Effect of a nepeta cataria oil diffusor on cat behaviour

Introduction and aims - Cats have evolved to develop stress when they perceive that their biological needs are unlike to be met. There is an increasing interest in the development of specific programs to manage different forms of distress. This study aims to examine the effects of nepeta cataria oil diffusor (Felisept®) on signs of stress related behaviour in the household environment.
Materials and methods - 20 cats, divided in two groups, one with Felisept® diffusor plugged in the household and one with a diffusor containing a placebo, took part in this study. Owners were asked to complete a pre-treatment and a post-treatment questionnaire regarding behaviours shown by the animal.
Results and discussion - Based on owner answers, 90% of cats of the therapy group and 40% of cats of the control group showed an improvement (p≤0.05). Play behaviour increased in the therapy group and decrease in the control one (p=0.06). The percentage of cats showing hissing or biting attempts toward other cats and scratching doors decreased significantly in the therapy group (p≤0.05) and increased in the control one. Similar trend was seen for cats changing room to go away from other animals and we found a statistical difference between the two groups before (p≤0.05) and post-treatment (p=0.081). Even though not all parameters showed statistical changes, there was a general tendency for a decrease in behaviours associated with stress/anxiety/aggression showed by cats after the administration of Felisept® diffusor. Further studies are needed to investigate whether the conclusion drawn from this population can be generalized and if the observed changes are long-term maintained.

Additional Info

  • Authors: 1 Cannas S., 1 Scaglia E., 1 Talamonti Z., 1 Dall’Ara P., 1 Palestrini C.
  • Authors note: 1 Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria (DIMEVET), Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milano, Italia
  • Year: 2018
  • Reference: Veterinaria Year 32, n. 1, February 2018
  • Pages: 1 - 6
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