Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Pheromones key to harmonious pet relationships – study
Pet owners in the study noted a fall in undesirable interactions, such as their dog chasing the cat.
Researches assess the effects of pheromone products on cat-dog interactions.

A first-of-its-kind study led by the University of Lincoln has revealed that pheromones could be the key to a harmonious cat-dog relationship.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, analysed the effects of two different pheromone products – Feliway Friends (Cats) and Adaptil (Dogs) - on cat-dog interactions. Researchers found that both products had a positive impact on the interactions between cats and dogs living in the same household.

Over six weeks, pet owners noted a decrease in undesirable interactions, such as their dog chasing a cat, or their cat hiding from the dog. Adaptil users also noted a rise in some desirable behaviours, such as friendly greetings between cat and dog, and time spent relaxing in the same room.

Professor Mills, a professor of veterinary behavioural medicine in Lincoln's School of Life Sciences, said: "Although we are all aware of the perceived tensions between cats and dogs, we believe this is the first study of its kind to explore the use of pheromone products to improve the relationship when the two species are living in the same household.

“Many cat and dog owners report that their animals are comfortable in each other's company, but where this isn't the case, a poor relationship between a resident cat and dog can have serious consequences for the welfare of individual animals.”

In the study, pet owners were split into two groups and randomly assigned an unlabelled pheromone. The group reported weekly on the frequency of 10 specific undesirable interactions and seven specific desirable interactions between their cats and dogs.

Researchers were aware that, in many households, the comfortability of the cat seemingly has a stronger influence over the quality of the cat-dog relationship. They were therefore surprised to learn that it was Adaptil - the product releasing dog pheromones - that increased specific desirable interactions.

Dr Miriam Prior, who undertook the work as part of her PhD, said: "While it might be expected that Feliway Friends would be more effective in multi-species homes given the apparently stronger contribution of the cat's comfortability to the quality of the cat-dog relationship, this did not appear to be the case. Our results might be explained by the behaviour of the dog being the primary determinant of the cat's quality of interaction with it.

"We would like to investigate this further to really tease out the effects of these pheromone products individually and also to investigate their use in combination with each other. We suggest that Adaptil may have had such a beneficial effect because a more relaxed dog may be less likely to disturb the cat (e.g. by chasing it), resulting in a cat that is less stressed and more willing to form some form of social bond with the dog."

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.