Reducing of aggression in newly housed cats using rabbit maternal pheromone

4 June 2018 – News

Introducing new cats to a household can be cause moment of high stress and can lead to important behavioral problems, including aggression and house soiling. A recent study investigated whether long-acting pellets containing rabbit maternal-neonatal pheromone (2M2B) if added to the litterbox could reduce inter-cat aggression and improve litterbox use when new cats are housed together.

The study was divided into two with an interim study of 48 cats to identify aggressive individuals. Study 1 involved 40 cats and several types of litterbox.  The results suggested a preference for litter with 2M2B.

In Study 2, 4 pairs of aggressive cats were housed for 24 hours with 2M2B infused litterboxes and 4 pairs with control litterboxes.  Aggression was significantly lower close to the litterbox with 2M2B for the first two hours.. It was also significantly lower in the first four hours even when the cats were away from the 2M2B infused litterbox. Litterbox use was slightly higher in the control pairs but there was no soiling outside of the litterbox in any of the pairs.

This study had limitations, including taking place out of a home setting and having a short duration.  Despite this, the authors consider that 2M2B could aid in successfully introducing new cats into a household.  Further studies could determine how it compares to other stress reducing strategies.

In John J. McGlone, Arlene Garcia, William G. Thompson & Glenna M. Pirner (2018) Maternal-Neonatal Pheromone/Interomone Added to Cat Litter Improves Litter Box Use and Reduces Aggression in Pair-Housed Cats, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science