Do Calming Treats Work For Cats?

Do Calming treats work to help your cat's anxiety?

Anxiety isn't just something people feel; felines can also feel it too. For example, your cat might get scared when something new comes into the house, like a new baby, dog, or piece of furniture. You might find that even moving furniture around makes your cat nervous. Some cats feel uneasy when they aren't with their favorite person, and some cats are just naturally nervous, especially after a traumatic event. There are various ways to tell if your cat is not feeling well by listening to their meows. Check out this article to learn about your cat's meows and what they mean. 

Like soothing cat collars, the calming treats are meant to ease or eliminate cat behaviors like marking with urine, hiding, fighting, upset stomachs, and scratching. Many pet owners use cat anxiety treats regularly, and others turn to them when they are very stressed, but do the calming treats really work?

We researched if the calming treats might help a scared cat feel safer or if it would be better to keep looking into other ways to make a cat feel better when they are very stressed. We also wanted to share more about what was in the sweets and what made them appealing.

What are Calming Treats, and How do They Work?

Nutraceuticals is the term commonly used in the veterinary industry to describe relaxing treatments. Anxiety, worry, and fear can be alleviated in cats with the aid of calming treats available over-the-counter (OTC). You can use them for both short-term stress and long-term stress. As you might expect, the key to a relaxing cat treat is somewhere in the mix.

  • Tryptophan is an amino acid that is found naturally in many proteins. It is often used as a sleep aid in cat treats. It can be found in turkey and has been shown to calm and steady cats, making them less aggressive.
  • Research has shown that the bioactive peptide alpha-capsazepine can help cats with anxiety and disorders like social phobias related to anxiety.
  • You might also find vitamin B1 (or thiamine) and an amino acid called L-theanine, in addition to herbs like chamomile (think about how we humans drink chamomile tea to help us relax).
  • Cat food these days sometimes includes floral extracts, catnip, and tasty aromas to entice finicky felines to take a bite. The components in this dish provide a relaxing effect since they all function together.

Are Calming Treats Safe to Use?

The good news is that relaxing cat treats are safe for cats, so you won't have to worry about trying to solve one problem and make another worse. Because calming treats are made from natural, non-toxic materials, eating them poses little to no risk to cats.

For example, cats need to get enough Vitamin B thiamine every day. Milk is where the powerful anti-anxiety drug alpha-capsazepine comes from. Alpha-capsazepine has been shown in multiple studies to make cats less anxious, especially around new people.

Also, there's no need to worry about the milk metaphor. It makes sense to wonder if milk is safe for cats to drink, but alpha-capsazepine is nothing like lactose. That's right, you don't have to worry about treats for cats that help them feel better.

Can a Cat Overdose on Calming Treats?

First, you should read the package carefully. Keep track of how often your cat should get a reward meant to calm it down, and give it a treat only what is necessary. There is still a chance of an overdose if you lose track of how many treats you've provided. If a family member doesn't know you've given the cat treats and then gave it twice as many, or if a cat finds the packet.

Most of the time, a sick cat will just be tired, throwing up, and having diarrhea. The main thing to worry about is how much sodium is in a treat and whether or not it goes over the recommended limit. 

If this happens, a cat will probably feel very thirsty, but it could also have more severe symptoms like tremors or heart problems. You should call a vet if your cat has eaten more than the recommended amount of calming treats. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Advantages of Calming Treats for Cats

If your cat suffers from anxiety, calming treats are a simple and, hopefully, tasty way to help reduce its stress. In addition to alleviating your cat's stress and anxiety, calming treats have none of the negative side effects of prescription drugs like sedation, ataxia, or incoordination.

They're also helpful in a wide variety of other contexts, such as:

  • Problems with anxiety caused by being apart while traveling
  • Fireworks or thunderstorms
  • Visitor(s) to the dwelling

Talk to a vet if you think your cat has more severe anxiety than what calming treats can handle.

Examples of symptoms of extreme anxiety include: hiding, aggression, and escaping.

Our Verdict

From what we've seen, cat-calming treats do have a positive effect. Studies on the individual ingredients back this up, so if your cat is anxious or stressed out, you should give these a try. We recommend keeping calming treats on hand even if you are the proud owner of a particularly placid feline species. There's no telling when you'll need to have them handy.


The Best Calming Treats for Cats 

If your cat suffers from anxiety or needs an added health boost, Balanced Breed’s natural cat vitamins will be the right answer. As the #1 vitamin for cats, Balanced Breed has a winning flavor that cats think tastes like a treat! Our delicious vitamins have many benefits, which include helping with your cat’s anxiety. There is a reason that many cat parents choose to give their feline friend Balanced Breed. Click the link to learn more and receive 20% off your first order. Your cat deserves not to feel stressed! 


  • Norra

    The milk thing has always confused me as well but I am glad you guys could clear this up for me. Thanks 😊

  • Patricia H

    I can agree they work!!! I was flying on an airplane with my cat Puddles and she was pretty anxious at first. I gave her some calming treats for anxiety and they really did help her not be too nervous. Made me feel very good and much better because my anxiety was high since hers was high too. Rippling effect…

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