Dry cat food which calms cats contains Zylkène which has been proved to be effective

Calming cat food
Calming cat food. Photo: Amazon.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There is one, perhaps only one, dry cat food designed to calm down the cat who eats it. It is Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Feline Calm. The interesting aspect of this cat food is that it has 127 reviews on the manufacturer’s website nearly all of which are five-star and the overall rating is five stars. Are they genuine? We have to be sceptical about reviews these days. Here’s an example of one of the comments:

Highly recommended: I had my four cats on this for months due to behavioural issues after I had a dental and fighting issue. This is a wonderful food that really, over time, helped calm all four of my cats down..

Royal Canin calming dry cat food ingredients
Royal Canin calming dry cat food ingredients. Click this for a statement about L-lysine.

And another said:

My cat was licking himself bold in areas due to stress. This calmed him so much that his hair grew back quickly. He is happy now!

And from a veterinary website:

Zylkene is excellent and works really well for my very nervous ex stray cat. Zaylene has helped to calm him. – Carrie Holden

Zylkène – effectiveness

The food contains a naturally occurring chemical that is a tranquilliser. The ingredient is called “casein milk protein hydrolase and L-tryptophan”. A forum tells us that the chemical which does the calming of cats is called Zylkène. This is a “natural product derived from casein, the protein in milk”. So this is the secret ingredient: Zylkène. It can also be given to dogs for the same purpose. You can also buy it in pill form and on the internet. The Zylkène website discusses through a quiz the circumstances which might cause your cat to be stressed.

A study: Effect of alpha-casozepine (Zylkene) on anxiety in cats, published on March-April 2007 (really quite a long time ago) on the Science Direct website concluded that “This 56-day trial against placebo showed the statistically positive effect of this product in the management of anxious disorders such as social phobias cats. Global score, as well as different items (fear of strangers, contact with the ministers, general fears, fear-related aggressions, autonomic disorders), were all significantly improved by the use of this natural decapeptide.”

This is a very conclusive conclusion to a study conducted some time ago. And the good thing about it is that it is a naturally occurring substance.


A lot of cat owners know by now what these circumstances are, such as: going to a boarding cattery and living in the cattery for a while, visiting a veterinary clinic, introducing another cat to the home and being alone for long days (separation anxiety). The signs of a stressed cat might include: pupils dilated often, over-grooming, peeing inappropriately due to cystitis, hiding too much or retreating too often to high places.

Anxiety can lead to middening
Anxiety can lead to middening. Image: PoC.

The author of the website indicates that an indoor cat might be more susceptible to becoming stressed than an indoor/outdoor cat. This may be true but it depends on the home and the cat caretaker. If it is true, it will be because being confined curtails natural behaviour which in turn can cause stress. If there are other cats in the household their personal space (home range) is also limited which can generate stress depending on the individual cat once again.

Propensity to slight anxiety

I’m wondering whether anybody has tried it. I’ve never had cause to try it but I’m inclined to buy a bag of it (just bought one) as it can’t do any harm and it might make my cat feel more content. It is arguable that almost all domestic cats should eat some of this food, some of the time, on a presumption that they probably feel stressed some of the time. I think it is a fair argument to state that domestic cats can be a bit hyper from time-to-time. Perhaps it is their super senses which predisposes them to a little bit of anxiety. If that assessment is true then this product may be helpful.

I’m writing this as you can see on the 4th November which is around the time when there’s lots of fireworks going off. This is a classic circumstance under which this cat food might serve its purpose. The food is described as ‘complete and balanced’ and therefore no supplements are needed.

Update: I tried it. Although I can’t be sure, I think it zonked him out. He seemed to slow down. It was odd. I’d recommend cat owners to at least try it as a simple alternative to the usual calming tricks such as music (not effective?). Further update: it works. No question. In fact, he was too calm for me?

P.S. it comes in chews as well. I guess these are treats. Good idea.

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3 thoughts on “Dry cat food which calms cats contains Zylkène which has been proved to be effective”

  1. The first 10 ingredients are horrible for cats! Usually the first few ingredients in commercial dry kibble is bad but the first TEN!? There is no such thing as a high quality dry kibble.Some are better than others but cats should only be fed a species appropriate diet.How can processed cereal with very little meat added that’s cooked at extremely high temperatures be species appropriate for an obligate carnivore? It makes absolutely no sense. Dry kibble is the number one cause in the hundreds of thousands of obesity in cats as well as bladder and kidney disease, infections,blockages, diabetes and cancer in cats! Anyone who can’t think logically and put two and two together and think dry kibble is good and nutritious for cats is going to cause suffering and early death in their cats.

    • Thanks for your comment, Misty. I agree that dry cat food is far from ideal. Particularly sad, therefore, that it is so prevalent and so heavily used and chosen by consumers. This is because it is convenient. I think you might be painting a picture which is that little bit blacker than it really is. Many veterinarians, all veterinarians perhaps, sell dry cat food in their reception areas in the UK. Are you saying that all UK veterinarians want to harm domestic cats?

      It is perhaps a given that wet cat food is much better than dry and I have always promoted that. On the issue of grain in dry cat food, it is ironic that the other day my cat was eating bird seed on the lawn! This, ironically, indicates that grain is not always unpalatable to domestic cats.

      My cat eats birdseed on my back lawn

  2. Personally, I’ve never tried it but I’m suspect of any product that alleges to be ‘complete and balanced’ and therefore no supplements are needed.

    I was watching a video just yesterday by a well known vet in the USA about the fact that there is no such thing as cat/dog food being complete and nutritionally balanced; the nutrients in commercial pet food are the bare minimum of what’s required. Needed nutrients are destroyed in the manufacturing process of pet food. Perfectly nutritious food (meat, fish, vegetables, etc) are then boiled out in the food processing with additives added to lengthen the shelf life thereby making the food mush. Ever notice what it looks like when a can is opened?

    Recently, I spent over $300 USD at the vet because Shadow had severe constipation. Thankfully, after a few days of lactulose his condition resolved. Had that not happened, we were looking at over $1,000 USD for added tests or perhaps even surgery to ascertain and remove any blockage.

    I mention this only because in Shadow’s case (and now Abby’s), all dried food has been removed from their diet. I’ve noticed that even though both cry at me for dried food, once they’re engaged in another activity, like play, they forget about the food. They both seem lighter in their step, their litter box habits have normalized (no more stinky poop or pained straining to go) and it even looks like they’re beginning to lose weight.


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