What Are Cat Pheromones and How Do They Work?

What are cat pheromones? It is a type of olfactory (or odorous) chemical communication that all cats use to interact with each other and with the surrounding world. Through some special glands, cats produce large amounts of pheromones that convey different meanings and messages to other cats and influence their behaviours.

What Are Cat Pheromones

All cats know how to interpret these signals regardless of their age. There are many pheromone-producing glands, and most are concentrated around the face, chin, lower ears, forehead, cheeks and around the mouth.

What Are Cat Pheromones

Some olfactory glands are found in the pads under the paws and around the nipples of females.

Your cat will adopt a variety of behaviours to share or deposit its pheromones. For example, you may see him.

  • Rub his head against objects in the house
  • Scratching or scratch
  • Give small taps with his head to other cats (or you)
  • Rubbing against objects and surfaces
  • Marking the territory

Does your cat have a favourite place to get their nails done? Or is he particularly attached to another cat or family member? It all depends on the signals emitted by the pheromones.

Pheromones In Cats

Did you know that your cat’s facial pheromone secretions alone contain around 40 different chemicals, and your cat knows exactly what each one means? The relationship between cats and pheromones can be really complicated.

cat pheromones affect humans

How do cats understand what the different messages of pheromones want to communicate?

Cats use a special organ called the vomeronasal organ (VNO) to recognize the signs of pheromones in their environment. It is located in the palate – to detect pheromones, the cat will open its mouth slightly, pull back its lips (known as the “Flehmen reaction”) and inhale.

Messages are transferred to the VNO via the incisive papilla (and then through the incisive duct to the nervous system and pheromone receptors) on the palate. You may have seen the incisive papilla yourself – it looks like a small bump just behind the teeth, at the front of the mouth.

If you see your pet immobile and with a weird expression on his face, he is probably identifying pheromones through his mouth at the moment.

Just like with perfume, there is no danger of your cat overdosing on pheromones, or pheromone products.
These are in fact not a drug and have no physical impact whatsoever – they simply send a message to your cat. Likewise, humans and other animals will not be affected and will not notice pheromones in any way. They are odourless substances and are completely harmless.

How Do Cat Pheromones Work?

pheromones for cats side effects

Pheromones affect different cat behaviours, interactions and emotions. But how do they work?

Your cat releases pheromones for many different reasons. These are in fact used to:

  • Mark the territory
  • Identify and get to know other cats
  • Create familiarity
  • Increase the bonds
  • Report sexual partners
  • Help mothers bond with their puppies, recognize them and live in harmony with each other
  • Take comfort
  • Indicate happiness, contentment and reassurance
  • Indicate stress or fear
  • And much more

This means that the pheromones your cat emits will vary depending on the situation.

For example, if your cat encounters a new object and has decided that it is harmless, it may rub against it to indicate that it is a “safe” object and that it has “explored” it.

Pheromones for cats can also be used to reduce stress-related behaviours. FELIWAY CLASSIC, for example, uses a synthetic or similar version of natural pheromones to convey messages of well-being and reduce behaviours such as hiding, scratching or spraying at home.

It should be remembered that pheromones are a natural and normal part of cat communication. So, if your friend comes into contact with another cat’s pheromones or synthetic ones, it’s always a matter of

safe ‘messages of well-being’ and without side effects. A simple signal that was sent to him.

The Pheromones Of Male Cats

While all cats release pheromones, those of males specifically contain some unique messages.

Pheromones emitted from the back of cats’ bodies (and usually found in the urine) are common to both genders and used to convey territorial messages, indicate sexual readiness, and express anxiety or fear. For this reason, both males and females can mark with urine, although it is more common to see uncastrated males spraying to send messages of rivalry to other individuals of the same sex. Male cat urine also usually smells stronger, due to the amino acids it contains.

pheromone spray for cats

When cats smell urine markings, they use pheromones to find information about other cats around (and how long they have been there), their gender, sexual availability, territory, place and hierarchy. In fact, pheromone markings help cats prevent conflicts. Low-ranking male cats can recognize territorial messages left by higher-ranking males and steer clear of them.

A male cat will be attracted to pheromones left behind by a female in heat. These, usually coming from the cheeks or urine, indicating that the cat is available to mate and is looking for a partner.

Mother Cat Pheromones

I of mother cat pheromones are produced from the mammary glands of the area around the nipples. Known as calming pheromones, they help puppies feel safe and contented and get along well with each other. These substances help the mother cat to recognize her young when they are separated and can also be used in a wider context to induce to mark other cats as “family” friends.

By virtue of this characteristic, calming pheromones are excellent for reducing conflicts and tensions between cats. When the synthetic version of the pheromone is used in conflict situations, cats become more willing to accept each other, less aggressive and are more likely to approach each other. other in a more friendly way.

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