfect for multi-cat households. This collar has an adjustable breakaway design and lasts up to 30 days. The brand is more under-the-radar. Still, many cat owners love the effects of this collar.

There are some mixed reviews. Some cat owners say the collars worked for marking and relaxation but didn’t stop the cats from fighting. Other reviewers say the collars didn’t work at all.

This is normal for calming collars because every cat is different. But if you want to try calming collars for the first time, buy the Sentry or Nurture Calm collar first, so you don’t waste money on four collars your cat doesn’t use.

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Calming collars are a great option for cat owners at their wit’s end. If your cat is marking their territory, fighting with other cats, or feeling anxious, it’s worth trying the collars.

Don’t be discouraged if the collars don’t work for your cat. Every cat is different, so this is normal. It’s best to try a single-pack collar first if it’s your first time trying it on your cat. But if the collar works, go for one of the multipacks we just mentioned. That way, you can leave your cat alone or take them to the vet with limited issues!

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Rajszczak, Shutterstock

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