Researchers Study Birth Control Pills for Animals

Texas A&M University has begun testing oral contraceptives on wild animals, which could eventually lead to approval for use on pets.

Posted: February 21 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Researchers Study Birth Control Pills for Animals
Researchers are testing oral contraceptives on cougars. If successful, the contraceptives could be used to control cat populations.
Texas A&M University recently started testing oral contraceptives on wild animals — cougars and feral pigs — however, researchers say that, if successful, the contraceptives could be used to control cat and dog populations.

Animals would ingest the birth control pills through baited food. So far, the results are promising, said Duane Kraemer, a professor in veterinary physiology and pharmacology. The contraceptive must be eaten daily for a certain period of time; however, it may be encapsulated to reduce the consumption frequency.

“This approach inhibits maturation of the egg and therefore prevents fertilization,” he explained. “The animals continue to cycle, so it will not yet be ideal for many pet owners. But there is an advantage for use in wild and feral animals.”

Upon further testing and perfection, the pill may eventually be available for domestic pets, Kraemer said.

“The need for such an animal contraceptive is certainly there,” Kraemer noted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and private donations are funding the $90,000 project.

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Reader Comments

Kim    San Antonio, TX

9/19/2010 4:57:42 PM

what's wrong (or right) with using Feral Stat
birth control for feral cats? anyone know?

Hillary    Denver, CO

7/29/2009 11:26:42 AM

I think it's a great idea! I take care of a colony of ten and have gotten many fixed, but I can't catch the two breeding females! They're nuts about wet food...it would be the perfect vehicle for birth control.

Barbara    keokuk, IA

6/3/2009 5:18:07 PM

I have a problem with feral cats and can not afford to trap/neuter all these cats, up to 45 cats/kittens now. They would eat a birth control pill in wet food. I am desperate and would like to try something like this, my cats are healthy and well fed. Just too many and they just keep having babies. Thank you

Karen    Amherst, OH

5/23/2009 4:48:39 PM

We live in the country and cats keep getting dropped off. They are wild and cannot be caught. They come in our garage to eat. We need dry cat food because we have so many with birth control as a n option.

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