Feliway vs. Thunderease: Cat Pheromones or Dog Appeals?

This is our comparison of Thunderease vs Feliway cat calming diffusers.

I’m a aromatherapy ethusiast and a pet owner, researched what sets these two popular products apart.

Both diffusers use pheromones to help relax and calm anxious cats. But the brands have some key differences.

Feliway relies on synthetic pheromones while Thunderease uses natural essential oils.

And while both provide proven calming effects, the best diffuser for your cat depends on her needs.

Let’s dive into the details of this Feliway vs Thunderease comparison guide!

Understanding Feliway and Thunderease Cat Calming Diffusers

Feliway and Thunderease are both pheromone-based diffusers designed to reduce anxiety and calm stressed cats. But they use different formulations to achieve this goal.

  • Feliway uses synthetic copies of cat facial pheromones. Cats release these “happy” pheromones when rubbing their heads against surfaces. Feliway diffusers emit the same pheromone to signal comfort and familiarity.
  • Thunderease relies on natural essential oils like chamomile and lavender. These oils have calming properties and help cats feel more relaxed.

Both diffuser types are odorless, drug-free, and clinically proven to significantly decrease stress behaviors in cats when used continuously. They can help curb issues like urine marking, aggression, over-grooming, and more by providing a soothing environment.

Feliway Classic Calming Diffuser for Cats

Comparing the Variants, Coverage and Longevity

When deciding between Feliway and Thunderease, it’s important to compare the specific variants offered and their coverage areas.

Feliway Variants

  • Feliway Classic for general anxiety and stress
  • Feliway Friends for multi-cat households
  • Feliway Spray for on-the-go situations like vet visits

Thunderease Variants

  • Thunderease for Cats for single cat anxiety
  • Thunderease for Multicats for multi-cat homes
  • Thunderease Spray for travel and vet visits

Both brands offer diffusers and sprays designed to cover 700+ square feet and last around 30 days before needing a refill. Feliway may require more frequent cartridge changes compared to Thunderease.

Examining the Costs of Feliway and Thunderease Diffusers

When it comes to pricing and value, Feliway and Thunderease have some key differences.

ProductAverage Price
Feliway Diffuser$25-$35
Feliway Refills$20-$25 (lasts 4 weeks)
Thunderease Diffuser$15-$25
Thunderease Refills$12-$18 (lasts 4 weeks)

Feliway tends to be more expensive overall, but many pet owners find it worthwhile for its fast-acting formula and multi-cat household variants.

Thunderease is generally the more budget-friendly option, with cheaper diffusers and refills. It offers great value, especially if you have just one cat.

Consider your specific needs and cat’s behaviors when evaluating cost. For serious anxiety issues, Feliway may be the better investment despite the higher price tag.

Thunderease Calming Diffuser

Effectiveness for Vet Visits, Travel and Multi-Cat Homes

Understanding when and how to use Feliway vs. Thunderease can optimize their calming effects. Here are some key situations where these diffusers can help:

Vet Visits

  • Thunderease may work better to specifically reduce examination-related anxiety. Its natural oils seem most effective for acute stress triggers.
  • Feliway provides more generalized calming and may need to be used for 1-2 weeks prior to see an effect during vet visits.


  • The on-the-go sprays can help for car rides and transports. Thunderease may work faster as the oils don’t require as much diffusion time.
  • For longer travel, use a diffuser in your cat’s carrier bag and in the new home to ease relocation stress. Feliway Multicat is ideal for new environments.

Multi-Cat Households

  • Feliway Friends/Multicat is designed specifically for combatting inter-cat aggression and stress.
  • Thunderease Multicat can also reduce tensions but may require longer use to influence cat relationships.

Safety and Potential Side Effects

Clinical studies have proven both Feliway and Thunderease to be safe for cats when used as directed. However, some things to consider:

  • Rare side effects like increased scratching or irritability may happen initially as cats adjust. Monitor behavior closely if trying a new diffuser.
  • Do not use near birds or fish as the airborne chemicals can negatively impact these pets. Keep diffusers in cat-designated areas only.
  • While the pheromones have no effect on humans or dogs, essential oils may irritate sensitive individuals if inhaled directly.

When used properly, these calming diffusers pose minimal risks. But discontinuing use if you observe any unusual behaviors or health issues in pets or family members is recommended. Consulting your vet can help determine causes.

Feliway vs. Thunderease: Cat Pheromones or Dog Appeals?

The Verdict: Choosing the Best Cat Calming Diffuser

When it comes to Feliway vs. Thunderease, there is no definitively “better” option. Both can effectively reduce anxiety and unwanted behaviors in cats. Make your decision based on your cat’s specific needs and home environment.

Key Factors to Consider:

  • Cat’s age, health status, and severity of behaviors
  • Single vs. multi-cat household
  • Cost and value considerations
  • Ease of use and maintenance
  • Vet recommendations based on your cat

While Thunderease costs less overall, Feliway offers the most specialized formulations targeting key issues like inter-cat aggression. Combining diffusers with other calming techniques like pheromone sprays, environmental enrichment, and training is also recommended.

With the right diffuser choice and proper use, you can help your stressed out cat feel more relaxed and content both inside and outside the home. Paying attention to their unique preferences maximizes the benefits of these calming products.