True North Living » Cause » Pet Health and Wellness » Modern Life Can Be Stressful for Cats, but You Can Help
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Dr. Karren Prost

Dr. Karren Prost

Companion Animal Veterinary Services Manager at Ceva Animal Health

FELIWAY® Optimum calms cats better than ever and helps to manage more signs of stress to support the well-being of your cat.


Cats may be the most misunderstood and loved animals in the world. Often characterized as aloof and solitary, cats actually love companionship and many can experience separation anxiety when their owners are away. Cats that hide and won’t come out are often viewed as antisocial, but in reality, they’re likely stressed. And if your cat has scratched your couch and you’re thinking it’s being done out of spite, stress may actually be playing a role.

Our modern lifestyles often conflict with our cats’ needs without us realizing it, and studies show that 55 percent of cats exhibit signs of stress.

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Knowing the signs of stress

“Cats are typically very fastidious and interesting creatures,” says Dr. Karren Prost, Companion Animal Veterinary Services Manager at Ceva® Animal Health, an Animal Health company with over 25 years of feline behaviour expertise. “They really need to have the right environment set up.”

Dr. Prost explains that cats have five essential needs that can be summarized as follows: the need for safe space, having all available resources in separate areas (and multiples of all resources in multicat households), having the opportunity for play and predatory behaviour, daily consistent and positive human-cat social interactions, and an environment that respects their sense of smell. Some of these needs can also be challenging to meet in our busy professional and family lives.

“If all their needs aren’t met and they don’t have the right environment that allows them to thrive, cats can show symptoms of fear, anxiety, or stress,” says Dr. Prost. “Unfortunately, when cats are stressed, it often shows up as behaviours that owners find very problematic, including constant hiding or looking fearful, urine marking, scratching, inter-cat conflict, and more.”

The power of pheromones

Fortunately, there are proactive ways to address cats’ stress and ease their symptoms. Beyond trying to ensure their environmental needs are met, pet owners can also help their kitties feel more comfortable using pheromones.

“Pheromones are odourless messages created by cats, and are only detected by other cats,” says Dr. Prost. “These chemical cues are used to help leave messages about their environment and territory, and they play a big role in cats’ sense of comfort and security.”

Ceva® Animal Health’s latest product, FELIWAY® Optimum, harnesses the power of pheromones to support cats’ well-being and help reduce the signs and symptoms of stress.

“The New Pheromone Complex in FELIWAY® Optimum helps cats feel not only comfortable in their environment but also helps with harmony between cats,” says Dr. Prost.

A new generation of pheromones

FELIWAY® Optimum is vet-recommended and the number one best-selling solution to help comfort and reassure cats and help control unwanted behaviours because it works. “Ninety-three percent of pet parents found that it provided enhanced serenity within one month,” says Dr. Prost.

Ceva® Animal Health’s pheromone products come with a long history of peer-reviewed papers and studies to back them up while being a drug-free solution. There are no sedative effects, no adverse effects, and no contraindications if there are any underlying health issues or medications,” says Dr. Prost.

FELIWAY® Optimum is available as a diffuser and lasts 30 days before needing a refill. It has no smell and is only detected by cats.

“If you have a cat that’s showing stress-related behaviour, FELIWAY® Optimum is an integral component of the solution when combined with ensuring all of your cat’s needs are met, and an examination from your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions contributing to this behaviour,” says Dr. Prost.


Dr. Karren Prost

Dr. Prost completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College while developing a passion for public health and one health concepts. She continued her studies and obtained her Master of Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Toronto, and obtained diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine. Prior to joining Ceva, Dr. Prost was sharing her time between clinical practice in a busy 24-hour emergency animal hospital in central Ontario, and performing research at the Sunnybrook Research Institute on aerosolized viruses. She has a strong passion for epidemiology, preventative medicine and promoting evidence-based medicine. During her spare time, Dr. Prost enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter, and mountain biking. She currently shares her home with her two cats who like to make appearances in video meetings.

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