The 7 Best Calming Cat Treats

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Trips to the vet can be stressful. Thunderstorms are loud and unpredictable. Changes in routine can be upsetting. These are just a few of the situations that can trigger anxiety in your cat.

Cats can become stressed and anxious about many of the same things as people, though the signs of cat anxiety may manifest in different ways. Changes in activity level, excessive meowing, uncharacteristic aggression, and changes in weight or appetite can all signal an increase in stress.

While chronic anxiety is something you should address with your veterinarian, occasional symptoms can sometimes be managed with at-home solutions like cat calming aids.

In this guide, we’ll explore the subject of cat calming treats to discover how they work (and whether they work) and which are the best options on the market.

At A Glance: Best Calming cat Treats To Buy

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We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Vetriscience Composure Chicken Liver Flavor Soft Chews

  • Trio of clinically proven active ingredients
  • Affordably priced under $0.30 per chew
  • Appealing chicken liver flavor
Runner Up
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Pet Naturals Calming Cat Chews

  • Contains three calming active ingredients
  • Tasty chicken liver flavor
  • Safe to double or triple the dose as needed
Best Budget
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Cat Aid Supplement Plus Melatonin

  • Contains five active ingredients for calming
  • Affordably priced under $0.20 per chew
  • Great for stressful events like travel and loud noises
Best Catnip Treat
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Shameless Pets Catnip n Chill Crunchy Cat Treats

  • Rich in protein from an animal-based source
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat provides essential fats
  • Nepetalactone in catnip may have a calming effect
Best For Sensitive Stomach
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Tomlyn Relax & Calm Chicken Flavored Soft Chews

  • Contains 66mg L-tryptophan per chew
  • Moderately priced around $0.35 per chew
  • Chamomile for added anxiety relief
Best Herbal
9.0
Picked by 21 people today!

I and Love and You Hearties Calming and Coat Support Grain-Free Cat Treats

  • Protein-rich chicken and chicken liver as top 2 ingredients
  • All natural ingredients, no artificial additives
  • High in moisture, soft texture is easy to chew and break apart
Best Paw Gel
9.0
Picked by 18 people today!

ThunderWunders Calming Cat Paw Gel

  • Some cats prefer it over calming chews
  • May work well for cats with dental problems
  • Contains salmon oil, a rich source of omega-3s

How Do Calming Cat Treats Work?

Calming aids for cats take several different forms.

The Thundershirt delivers gentle but constant pressure to help ease anxiety in stressful situations. Plug-in pheromone diffusers like Feliway are clinically proven to reduce stress-related behaviors and can even ease tension in multi-cat households. The same pheromones can even be incorporated into cat collars for continuous calming relief.

Another popular product for relieving occasional anxiety is calming cat treats.

Calming cat treats are typically made with relaxing herbs like chamomile. They work in a similar way to calming teas for humans.

The best calming cat treats, however, contain clinically proven active ingredients like L-theanine, L-tryptophan, and thiamine (Vitamin B1) to relax the central nervous system. A bioactive peptide derived from the casein in cow’s milk called α-casozepine has also been reported to offer an anxiolytic effect similar to benzodiazepines.

The therapeutic effects of α-casozepine and L-tryptophan are supported by the results of a 2017 study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

While clinical research involving calming cat treats is limited, there are studies that support the use of these active ingredients.

A 2018 study published in the Irish Veterinary Journal reported that an oral calming supplement called Anxitane®, the active ingredient in which is L-theanine, helped improve the undesirable manifestations of stress in cats in as little as 15 days.

The calming effect of thiamine have been extensively studied in humans, though it’s difficult to say whether the same benefits can be expected in cats.  A 2008 article published in Integrative Medicine Insights notes the use of thiamine and essential fatty acids like primrose oil.

The efficacy of calming treats for cats depends on the active ingredients used and their concentration. We’ve scoured the market for the best cat treats for stress and anxiety according to their active ingredients, veterinarian recommendations, and positive customer reviews.

Our Top Picks For The Best Calming Treats For Cats

Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them!

Here are our top 7 picks for the best calming cat treats:

#1 Overall Best: Vetriscience Composure Chicken Liver Flavor Soft Chews

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With over 20,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4-star rating, VetriScience Composure treats are some of the most popular cat calming chews on the market.

This formula features a trio of clinically proven active ingredients including thiamine, colostrum, and L-theanine. The recipe is veterinarian formulated and approved by the brand’s veterinary review board to support behavioral problems in cats.

These calming chews come in a tasty chicken liver flavor with 30 chews per container. They’re affordably priced under $0.30 per treat and can be purchased in 1- or 2-packs.

While these treats are marketed as soft chews, some customers report that the texture is a little hard for their cats. Others, however, found that the chews were soft enough to be broken into pieces.

Ingredients

Thiamine (Vitamin B1), C3 (Colostrum Calming Complex), L-Theanine, Brewer’s Yeast, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Mixed Tocopherols, Propionic Acid, Proprietary Blend (Maltodextrin, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Sulfate), Rosemary Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable Oil.

Active Ingredients (Per 1 Chew)

  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 67mg
  • C3 (Colostrum Calming Complex): 11mg
  • L-Theanine: 10.5mg

What We Liked

  • Trio of clinically proven active ingredients
  • Affordably priced under $0.30 per chew
  • Appealing chicken liver flavor

What We Didn’t Like

  • Texture may be too hard for some cats

#2 Runner Up: Pet Naturals Calming Cat Chews

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Formulated with the same three active ingredients as our top pick. The concentration of those active ingredients is a little lower, but this calming formula from Pet Naturals is still an excellent choice.

These treats feature thiamine, C3 Colostrum Calming Complex, and L-theanine as the top three ingredients. The remainder of the ingredients list is very similar to the previous formula, including the chicken liver flavor.

These treats from Pet Naturals of Vermont have a slightly lower overall rating than VetriScience Composure, though more than one-third of those ratings are 5-star. Customers report similar issues with the consistency of the treats and some cats simply don’t seem to like the flavor.

Individual preferences aside, this calming supplement seems to be properly formulated for anxiety relief and they’re a little bit cheaper than our top pick.

Ingredients

Brewers Yeast, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Mixed Tocopherols, Propionic Acid, Proprietary Blend (Maltodextrin, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Sulfate), Rosemary Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Whey.

Active Ingredients (Per 1 Chew)

  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 65mg
  • C3 (Colostrum Calming Complex): 9mg
  • L-Theanine: 8.5mg

What We Liked

  • Contains three calming active ingredients
  • Tasty chicken liver flavor
  • Safe to double or triple the dose as needed

What We Didn’t Like

  • Lower concentration of active ingredients
  • Some customers find the texture too hard

#3 Best Budget: NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Cat Aid Supplement Plus Melatonin

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Sold in 50- and 60-count containers, this calming formula is affordably priced under $0.20 per chew. Keep in mind, however, that NaturVet recommends a serving size of two chews.

These chews are designed specifically for use during stressful situations like vet visits – they may also be effective for separation anxiety. It’s best to give them to your cat 30 minutes prior to the event to ensure that the calming effects have time to develop.

Formulated with five active ingredients, these chews feature L-tryptophan and thiamine as well as three herbal ingredients. Chamomile is a well-known calming aid while melatonin helps to promote rest and relaxation. Ginger is added to support sensitive stomachs which can be a benefit during travel.

Customer experience with this product varies greatly. Over 40% of customers on Amazon rated the product 5-star with many reporting that the treats are particularly effective at night. Some report, however, that the effects seem to decrease with repeated use.

Ingredients

L-Tryptophan, Chamomile, Thiamine, Ginger, Melatonin, Brewer’s Yeast, Cod Liver Oil, Flaxseed Meal, Glycerin, Lecithin, Natural Flavoring, Oat Groats, Rice Flour, Sorbic Acid, Vegetable Oil, Wheat Germ.

Active Ingredients (Per 2 Chews)

  • L-Tryptophan: 50mg
  • Chamomile: 6mg
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 6mg
  • Ginger: 1mg
  • Melatonin:01mg

What We Liked

  • Contains five active ingredients for calming
  • Affordably priced under $0.20 per chew
  • Great for stressful events like travel and loud noises

What We Didn’t Like

  • Effects may decrease over time
  • Some cats don’t like the flavor

#4 Best Catnip Treat: Shameless Pets Catnip n Chill Crunchy Cat Treats

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Read Our Full Brand Review

While catnip triggers an agitated response in some cats, others seem to find it soothing. A member of the mint family, catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone which has been linked to calming effects.

These treats from Shameless Pets contain protein-rich chicken as the primary ingredient with chicken fat as a nutritious source of essential fats. They contain other natural ingredients like upcycled sweet potato and brown rice with no artificial additives like colors, flavors, or preservatives.

What makes Shameless Pets unique is that they use misfit and surplus produce in their recipes. This is where the term “upcycled” comes from. Every 6 bags of treats purchased equates to 1 pound of food rescued which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This recipe is low in calories and rich in natural chicken flavor. The treats have a crunchy texture cats seem to enjoy and they’re made in the USA.

Ingredients

Chicken, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice, Tapioca, Brewers Dried Yeast, Miscanthus Grass, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Inulin, Catnip, Phosphoric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 18%
Crude Fat: 14.5%
Crude Fiber: 8%
Moisture: 8%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 19.57%
Fat: 15.76%
Fiber: 8.7%
Carbs: 55.98%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 17.19%
Fat: 33.63%
Carbs: 49.18%

What We Liked

  • Rich in protein from an animal-based source
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat provides essential fats
  • Nepetalactone in catnip may have a calming effect

What We Didn’t Like

  • Contains some unnecessary plant ingredients

#5 Best For Sensitive Stomach: Tomlyn Relax & Calm Chicken Flavored Soft Chews

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These chicken flavored soft chews from Tomlyn are a little bit different from our top three picks in that L-tryptophan is the primary active ingredient. As mentioned above, the calming effects of L-tryptophan are supported by clinical evidence.

In addition to L-tryptophan, these treats contain chamomile flower for herbal anxiety relief. Each chew contains 66mg L-tryptophan, 39.6mg chamomile, and 6.6mg ginger root.

These treats have an appealing chicken liver flavor and they’re moderately priced around $0.35 per chew. Some customers report that the treats are larger than necessary, and the hard texture makes them difficult to break apart.

Overall, however, they may be a good choice for anxious cats who don’t respond to other active ingredients like L-theanine and thiamine.

Ingredients

L-Tryptophan, Chamomile Flower, Ginger Root, Arabic Gum, Brewers Yeast, Calcium Sulfate, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Citrus Pectin, Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Mixed Tocopherols, Oat Flower, Propionic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Rye Flour, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Alginate, Sorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Water.

Active Ingredients (Per 1 Chew)

  • L-Tryptophan: 66mg
  • Chamomile Flower: 6mg
  • Ginger Root:6mg

What We Liked

  • Contains 66mg L-tryptophan per chew
  • Moderately priced around $0.35 per chew
  • Chamomile for added anxiety relief

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some customers found the treats too large
  • Hard texture makes them difficult to break apart

#6 Best Herbal: I and Love and You Hearties Calming and Coat Support Grain-Free Cat Treats

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Read Our Full Brand Review

While the calming effects of herbal ingredients are less well-studied than active ingredients like L-theanine and thiamine in clinical settings, many cat owners find that they help to relieve their cat’s stress and anxiety.

These grain-free cat treats from I and Love and You feature chamomile, passionflower, and lavender. They’re also made with protein-rich chicken and chicken liver with added prebiotics to support healthy digestion in cats.

The carbohydrate content of these treats is fairly high, but they’re much higher in moisture than many of the cat treats on this list. This makes the texture softer and more manageable for cats with dental problems. They may also be easier to break into pieces for kittens.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Glycerin, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Pea Fiber, Salt, Inulin, Pumpkin, Dandelion Greens, Cranberry Powder, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Chamomile, Lavender, Passion Flower.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 19%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 24%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 25%
Fat: 11.84%
Fiber: 6.58%
Carbs: 56.58%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 22.66%
Fat: 26.06%
Carbs: 51.28%

What We Liked

  • Protein-rich chicken and chicken liver as top 2 ingredients
  • All natural ingredients, no artificial additives
  • High in moisture, soft texture is easy to chew and break apart

What We Didn’t Like

  • High carbohydrate content
  • No clinically-proven active ingredients

#7 Best Paw Gel: ThunderWunders Calming Cat Paw Gel

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If your feline friend has dental problems that make dry food and treats difficult to chew, a soft calming treat might be a more appropriate choice. This paw gel has an appealing salmon flavor and a gel texture that is easy for most cats to consume and digest. You simply squeeze it onto his paw and he licks it off.

This paw gel from ThunderWunders features herbal calming extracts like passion flower and chamomile as well as catnip. It also contains salmon oil as an animal-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Over 50% of customers on Chewy give this product a 5-star rating and several report that the product is more appealing to their cats than calming treats. It’s worth noting, however, that the product can be a little messy to use and it does contain sodium benzoate, an artificial preservative.

Ingredients

Oat Extract, Passion Flower Extract, Chamomile Extract, Catnip, Water, Soybean Oil, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Carboxymethyl, Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Salmon Oil, Salmon Fish Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative).

Active Ingredients (Per 6g)

  • Oat Extract: 100mg
  • Chamomile Extract: 45mg
  • Passion Flower Extract: 45mg
  • Catnip Extract: 20mg

What We Liked

  • Some cats prefer it over calming chews
  • May work well for cats with dental problems
  • Contains salmon oil, a rich source of omega-3s

What We Didn’t Like

  • Can be a little messy to use
  • Contains sodium benzoate, an artificial preservative
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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

2 thoughts on “The 7 Best Calming Cat Treats

  1. Gail Stafford

    Good article, however, what we’re looking for is something like PROPOFOL for cats so that we can safely trim nails and remove clumps of matted fur. Or something like ATIVAN so that we don’t have to wear welder’s gloves to trim nails. Any ideas for a solution that is safe?

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

      I wouldn’t recommend putting your cat under general anesthesia for trimming nails and removing mats—administering this drug is best done under proper supervision. Ativan (Lorazepam) may be prescribed for something like this, but again, you’ll need to get a vet’s approval for that. Gabapentin and Trazodone are also common recommendations.

      Reply

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