Lately there has been a lot of construction around and in our apartment building (welcome to Toronto – it never seems to end).
We have noticed that Mr. Cat has become a bundle of anxiety when there is construction taking place, particularly when he has been left alone all day in our apartment listening to the loud noises going on just outside. Normally, when we get home at the end of the day he is hungry but well-rested and in a playful mood. Whenever there is construction ongoing, we come home at the end to an incredibly cranky and whiney fur-monster.
Most of the time, Mr. Cat is a pretty chill beast. He travels well and has rarely engaged in destructive behaviour or scratching (see our post on cat-proofing furniture here).
That said, given his latest antics and the fact that the construction outside is nowhere near completion, I thought it would be worth giving this product a try: SENTRY Calming Collar for Cats.
You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.ca/SENTRY-Calming-Collar-Cats-Pack/dp/B0083F8XVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505674061&sr=8-1&keywords=sentry+cat+collar
Here is the description by the company of how it is supposed to work:
SENTRY Calming Collars use patented good behavior pheromone technology. Using a pheromone that mimics the one mother cats produce to calm their kittens, the collars are clinically proven to reduce or eliminate stress-related behavior such as inappropriate marking, destructive behavior, clawing and anti-social behavior. Collars help alleviate problem behaviors triggered by travel, thunderstorms, fireworks and new social situations. This collar continues to release calming pheromones to your cat for 30 days. It can be used for cats of all ages and breeds without long-term side effects.
Mr. Cat does not normally wear a collar. When he was a kitten he was a remarkable Houdini and worked his way out of any collar we tried to keep on him. At some point, we just gave up trying to put a collar on him. He is a strictly indoor cat and is micro-chipped, so there is really no need for a collar.
Having never tried a calming collar before, I was definitely skeptical that it would be effective for Mr. Cat, but I felt compelled to give it a try.
When I opened the box, I saw that the collar is in a sealed package. I definitely recommend opening the package over a sink. There is a flaky power on the collar that peels and crusts off when you touch it. You don’t want to get in on your floor, and even though I’m sure it must be safe for your cat, I wasn’t a fan of getting it all over him either. The powder was a bit gross at first, but I just wiped it off into the sink using a paper towel. You can immediately smell the lavender and camomile and you can smell it on your hands if you are handing the collar without gloves.
I kept the collar pretty loose and slipped it onto Mr. Cat, who was sleeping. Unlike our experience with most collars, he didn’t fight it. He seemed a bit confused and kept sniffing but laid back down almost right away. We left it on for a few hours during the construction and noticed that he napped almost the whole time. Other than trying to scratch and lick it a tiny bit, he didn’t try to pull it off. This surprised me because he could have easily slipped it back over his own head. It was certainly loose enough for that.
Overall, it seemed to calm him. While Mr. Cat was wearing the collar, he did tend to stick close to us when we were home, for example, sitting next to me and stretching out beside me on the couch and following me into other rooms. While he would do this occasionally before, he consistently does it while he is wearing the collar (maybe because he wants us to take it off?). He definitely seemed relaxed and I was able to handle his paws more than usual. I think that the collar might be useful for days when we need to trim his claws.
When there is no construction, I take the collar off him and keep it in a sealed plastic bag. We are going to keep trying it out whenever we have to put Mr. Cat in a stressful situation and will update this product review in the future with any new information.
Have you tried this product or something similar to it?