Cat pheromone

Cat pheromones are pheromones that are used by cats and other felides for cat communication.

Feline facial pheromone

Feline facial pheromone is a hypothetical pheromone used by cats to mark places, objects, and persons as familiar by rubbing their face on surfaces. It is currently not known if there actually exists a "feline facial pheromone" and what its chemical structure is.


A preparation that claims to contain or to mimic the feline facial pheromone is commercially available under the name "Feliway"

"Cat attractants"

Cat attractants are odorants and constituents of essential oils that have an apparent effect on cat behavior. A cat presented with a cat attractant may roll in it, paw at it, or chew on the source of the smell. The effect is usually relatively short, lasting for only a few minutes after which the cats have a refractory period during which the response cannot be elicited. After 30 minutes to two hours, susceptible cats gain interest again. These compounds might mimic the feline facial pheromone.

The volatile chemicals that are currently known to cause these behavioral effects in cats are actinidine from "Valeriana officinalis", nepetalactone from "Nepeta" (catnip), dihydronepetalactone, neonepetalactone, isodihydronepetalactone, epinepetalactone, boschnialactone, boschniakine, dihydroactinidiolide, actinidiolide, iridomyrmecin, (-)-mitsugashiwalactone, and onikulactone [ Essential oil of Actinidia macrosperma, a catnip response kiwi endemic to China] J. Zhejiang Univ. SCIENCE B 2006 7(9):708-712] Catnip and the catnip response. Tucker, A. O. and Tucker, S. S. "Economic Botany", 42:214-231 (1988)] .

Cat urine odorants

Cat urine, especially that of male cats, contains the putative cat pheromone 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB), a compound that gives cat urine its typical odor. The MMB precursor felinine is synthesized in the urine from 3-methylbutanol-cysteinylglycine (3-MBCG) by the excreted peptidase cauxin. Felinine then slowly degrades into the volatile MMB.cite journal
author = M. Miyazaki, T. Yamashita, Y. Suzuki, Y. Saito, S. Soeta, H. Taira, and A. Suzuki
year = 2006
month = October
title = A major urinary protein of the domestic cat regulates the production of felinine, a putative pheromone precursor
journal = Chem. Biol.
volume = 13
issue = 10
pages = 1071–1079
pmid = 17052611
doi = 10.1016/j.chembiol.2006.08.013
format = pdf

Cat urine smell is highly aversive to rats and mice, but after infection with the parasite "Toxoplasma gondii", they are attracted by it, highly increasing the likelihood of being predated and of infecting the cat.cite journal
author = M Berdoy, J P Webster, and D W Macdonald
year = 2000
title = Fatal attraction in rats infected with "Toxoplasma gondii"
journal = Proc. Biol. Sci.
volume = 267
issue = 1452
pages = 1591–1594
pmid = 11007336
doi = 10.1098/rspb.2000.1182
url =

See also

* Pheromone

External links

* [ Patent US5709863] Properties of cats' facial pheromones
* [ How to Avoid Cat Urine in your House]
* [ How can I prevent my cat from spraying?]


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