Cat Birth Control Options Beyond Spaying and Neutering

There are cat birth control options if spaying or neutering is not possible. It's not common, but some cats simply cannot be spayed or neutered. Reasons include allergic reaction to the anesthesia, being too small for the surgery or an underlying disease that requires recovery before a cat faces a surgical procedure.

Alternatives to a cat spay or neuter must be used with caution. In many cases, the alternatives come with risks.

Keeping Your Cat in Quarantine

When your cat goes into heat, you can keep it quarantined. This is especially beneficial if you have an unfixed male and cat in the same house.

A female cat doesn't bleed while in heat unless penetration occurs. While you do not have that mess to deal with, she may mark areas around the room, especially if there are other cats in the house. The oily markings alert unfixed males that she is in heat. They can be difficult to clean.

There are problems with quarantining a cat. The cat will scratch at carpeting and door frames in an attempt to escape. Yowling remains a problem. In addition, your cat will lack social contact with you and other animals during the heat. Unless a female cat mates, the heat cycle will continue for up to 10 days and occur every two to three weeks, so she'll be kept quarantined for a long time.

Cat Birth Control Injections

Depo-Provera is a birth control injection that is safe for cats. The injection contains medroxyprogesterone acetate, a synthetic hormone that prevents ovulation.

Risks of the Depo-Provera injection include a higher risk for diabetes, mammary tumors and uterine infection. In addition, many cats given the cat birth control injection gain weight because their energy levels drop and their appetite increases.

Ovaban Prescriptions

Your veterinarian may offer a prescription for megestrol acetate (Ovaban) a hormonal supplement that stops the heat cycle in cats and dogs. Breeders frequently use the medication in their show animals.

Ovaban is safe, but long term use increases risks of diabetes, liver disease, mammary gland cancer and uterine disease. Unspayed female cats that do not mate have a high risk of developing pyometra, a dangerous infection of the uterus.

Triggering Ovulation to End a Heat Cycle

While difficult for most pet owners to even consider, an effective way to quickly end a heat cycle involves tricking the body into thinking it has conceived. Most cats mate once and then become pregnant. The heat cycle ends after intercourse. Sham breeding is a form of cat birth control that follows this principle.

With sham breeding, a popular cat birth control option with breeders, a Q-tip or similar device is inserted into the female cat's vagina until it rubs on the cervix. This tricks the body into thinking intercourse has occurred and eggs release. The heat cycle ends.

The same principle applies to a trick cat breeders use known as a “Teaser Tom.” A male cat receives a vasectomy instead of a neutering. When a female cat goes into heat, the male cat mounts her triggering the release of eggs and the end of the heat cycle. However, because he is sterile, pregnancy does not occur.