Like most responsible cat owners, you probably want to prevent excess breeding and the birth of unwanted kittens. If that is your plan, you are probably wondering, is there birth control for cats? Yes, cat birth control is readily available in the market. You only need to pick a birth control method that will work for your pet.
Most common forms of birth control prevent heat cycles of female cats and, in turn, curb mating and conception. These cycles can either be stopped temporarily or permanently. It’s also possible to prevent pregnancy even after mating occurs.
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Cat Reproductive Facts
Puberty in male cats starts at 6 to 12 months. Although there are no male cat birth control pills, other birth control options like leaving him entire, castration, or neutering are available. Entire male cats typically develop bad habits in the long run, such as vagrancy, fighting, and foul odor. For these reasons, most pet owners prefer neutering when the cat is six months old. You can also do it at a later date.
On the other hand, female cats become sexually active when more than six months old. They primarily mate with tomcats that are famous for their high breeding success rate. The female cat’s gestation period is approximately 57 to 63 days, and they can breed again within six weeks after giving birth. If you don’t control your cat, it can give birth to 6 cats three times per year.
Before dismissing the idea of birth control for cats, consider pregnancy risks and sexually transmitted diseases in cats such as Feline Leukaemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
How Can I Stop My Cat From Getting Pregnant?
Below are four common methods of birth control for cats;
Neutering, also known as spaying, is a standard animal birth control method. It is a permanent procedure that prevents oestrus cycling in pets. The vet performs an ovariohysterectomy operation to removes your cat’s uterus and ovaries. Ovariectomy involves removal of the cat’s ovaries only – it is a less popular surgical procedure. Both procedures, however, make conception impossible.
Surgical birth control for cats is relatively less risky, especially if neutered at a young age. Your six-week-old female cat I a perfect candidate for the procedure. Neutering offers extra health benefits since it lowers the chances of developing mammary cancer in the future.
Avoiding Male Cats
Avoiding male cats is a natural birth control cats method for cats that is highly dependent on your understanding of the pet’s oestrus cycle. You must be extremely careful during this period since male cats are very busy looking for a female cat on heat while female cats stray whenever there is an opportunity.
This method is the best option if you want your queen to breed in the future. If you are a responsible cat owner, this should be a perfect birth control method for your cat.
You can also do birth control for cats using drugs that contain reproductive hormones. These drugs are given as tablets or by injection as prescribed by the veterinary. You should seek veterinary advice before you administer the medications.
Cat birth control drugs can shorten or prevent oestrus cycles. However, some have adverse side effects; if you see any, report to your vet immediately. Due to the potential risks, this method is not the best choice for long-term birth control in animals. You can use it for a short period or on cats not fit for undergoing a surgical procedure.
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Chemical use after unwanted mating
Even after unintended mating, it’s possible to prevent pregnancy. Contact your veterinary immediately and discuss the best option for terminating the pregnancy when it occurs.
Just like the morning after pill for humans, your cat will receive immediate treatment. All birth control pills for cats have potentially adverse side effects; you should use them as a last resort.
After unintentional mating, consider surgical birth control methods to prevent future pregnancies. If you, however, want your queen to breed in the future, delay treatment until you confirm pregnancy.
Birth control for cats in food
Giving a cat birth control pills directly to swallow is complicated and sometimes impossible. Luckily, every cat has to eat. In this case, to implement birth control for cats, mix the drugs with wet cat food once a very week or as per the prescription.
Is There Natural Birth Control for Cats?
Surgical procedures are a bit risky and also expensive. For these reasons, some pet owners prefer natural birth control for their cats. One of the most accessible forms of natural birth control for cats is avoiding male cats, as discussed above.
Using wild carrot seeds is another common natural birth control for animals. These seeds have been used since time immemorial by cats without experiencing any adverse side effects. Dosage varies based on your cat’s weight. It needs some trial and error to get a perfect dosage for your cat.
Wild carrot seed has similar effects to other forms of birth control but is slightly less effective. The slight difference shouldn’t be a matter of concern if you are sure that you want to use the natural approach for your animal.
Consult your vet before giving your cat any supplement. It would be best to be sure that it wouldn’t react with your cat’s health condition or ongoing medication.
Infertility in Cats
Some female cats are unable to give birth despite suitable breeding with fertile male cats. This situation is referred to as infertility. Causes of infertility are numerous and may include; failure to mate successfully, cycle, inability to conceive, and inability to hold a pregnancy to term.
A cat that doesn’t experience a heat cycle is usually diagnosed with genetic or hereditary factors such as hermaphroditism, chromosomal abnormalities. Some may have abnormal ovarian or uterine development.
It’s possible to make your cat infertile as a way of birth control for cats. There is a one-shot contraceptive that can make your male or female cat sterile for many years. This non-surgical method could be the best alternative to neutering.
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