Thursday, August 1, 2013

Behaviour Bites - Feliway and Adaptil aka Dr Liz's Happy Juice

Welcome to another Behaviour Bites, with Pusski (our 4 am foot biting cat) as your guide.  This one
"I'm a Feliway Chilled Dude"
is about my "Happy Juice".

"Happy Juice" is needed in every pet if they have any anxiety related behaviour (or even if bored or lonely). 

Before every cat handling time, whether it be a vet check up, a check up of a  hospital patient, or just one coming in for a weigh in,  we spray the area with "Happy Juice". In cats, this is Feliway, made by Ceva.  We have the Feliway Diffuser permanent on in the consultation room, and we spritz ourselves with the Feliway Spray.

What is Feliway, I hear you ask.  Do you know how happy cats rub their cheeks up against your leg, and often love having you rub their cheek - this is their "happy scent".  They will often rub that against door frames and lounges too - it is a way of marking that as "awesome" spot.  A synthetic version of that has been made,  bottled, and sold for a lot of money.  But it is worth every cent.

In times of anxiety, wouldn't it be nice to walk into a strange house, and feel "ah, this feels homey", rather than "strange place, bad vibe, don't like this place." Some cats don't like to travel much, so having that "homey" feel relaxes them, and makes them less likely to use their fangs and claws to rip the nice vet to shreds.  They are more likely to be smoochy, cuddly; they may not even be totally happy, but at least they aren't aggressive or upset.
Spreading the natural "Happy Juice"

So, we spray Happy Juice around the place. Because we like Happy Cats (and Dogs).
Our dogs, also have their own Happy Juice - that is Adaptil.  This is a similar pheromone that can calm down anxious dogs.  It is a calming pheromone produced by the glands between the mammary glands of lactating dogs.

Why this talk of Happy Juice - I use it daily in my consultation rooms to help stressed pets calm down - and this hopefully calms down stressed loving pet owners too!  As I said earlier, we like Happy Dogs (and Cats).

But, from the stressed, but loving pet owner perspective, if your pet suffers from any anxiety - whether it be a bit lonely sometimes, or doesn't like storms, or the neighbours dog, then pheromones are what you need to use on your pet daily to help them feel less agitated. 

Did I say, use Daily?  That is the important part.  A single dose will help but, we want the pet starting at a low spot.

I use the Diffusers in the vet hospital.  It needs to be changed monthly, and the powerpoint adapter needs to be changed each six months, but, it is a small price to pay for a happy pet.

Happy Juice puts us in our Happy Place!
When it is my turn to "lay the hands" on the happy pet, I then spray the liquid onto my work shirt, and for cats, a couple of sprays onto a towel on the consultation table (I won't sit cats on stainless cold tables). For dogs, we spray a bandanna, and they go home looking awesome! It makes them much happier!

As an aside - Please buy your Feliway and Adaptil from reputable places - there are "pretend" pheromones out there, and even dodgy replica's. After all, wherever there is money to be made, there are replicas.  Most great vets stock it (like we do), so you shouldn't have too much trouble in getting your hands on it.

But remember - Use it Daily!

I am Dr Liz from Russell Vale Animal Clinic.  I am a big user of Happy Juice, but that is not why I
always have a big smile on my face.  We just love seeing happy animals and loving pet owners in our place, even though some days, it isn't such a happy place to be.

Any questions, you know what to do... ask.

PS  As a disclaimer - I sell and use Feliway and Adaptil. I am not under the employ of any company that produces it or promotes it.  I don't receive any kickbacks, rebates or any other financial incentive.  There is no special code on my page that makes me money when you read it.  I am an honest, individual veterinarian, who calls it as she sees it - and hopefully, her honesty won't get her into any more trouble than she has been in in the past!