Rescue Remedy for Pets
June 11, 2014 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Some people swear by Rescue Remedy to calm their anxious pets. Are you one of those people? If so, can you tell me your experience?

I am extremely skeptical about homeopathy, but I also have a cat with newly diagnosed epilepsy and accompanying anxiety-related neurological issues (overgrooming, biting, scratching). Hopefully we will get these symptoms worked out eventually by adjusting his anti-seizure meds, but for the time being I am looking for ways to get him to calm the hell down and stop hurting himself and am willing to try almost anything.

We already have a Feliway diffuser. I have no idea if it's helps or not, but we have it.

posted by something something to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you only interested in those who think it helps? If not, I tried it repeatedly for a dog with firework-induced anxiety (we have a house on the beach in a state that allows professional fireworks to be sold to anyone, so it's an every night experience during the summer). It did not make any noticeable difference for my poor girl.
posted by cecic at 4:16 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

No, sorry for the wording. Any and all experiences welcome.
posted by something something at 4:18 PM on June 11, 2014

I tried Rescue Remedy for a puppy with separation anxiety several years ago and didn't notice any impact. However, I also tried a DAP diffuser, which is probably more similar to Feliway but for dogs, and even though I assumed it wouldn't do anything, I ended up being pretty impressed.
posted by mjcon at 4:37 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you are using the kind formulated for humans you may see a slight effect on very small pets, as the main ingredient is alcohol. Otherwise, the only effect of any homeopathic "medicine" on any user is if the individual using it is capable of experiencing a placebo effect. As pets are not susceptible to human superstition, it will not have any effect on them. It may have an effect on the humans giving it to their pets in that they believe it is working and it soothes their fears about their pet's health.

If that belief is something that will benefit you personally then go ahead and use it.
posted by elizardbits at 4:42 PM on June 11, 2014 [12 favorites]

When my neurotic cat's kittens came back from the vet after getting spayed and neutered, she started trying to off them whenever she got near them. It was really upsetting for all involved, so my mom began giving her small doses of Rescue Remedy for cats in her food and with treats. Then we'd put her in a room with her kittens and gently reintroduce them to each other. It made a major difference. She wasn't loving towards them anymore as she was pre-op, but she wasn't trying to kill them anymore either. We continued to use RR whenever she had a neurotic moment. Very grateful for it.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:45 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I gave my old, arthritic, cranky rabbit RR and it seemed to make her happier, but I can't say for sure. I only tried it for a short time until I could get some traditional pain meds for her (those definitely worked). The vet said it couldn't hurt so I thought it was worth a try. Could be it did something, or possibly the placebo effect was working on me.
posted by epanalepsis at 5:00 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a vet, and while I have some clients who swear by it, I have tried it in my own cat without seeing any results. If you were my client and called to say exactly what you wrote here, I would talk about an E collar and making sure that your Feliway has good coverage throughout your house. At this point, even if you do see a change, you'll be unable to tell if its from the RR or the neuro meds.

Wishing you and your cat all the best. This stuff is hard, and you sound like a really great pet owner, he's lucky to have you.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 5:41 PM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

In my experience (rescue transporter), the only thing Rescue Remedy does is stink up the car. Possibly it takes continuous longer-term exposure for any effect to be noticeable, but I kind of doubt it.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:44 PM on June 11, 2014

You might want to look into Sentry calming collars. They use a different pheromone than Feliway.

Not your question, but do you also already know about Thundershirts for cats? Not sure how well it would work for yours, but maybe worth a little research.
posted by amtho at 6:09 PM on June 11, 2014

Eh, we used Rescue Remedy (and still do) whenever we have big car trips. Pre-RR we had a cat that would cry pitifully (and relentlessly) for up to 8 hours at a time, non-stop, pee on the carpet, try to scratch holes in the upholstery.

With-RR the cat cries pitifully but no more than 15 minutes at a time and doesn't pee on the carpet. He also spends more than usual time sleeping.

Is this due to the RR? Or simply luck? I don't know, but the cats both seem more mellow during scary periods with RR. I definitely recommend it.
posted by arnicae at 6:13 PM on June 11, 2014

I don't know anything about Rescue Remedy but I had good luck at times with Paw Ease, which has some catnip and other things in it.
posted by foxfirefey at 6:16 PM on June 11, 2014

We have two dogs @ 12-15 lbs and it works well for them. One is very thunder averse and one gets anxious when people are over. The rec dosage calms them right down quite well.
posted by pearlybob at 6:34 PM on June 11, 2014

Try Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Treats for Cats.

Four drops of the Rescue Remedy is basically 2 micrograms of minced flowers suspended in 4 drops of alcohol, so there's not really any active ingredient there. Besides the alcohol, and the attention from a human loved one who's managing to relax a bit more since they're doing something to help.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:44 PM on June 11, 2014

Made a big difference when rubbed into the fur of two cats I had to hydrate by infusions because of kidney disease. Calmed them down sufficiently for them to seemingly perceive that the infusion made them feel better they even purred with the infusion needle in their paws. Prior to RR they hissed scratched and thrashed when we attempted to infuse them. To minimize trauma I simply put RR on my fingers and rubbed them on the top of. the head between the ears. And yes, I tried the scalp rub without RR as a control to my experiment and found the cats scratched, hissed, thrashed and were terrified without RR on my fingers, I know it sounds silly and woo-woo, but it really seems to work
posted by Lylo at 11:53 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks, everybody. The consensus sort of confirms what I was already thinking, and trying to shoot an extra thing into his mouth is only increasing the anxiety right now anyway.

I am going to try rubbing it into his fur, though! Just in case!
posted by something something at 4:53 PM on June 12, 2014

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