The Best Over-The-Counter Treatments To Keep Your Cat Calm
Pet Care Advice

The Best Over-The-Counter Treatments To Keep Your Cat Calm

Every cat has its own personality, just as humans do. This could be due to their breed, their early life, or previous owners.

Cat parents will be aware of this and over time will learn what their feline likes and dislikes. 

Although cats tend to be quite sure of themselves and are often independent domestic animals, there are a few anxiety-inducing events that cause them quite a bit of distress. 

This isn’t the same for every cat, but if your cat is often stressed in certain situations such as traveling in the car or visiting the vet there are solutions to these issues. 

This article will discuss the benefits of using a mild over-the-counter sedative on your cat when they are put in an anxiety-inducing situation. 

Why Do Cats Need Sedating?

Some cats suffer from anxiety in certain situations such as traveling, visiting the vet, or going to the groomer.

In more serious cases, this anxiety and fear can be extremely harmful to your cat as they may harm themselves trying to escape the situation.

As a result, many cat parents choose to give their cats a mild sedative to help them calm down whilst traveling or during these other routine appointments. 

When we say sedative, this does not refer to something as powerful as anesthesia, we are referring to over-the-counter remedies that are perfectly safe for use.

Before giving any new product to your pet, consult with a veterinarian first to ensure the product is safe for use. 

Feliway Classic

FELIWAY Classic Cat Calming Pheromone Spray (60 mL)

Feliway is a popular cat-centered brand that aims to calm nervous kitties. They have a variety of products that work by emulating natural pheromones that are released by mother cats to calm kittens

These products have a calming effect on adult cats and help to relieve the stress and anxiety they are having.

One of the main products from Feliway is their classic plug-in diffuser that works in the house like a normal scented air freshener. 

The diffusers can take up to 7 days to work in the home, which is the perfect time to start preparing your cat for its upcoming event.

Feliway also has a calming spray that can be sprayed inside a pet carrier before traveling to help reduce stress. 

For best results, re-spray the carrier every 4-5 hours to keep your cat calm throughout the journey or appointment (see also ‘Medicine To Keep Cats Calm During Travels‘). 

  • Results in 7 days
  • Spray 8-10 pumps into cat carrier 15 mins before using
  • Re-use every 4-5 hours
FELIWAY Classic Cat Calming Pheromone Spray (60 mL)
  • FELIWAY is vet recommended, and the #1 selling solution: FELIWAY Classic may help cats adjust to challenging situations, and curbs stress related unwanted behaviors such as urine spraying, scratching, and general fearfulness
  • 9 out of 10 cats show an improvement in urine spraying*
  • FELIWAY Classic Spray makes vet visits, travel, new environments, and loud noise (thunder, fireworks, etc) less stressful for your cat
  • FELIWAY Classic is a drug free solution that mimics cat’s natural facial pheromones, which may help your pet feel calmer in common stressful situations
  • Great for on the go use, or spot treatment at home; you can spray calming pheromones directly onto objects such as your cat carrier or car (do not spray directly on your cat or his or her scratching post as it will deter scratching)

Rescue Remedy Pet Dropper

Bach RESCUE REMEDY PET Dropper 10mL, Natural Stress Relief, Calming for Dogs, Cats, & Other Pets, Homeopathic Flower Essence, Thunder, Fireworks, Travel, Separation, Sedative-Free

Rescue Remedy is a natural stress reliever for pets made by Bach. The natural ingredients all come from flower essences, so they are safe to use.

Although this is not a sedative, it will bring your pet calm in a variety of stressful situations such as travel or firework displays. 

The drops are administered orally which may pose an issue for some cats, depending on how cooperative they are.

These can be used more than once a day in order to provide maximum calm and comfort to your cat whilst they deal with the situation. 

  • Four drops administered orally or with food or water
  • Re-apply whenever needed
Sale
Bach RESCUE REMEDY PET Dropper 10mL, Natural Stress Relief, Calming for Dogs, Cats, & Other Pets, Homeopathic Flower Essence, Thunder, Fireworks, Travel, Separation, Sedative-Free
  • BACH RESCUE REMEDY PET DROPPER: Stress relief tincture for pets with natural flower essences to help ease tension, nervousness & excitability. For dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds & lizards
  • SEDATIVE-FREE CALMING DROPS: Use leading up to & during stressful pet situations like visiting the veterinarian or groomer, thunder storms, fireworks, separation & travel
  • TRUSTED BY PET LOVERS WORLDWIDE: Made with the original RESCUE REMEDY tincture - Dr. Bach's blend of 5 natural flower essences, hand-picked from his original gardens in the UK
  • DOCTOR DEVELOPED FORMULA: Plant-based active ingredients, homeopathic, vegan, vegetarian. FREE OF: Artificial flavors/colors, sugar, gluten, major allergens. Non-alcohol, non-habit forming
  • FOR PETS OF ALL BREEDS, AGES & WEIGHTS: Give 4 drops orally or with food/water as needed. Can be used with other health and wellness products including stress medications and thunder calming shirts

SENTRY Cat Calming Spray

Sentry Calming Spray for Cats, Clear

Sentry is another brand that has created a calming spray for cats. Again, this spray helps to keep cats calm in stressful situations and can be used on all cats regardless of their age or breed. 

The spray should be directly sprayed into the cat’s crate before putting them in there, working almost immediately.

An alternative option is to spray this on their collar to allow the pheromones to emit around the cat at all times. 

Online reviews of this product are generally positive, with one stating that this brand works better than the Feliway products. Many comment on the nice fragrance of the spray, enjoying its lavender scent. 

  • One spray needed in the area your cat spends time
  • Do not spray directly on the cat 
  • Uses synthetic pheromones
Sentry Calming Spray for Cats, Clear
  • Scientifically proven: Sentry calming spray for cats calms anxious cats in stressful situations.
  • Less stressful lives: the Sentry calming cat spray helps cats and kittens Coupe with short-term stressful situations.
  • Anxious situations: Sentry cat calming spray helps calm kittens and cats who find spending time in a car or crate stressful.
  • Safe & effective: calming feline stray is safe and effective when used as directed, without long-term side effects.
  • One small burst: one small spray of Sentry calming spray for cats helps calm anxious cats and kittens.

Nature’s Miracle Advanced Platinum Cat Calming Spray

Nature's Miracle Cat Calming Spray, 8 Ounces, Stress-Reducing Formula for Cats

Nature’s Miracle contains soothing scents that aim to decrease anxiety in cats when they smell them. Creating a feeling of safety will allow the cats to calm down and relax without the need for sedatives. 

This spray is perfect for moving home, travel, visits to the vet, or periods of separation. A few sprays of this in the home and around your pet will have them calm in as little as ten minutes.

For best results, spray where your cat spends a lot of its time or in a pet carrier. 

The spray can last for up to four hours which should give you plenty of time to get them in and out of appointments or make significant progress with your journey. 

Online reviews of this product are really positive, many cat owners found trips to the vet, moving house, and getting along with other cats to be a lot easier with continued use of this spray. 

  • Spray where the cat spends time
  • Do not spray directly onto the cat
  • Re-use every 4 hours if needed
Nature's Miracle Cat Calming Spray, 8 Ounces, Stress-Reducing Formula for Cats
  • HELPS PROMOTE RELAXATION: Nature’s Miracle Cat Calming Spray is formulated with soothing scents that helps promote relaxation and reduces hyperactivity in stressful situations.
  • WHERE TO USE: Apply in areas where your cat spends time when stressed, and on cat carriers before transporting your cat.
  • LONG-LASTING CONCENTRATED SPRAY: Quick results formula works within 10 minutes, lasting up to four hours when used as directed.
  • GREAT FOR TRAVEL: Helps decrease stress brought on by changes in routine, including separation and travel.
  • SAFE TO USE AROUND PETS AND HOME: It’s safe to use wherever your cat spends time when stressed and is safe to use around pets and home when used as directed.

Liquid-Vet Feline Calm & Content Cat Formula

Liquid-Vet by COOL PET Holistics Feline Hip & Joint Advanced Formula, Grape, 8 oz

Liquid-Vet feline formulas contain a number of products that promote relaxation in cats, helping them to remain calm in stressful situations.

These products are completely safe to use every day if you find your cat is anxious in general, or you can use them in the lead-up to travel or a vet visit. 

The Liquid-Vet products come in a number of different flavors which should appeal to fussy felines. Pour the recommended amount into your cat’s food for the best results.

These products are ideal for cats that dislike oils, chews, or are unresponsive to sprays. 

Whilst there are limited online reviews of this product, the ones that are available were very positive, and found this product to be particularly effective in older cats. 

  • Not to be used in pregnant, infantile, or lactating cats
  • Can be used every day 
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
Nature's Miracle Cat Calming Spray, 8 Ounces, Stress-Reducing Formula for Cats
  • HELPS PROMOTE RELAXATION: Nature’s Miracle Cat Calming Spray is formulated with soothing scents that helps promote relaxation and reduces hyperactivity in stressful situations.
  • WHERE TO USE: Apply in areas where your cat spends time when stressed, and on cat carriers before transporting your cat.
  • LONG-LASTING CONCENTRATED SPRAY: Quick results formula works within 10 minutes, lasting up to four hours when used as directed.
  • GREAT FOR TRAVEL: Helps decrease stress brought on by changes in routine, including separation and travel.
  • SAFE TO USE AROUND PETS AND HOME: It’s safe to use wherever your cat spends time when stressed and is safe to use around pets and home when used as directed.

Virbac Anxitane Chewable Tablets

Virbac Anxitane Tablets, Small Dog/Cat, 50mg, 30 Count

Anxitane tablets can be used for both cats and dogs to reduce nervousness and anxiety-induced stress.

These tablets contain L-Theanine, which is a natural ingredient that is scientifically proven to help calm and reduce anxiety in these domesticated pets. 

This is not a sedative and will not cause drowsiness in your pet, but will relax them to make everyday life easier. Anxitane is highly recommended by vets and is widely supported by the scientific community. 

Online reviews of the product mention the effectiveness of the product in helping their rescue pets settle into their new homes.

Others mentioned the reduction in anxiety they saw in their pet with continued use of this product. 

  • Should be used for 60 days to see maximum results
  • Cats should take ½ tablet twice a day
  • Ideally given two weeks before a stressful event 
Virbac Anxitane Tablets, Small Dog/Cat, 50mg, 30 Count
  • Helps keep cats and small dogs calm and relaxed
  • Great for grooming, travel, thunderstorms, anxiety, fearful changes in environment & other stressful situations
  • No known interactions with other therapeutics
  • Can be given for short-term or long-term use
  • Contains L-Theanine

The Bottom Line

There are numerous over-the-counter products to help your cat relax when they are in times of stress. Cats do not have to be sedated to an extreme extent in order to get through these situations.

A milder solution will allow your cat to get used to new experiences, causing their anxiety to reduce over time.

Last update on 2022-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API