Evaluation of the efficacy of an appeasing pheromone diffuser product vs placebo for management of feline aggression in multi-cat households: a pilot study 2019

Evaluation of the efficacy of an appeasing pheromone diffuser product vs placebo for management of feline aggression in multi-cat households: a pilot study

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Abstract:

Objectives Aggression and social tension among housemate cats is common and puts cats at risk of injury or relinquishment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a new pheromone product in reducing aggression between housemate cats.

Methods A new pheromone product (Feliway Friends) containing a proprietary cat-appeasing pheromone was evaluated for efficacy in reducing aggression between housemate cats via a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled pilot trial of 45 multi-cat households (pheromone [n = 20], placebo [n = 25]) reporting aggression for at least 2 weeks. Each household had 2–5 cats. Participants attended an educational training meeting on day (D) –7 and the veterinary behaviorist described behaviors to be monitored for 7 weeks using the Oakland Feline Social Interaction Scale (OFSIS), which assessed the frequency and intensity of 12 representative aggressive interactions. Participants were also provided with instructions for handling aggressive events, including classical conditioning, redirection by positive reinforcement and not punishing or startling the cat for aggressive displays. Punishment techniques were strongly discouraged. Plug-in diffusers with the pheromone product or placebo were utilized from D0–D28. Participants completed a daily diary of aggressive events and weekly OFSIS assessments through to D42. Results Evolution of the OFSIS–Aggression score according to treatment group in the full analysis set population revealed a significant effect on time and treatment group. The OFSIS–Aggression score decreased over time from D0–D28 in both groups (time factor P = 0.0001) with a significant difference in favor of the verum P = 0.06); similar results were found considering the D0–D42 period (time factor P = 0.0001 [D0] and P = 0.04 [D42]). 

Conclusions and relevance The OFSIS provided a quantifiable measure of the frequency and intensity of 12 intercat interactions reflecting conflict between cats. The cat-appeasing pheromone is a promising treatment for the management of aggression between housemate cats in multi-cat households. 

Auteur: Theresa L DePorter, David L Bledsoe, Alexandra Beck and Elodie Ollivier 

En savoir plus: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29757071/

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