Of one thing I am absolutely certain. To my cat, Truffles, I am her Momma.
I still remember the day we brought her home. It was a particularly lazy Spring afternoon, sticky and hot. I'd been looking to adopt a kitten for months, but every pet store I called informed me that 'kittens weren't in season'. Against the breeding of animals for profit, I kept an eye on our local shelters and Craigslist for a wayward litter. At last I had stumbled across an add for kittens 'Free to A Good Home', and hesitantly drug my then husband to the address, 2 towns over. By the time we arrived the litter of 7 had been picked down to one; a trembling little kitty, the runt. Black, and white, she mewed from the back of a 'small' cage that dwarfed her. Around us chickens clucked, and large dogs poked their inquisitive noses against the grate. She was covered in fleas, as we later found out, and if she had been weened at all, it was not long enough and quite recent. Sticking my huge face in front of her clear view, I peered in at those big yellow eyes and fell in love.
Truffles, as it turns out, was the runt of her litter. Even now, full grown, she weighs no more than 6lbs. In those early days she was meant to be my companion. Alone in the house, working from home, all day, my only company. She was, and still is very much, terrified of nearly everything and everyone; but we were quick to grow a bond. I'd type up my posts, and she'd nestle against my chest, peering out over the rim of my collar. And as soon as the husband would come home she'd run and hide. In general, it's safe to say, Truffles has a lot of anxiety. She's such a sweetheart, but is very territorial. After the dissolution of my marriage Truffles and I were moving into a brand new home, complete with 15lb, male, Frankie (the cat). To say everyone's been on edge would be an understatement. Frankie grooms himself excessively, and, while they are slowly becoming friends, both exhibit new behaviors associated with stress.
As a Momma of a four legged friend, I have felt awful about this. In a sense, I've felt like I let her and I both down. Surely there was something I could do to soothe her and curb these natural behaviors? I spent hours on forums, talked to countless friends, and consulted our vet. Everyone agreed these behaviors were stemming from anxiety and stress, but no one could help me stop them. Then, I recently learned of an intriguing, non invasive, treatment called Feliway. Available in the form of a spray or plug in diffuser, Feliway targets environmental stress factors through the emission of natural pheromones. Essentially it mimics the pheromones cats transfer to mark territory as 'safe'. Your cat naturally does this by brushing it's head, specifically whiskers, along surfaces and people it deems safe. This is a harmless way of marking familiar territory and a communication that is understandable within the species.
I received a Feliway diffuser and refill for review here on Momma Told Me, from trusted online pet retailer, VetDepot. Many people often feel intimidated shopping online for pet goods; there is a natural stigma and detachment pet owners seem to dislike. As our pets are like our children, it's only natural to assume we will miss an important detail, or even order the wrong thing. Personally, whenever I buy anything for Truffles or Frankie, I always head online to research any and all purchase decisions. To me, it's only natural to trust VetDepot with the final sale! As the leading supplier of pet nutritional supplements, supplies, and medications, this website is filled with useful feedback from real consumers, actual pet owners. Shop, conveniently, for prescribed veterinarian treatments, easily online, or browse thousands of OTC remedies and supplements.
VetDepot promises all of their products are identical in quality, and meet FTC guidelines, just as those sold in your veterinarian's office- they're simply delivered direct to your door, at up to 60% off! Special needs pets, and those who require expensive dietary supplements, can often mean expensive monthly bills. Without pet insurance, much like humans, many pet owners are forced to choose between what is most beneficial. Thanks to VetDepot's Price Match guarantee, you won't find the same product advertised for less elsewhere, otherwise they'll match it! An especially thoughtful, and interesting policy, is their Heartworm guarantee, which ensures any pet treated for 12 consecutive months, with a prior negative test, will be covered for vet bills. It's wonderful to see a retail company stand by their inventory with such assuredness!
Feliway is veterinarian recommended and proven to ease and stop stress related behaviors such as Scratching, Loss of Appetite, Urine Marking, and Nervous Traveling. It consists solely of a Feline Facial Pheromone Analouge, and is entirely non toxic to humans and other pets. It is not a tranquilizer, or drug, and should never be orally or physically applied. The Feliway Electric Diffuser Kit includes a plug in wall diffuser and 48mL bottle for a retail price of $30.37 (29% off), through VetDepot.com. One plug in diffuser treats an area of 500-600 sq feet, and lasts an average of 4 continuous weeks. The manufacturer urges to use the product for a full 4 weeks to see full effects, though many testimonials, including mine indicate an immediate change in pet behavior. Set up is no more than your average Plug In air freshener. Simply unscrew the vial's cap and twist it into the diffuser plug in. The unit is designed to swivel for a vertical or horizontal fit, though I found with the globe shaped top that using the secondary outlet is near impossible. I should note that the plug in does not make any noise, nor emit a scent detectable to humans.
Truffles took immediate notice. She found the empty packaging first, and quickly began 'marking' it by flopping onto her back and nuzzling with her whiskers. She seemed to be in a good mood, and far more energetic than I'd ever seen her since introducing Frankie! Next she wandered over to the outlet and took a whiff of the plug in, her nose scrunching up, and again, flopping onto her back like a kitten. This was followed by a few 'mews' and some running around, before she settled on the bed beside me and fell asleep. I have to admit, I was skeptical, but since plugging our Feliway diffuser in Truffles and Frankie have been incident free. Frankie showed no direct interest of the actual diffuser unit, however I have noticed, already, a decrease in the constant 'nervous' grooming, and vertical scratching. In general, they both seem much more content. I'll certainly continue to use the ComfortZone with Feliway system, a bargain compared to damaged furniture or stains, and recommend it to anyone with a cat (stressed or not).
One Time Out For Truffles follower, and their four legged family member, will win a $25 VetDepot Gift Certificate!