Sentry Calming Collar Review: Does It Stop Cat Spraying and Scratching?
After the death of my beloved flame point Siamese to cancer, my family decided to adopt a four-year-old flame point Siamese from our local shelter.
The new cat has all the personality traits we love in a Siamese. He's demanding and playful and smart. But he also has some stress issues, mainly caused by adjusting to the other cats in our household and adjusting to recently being neutered.
While behavior such as stress spraying may be common, especially when adding adult cats to a multi cat household, it can be annoying for the owner. It is also important to remember that your cat is likely to be feeling stressed as well.
In order to help reduce our new adult cat's anxiety, I decided to try the Sentry Calming Collar for Cats and see if it would help him to feel less stressed and ease his transition into our home.
Why My Cat Was Stressed
I adopted the four-year-old Siamese flame point from a shelter.
- He was four years old.
- History unknown.
- Had been neutered a month earlier.
- Up-to-date on all shots and tested negative for FIV and FLVS.
Siamese are extremely intelligent cats and because of this they also tend to be more neurotic and sensitive. Once the new cat was brought home there was the usual distress that happens when adult cats try to work out their relationship.
I have added adult cats to the household before but this time the new cat was having trouble adjusting with another male cat in the house and when he got distressed, the new cat would spray on the wall or table leg.
Your Cat Will Need to Adjust After Being Neutered
Spraying is odd behavior for neutered, male cats, and if you have cat that is spraying, neutering will almost always fix that problem. However it can take up to six months for the hormones to get out of a newly neutered cat, so he may continue to spray for several months after the procedure.
Since he was spayed well into his adulthood (and it is likely he was originally given up because of the spraying—many don't know how simple this problem is to fix with neutering and behavioral modification), I needed something to help him transition and stop being stressed. '
How the Collar Works
The collar comes in one pack and three packs. The three packs are a better deal. The collar lasts for approximately one month.
It releases pheromones from the collar that mimic the same smells given off by a mother cat around her kittens. These pheromones are stress relievers for cats and for many cats, they immediately feel calmer and safer---just the way a kitten feels around its mother. The technology is much like the way a flea collar works and releases the smells as your cat moves, distributing it on its body and in the environment.
While the pheromones are not able to be smelled by humans, the collar does have a lavender scent added to it. My husband noted that our cat now kind of smelled like a Glade Plug In which was a little bit true. For me the trade off in behavior is worth the scent.
After putting the collar on my cat and cutting off the excess ends of the collar, my cat hissed at me, ran off and sprayed the wall.
"Great, a failure already, " I thought.
But that evening I began to notice changes.
How My Cat Has Changed
I noticed that he wasn't as jumpy as he had been before and that he wasn't hissing at the other cats when they walked by.
He calmly laid on the floor and groomed himself and came up more often for petting and attention.
He is still playful and loves to bat balls and toy mice around the house but he's less concerned and worried about the other cats.
Best off all the spraying seems to have stopped.
He was never completely missing the litterbox, only spraying a small amount on a vertical surface when he felt stressed. That seems to have stopped.
My plan is to use the collar for three of four months (putting on a new one each month) and then taking it off. At this point we can see if the stress of the new home has passed and if everyone has settled into their places and routines.
Any time you introduce an adult cat into a house with other adult cats there will be stress. Sometimes though, the cat may need an extra boost.
I may also try a collar on my other tomcat who is a bit of bully but also timid around people.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
As with any pet issue or a problem, it is best to consult your vet for a full physical exam to insure your cat is not suffering from other health issues that may be causing the spraying or the scratching.
Some vets do recommend the collar but note it may take up to a month for a cat owner to see full results. As always, it depends on the cat, how the cat reacts to the collar and the severity of the problem to start with.
Nothing is guaranteed (is it ever?) but the level of success I've personally seen and read about it makes it seem like a cheap and harmless option for the frustrated cat owner to try.
Here is a break down of the pros and cons of the collar.
Your cat may not enjoy wearing a collar
Easy to put on/take off
May take days or weeks to work
May work instantly
May not work at all on your cat
Works like a flea collar and stays with the pet
Powder may initially show up on a darker cat's fur when first putting it on
There's very little to lose with trying this product. I was skeptical but like most owners with a chronic issue they are trying to solve, I was ready to try anything.
If your male cat is spraying or your male or female cat is scratching excessively or if they feel stressed for any reason, consider trying the calming collar.
Have you tried the Sentry Calming Collar?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Does the Sentry calming collar make cats sleepy?
My cat didn't get particularly sleepy. However, that definitely sounds like a good thing if you were trying to have a calmer cat. Lavender has that effect on some.