Do calming chews work for cats?


It’s no secret that cats can be a little dramatic. From random acts of destruction to unprovoked sprints around the house at 3 AM, there’s no shortage of things that can send our feline friends into a tailspin. In recent years, pet parents have turned to calming chews as a way to help soothe their stressed-out kitties. But do they actually work? Let’s take a look at the science behind these popular products. 

How Do Calming Chews Work?

Calming chews typically contain ingredients like L-theanine, chamomile, or CBD that are known to have calming effects on the body. When eaten, these ingredients interact with the brain and nervous system to promote a sense of relaxation. 

Calming chews for cats usually contain ingredients like valerian root, chamomile, and L-tryptophan, which all have calming and relaxing effects on both humans and animals. When your cat ingests these ingredients, it will start to feel more relaxed and less anxious. This can be helpful in situations like when you’re moving to a new home or if there is construction going on near your house.

Do Calming Chews Really Work?

The jury is still out on whether or not calming chews are truly effective for cats. A 2013 study published in The Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that nearly 70% of cats showed improvement in symptoms like increased vocalization and urination outside the litter box after taking calming chews for 30 days. However, it’s important to note that this study was sponsored by Ceva Animal Health—a company that manufactures calming products for pets—so it’s possible that the results are biased. 

There is some scientific evidence to suggest that calming chews may indeed help reduce stress and anxiety in cats. In one study, researchers found that valerian root was effective in reducing stress-related behaviors in cats like excessive grooming, urine spraying, and how much they vocalized. However, it’s worth noting that not all cats will respond to calming chews in the same way; some may not react to them at all while others may become more calm and relaxed after taking them. 

Bottom Line

If your cat is experiencing mild stress or anxiety, calming chews may provide some relief. However, if your cat is exhibiting signs of serious distress—like loss of appetite, lethargy, or excessive vocalization—it’s important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Once any medical issues have been ruled out, your vet may recommend a more intensive treatment plan that includes behavior modification and/or pharmacological interventions. 


If your cat is feeling stressed, there’s no harm in trying a natural remedy like calming chews. Just be sure to consult your veterinarian first to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing your cat’s distress. Once you’ve gotten the all-clear from your vet, give calming chews a try and see if they make a difference for your feline friend. Who knows—you may just find yourself with a calmer, happier kitty as a result!


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