Calming Treats For A Very Picky Cat

EmmiTemmi

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I'm at a loss with my pickiest cat on what calming treats to give him. He rejects both that I've tried. NaturVet Quiet Moments was a straight no. Composure by VetriScience gave me hope at first, he ate one treat, but the next day turned up his nose, and hasn't gone near them since. He sees me open the bag and he walks out of the room.

I'm going on a 7 hour car trip with the boys in a couple weeks and I know they might get pretty stressed so I wanted to give them a few calming treats before we head out. But Colby, my orange boy, is so darn PICKY. I've even tried covering the treat in his favorite hairball gel (finally got one he would eat on the 3rd try!), but he won't even lick the gel off the treats because he hates them so much.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Have you found something that works for your picky cats?
 
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EmmiTemmi

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All great suggestions, thank you!

susanm9006 susanm9006 He hasn't reacted to any catnip I've offered him so far (my other cat basically goes into a kitty coma). But I can always try again and hope he reacts to it!

Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 How would I feed him the liquid chamomile tea? I doubt he'd drink it willingly. And how strong of a calming effect does it have compared to chewable calming treats on the market? Definitely something I might consider.

Brian007 Brian007 I think I read on the package (or somewhere in general) that adding it to his food would dilute the effects. Then again, I suppose a dilute effect is better than none! But I would also worry about turning him off of the few foods he enjoys if he tastes the calming treats in them.
 

Brian007

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Right then, I didn't say all this last night as I was on my way to bed. But here goes...

You could try Natura Petz Soothed and Serene All Systems Calming Capsules, which I can't vouch for per say as I don't live in the US, so haven't tried them, but I can vouch for the ingredient, valerian, contained within. It is a herbal root that has a sedative and calming action, and most cats like the smell and taste. Because it's in a capsule, it is sprinklable on food. I give my cat, Dudley, valerian treats, which he loves but I cannot find them available in the US. I can, however, find Beaphar Cat-Calming Spot-On, which contains valerian amongst other calming herbs and would by-pass the need for eating. I have also found some cat-calming sprays in the US that contain valerian and the one that I use is very effective, but highly smelly of stinky feet. You could spray some in his basket before and during travel.

Another sprinklable thing to try are M&C Vet IQ Serene-UM Calm Tablets. Again, I can't vouch for them but can vouch for the ingredients, including the natural amino acid and vitamin L-Tryptophan and Inositol, which I also give to Dudley with magical effect. L-Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin and melatonin and acts as an anti-depressent, anti-anxiety, and calming sleep aid. You would have to crush the tablets between two spoons in order to sprinkle but there should be very little taste or a mildly palatable taste that could be disguised in wet food.

Zylkene is another sprinklabe capsule, containing the amino acid casein, which is the soothing component found in mother's breast milk. It is quite expensive but you can buy the large dog capsules and split the powder into quarters or fifths, depending on the heaviness of your cat. A rule of thumb is 15mg of zylkene per kg of cat.

Now then, again, I've not tried
zylkene (yet, I have some winging it's way in the post) but I do give Dudley Royal Canin Veterinary 'Calm' dry cat food, which contains both L-Tryphophan and casein. It works wonders. However, the smallest bag you can buy is 2kg, so it's a bit risky as to whether he'll like it or not. But, Dudley is also a super picky eater and thankfully he loves it.

Also, you could get some
Feliway Classic spray to spray in his basket before and during the journey, and also spray on yourself, so that he can smell it when you hold him. It doesn't have a perceptible smell to the human nose. It is a synthetic pheromone mimicking the natural feline facial pheremones, which are calming to cats.

Dudley is a stress-head but since I've been giving him these things, he's so much happier in himself. He even comes for cuddles now, which he couldn't quite bring himself to before even though he clearly wanted to. Dudley snuggling against my leg recently:

D snuggled on my leg.jpg

:cloud9:
 

Mamanyt1953

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Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 How would I feed him the liquid chamomile tea? I doubt he'd drink it willingly. And how strong of a calming effect does it have compared to chewable calming treats on the market? Definitely something I might consider.
LOL, well, the delivery method may be more trouble that it's worth to you. You draw it up into a syringe (NO NEEDLE, of course!) or eye-dropper and inject it into his mouth by inserting the tip between his cheek and gum. Just go slow and give him a chance to swallow. The effects are very mild...it more...takes the edge off rather than actually sedates.

I do a lot of herbal remedies for myself, and I use chamomile in every one of them. That relaxation allows other ingredients to work better.
 
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EmmiTemmi

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So, I tried another chewable treat, this time the GNC variety. He ate one and then wouldn't touch them again. I was looking into some of the capsules/tablets listed above, but they're all pretty pricey. Then I saw a calming gel on Amazon and I had to give it a try. It's the Essential Pet Pet-EZE Calming Support Formula. Colby will actually eat it! Don't know if it's super effective at calming him, but I'm just happy I found something he'll willingly ingest. Such a picky boy!

The active ingredients are Chamomile extract, Passion flower extract, Oat extract, and Catnip extract.
Inactive ingredients are Cetyl alcohol, hydrogenated veg oil, lecithin, methylparaben, potassium sorbate, salmon flavor, salmon oil, sodium benzoate, sodium methylcellulose, soybean oil, stearic acid, vit C, and xanthan gum.

I don't plan on using this as a daily thing, but would any of those ingredients, even in a small amount be bad for cats? There was only one review (5 stars) on Amazon. I'm slightly worried because even on the Essential Pet website, this product isn't listed...
 

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I don't see anything that raises a red flag, the aspca indicates passion flower is non-toxic.
There is a website that says there's an animal clinic in San Diego that states it's toxic but on further reading I believe this is similar to when a cat eats an Easter lily or other poisonous plant.
A DVM based in Los Angeles says that valerian, kava, chamomile, and/or passion flower can be used as calming remedies in proper dosages.
 

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I noticed another member mentioned Zylkene? You may want to check it out...I'm having behaviorial issues with my boyz and it really seemed to mellow them out. It's a "natural" product and our certified behaviorist recommended it. It is really easy to give to your kitties just mix with their food daily. Hope this helps.
 

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You can use the Feliway spray in the car as well. I have my carrier in the back seat, and although I spray the towel in the carrier, if I'm going on a trip of more than an hour, I spray the car's upholstery as well.
 
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EmmiTemmi

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You can use the Feliway spray in the car as well. I have my carrier in the back seat, and although I spray the towel in the carrier, if I'm going on a trip of more than an hour, I spray the car's upholstery as well.
I've been trying to avoid purchasing Feliway just based on the price. I've heard so many good things about it, so eventually I might try it out.
Zylkene is another sprinklabe capsule, containing the amino acid casein, which is the soothing component found in mother's breast milk.
Again, a little pricey for me, but I'll keep it in mind. Any chance I can just use the human-grade caseinate powders from work? :D They're like 90% casein, and we're overflowing with the powders (and about a million other dairy powders). Also, not to be picky or anything, but casein is a protein (which is made up of several amino acids), not an amino acid itself. Actually just looked up some studies on casein's calming and found one suggesting that the peptide α-Casozepine is responsible for the effect. Cool stuff.
 

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When i have to take mine to the vets which is a 2 hour car journey in a hire car with unfamiliar smells, I use an app on my phone called RelaxMyCat. We don't have access to much here in Saudi, at least not without waiting 6 weeks plus to see if it arrives in the post which most of the time it doesn't! So this has been a life saver. I connect my phone to the car radio and play the appropriate track through the car speakers (not too loud). It workes wonders with mine and has the added benefit of not having to try to get them to eat or swallow anything!
 

Mamanyt1953

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If I ever get a smart phone that is brighter than the average garden slug, I'll have to try that! Don't suppose you could give us a link for the download, could you?
 

Furballsmom

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I'm suggesting to people here to use that app Relax My Cat all the time :thumbsup: :cloud9:
 
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