Pet Tips

Tip 72 – Dog pheromones cat pheromones

Pheromones are chemicals that are naturally produced by many insects and animals including dogs, cats and man. Depending on the animal, these chemicals that are secreted by the body can be easily or subtly detected through the sense of smell. They are capable of changing the “smeller’s” behaviour as well as creating a physiological response within the smeller. Pheromones were first discovered in the 1950′s in insects such as ants and moths and are quite easy to identify. Detecting, locating and reproducing specific pheromones in larger mammals has proven to be more difficult, though their existence is certain. When a female dog or cat is in heat for example, she releases pheromones that are detectable by male dogs living within a few miles of her. Pheromones are also present in urine, and when your dog or cat urinates, other members of the same species are attracted to the smell and the information (about territory, rank, gender etc.) hiding within the smell. When a cat rubs its face on you it is actually scenting you with pheromones. This scent has the role of both calming the cat down while claiming ownership of you.

Due to the fact that different pheromones are thought to elicit specific behaviours, scientists and marketers alike have sought to research and develop synthetic pheromones. In female dogs for example, the nursing mother naturally secretes a pheromone that calms her puppies down. A synthetic pheromone is now being sold to calm down dogs that are overly nervous and fearful. Similarly in cats, there are now synthetic pheromones (in spray format) on the market that are supposed to reduce marking behaviours by calming the cat down.

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