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Sterility Vaccine Might Help Control Feral Cat Population

By Ruth Macpete, DVM

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An estimated single pair of cats can breed and produce more than 400,000 cats over a seven-year period. While the ability to breed prolifically gave the cat species a survival advantage, their reproductive success has resulted in the problem of feral cat overpopulation. There are an estimated 60 million feral cats in the United States. Many people assume that feral cats can survive well on their own, but the truth is that many die from starvation, disease and injury.

Efforts to control the feral cat population have primarily involved trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs. Though effective, these programs are labor intensive and costly because they involve surgery that requires anesthesia, trained veterinary staff and a sterile facility to perform the procedures. These factors have limited the widespread implementation of TNR programs, and in some areas feral cats are killed instead.

**Get the June 2008 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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