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Skeptical, birth control pills for cats ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
Some of you, who have read my first post here on the board, may know that I recently adopted a pregnant cat and she now has three adorable six week old kittens. I'm keeping her inside at the moment until the kittens are weaned and I can get her spayed.

Today though my mom phoned me to tell me about a birth control pill for cats and to say the least, I'm a bit skeptical. Mom says that it is ok to give them to Leticia (my cat) as a short time solution for the month or two until I take her to the Vet to get spayed, it would allow her to go outside whenever she wishes and I can sort of accept the argument that for a short time it won't harm her.
BUT, mom also says that it is ok for me to give Ticia those pills while she is still nursing the kittens and I'm not convinced that is in any way true.

Now mom is coming over tomorrow with a packet of those pills and I either want my mind at ease that it is indeed all right for me to give Ticia the pill for a short time, even though she is still nursing or I want to be armed with some good arguments to convince my mom that she is wrong (which is not an easy task, I assure you).

Any opinions on this? Is it ok, somewhat all right or the worst mistake you can make? Thank you kindly for your comments.

Dru
post #2 of 13
First and Formost NEVER NEVER self medicate your cat until you have spoken about this to your VET since you have no idea how these pills will affect your cat or her babies.

2- Where did your Mom get these pills from????

3 - if these are viable -can you manage to pill her daily to assure birth control...

If it is supposed to be an interim solution the easier and saver Avenue is to just keep her inside with her babies until she can be spayed.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hell603
2- Where did your Mom get these pills from????
Oh, I'm so horribly naive sometimes, especially where my mom is concerned, I didn't even think to ask . From your reaction though I assume that you can only get those pills from a Vet, I don't even want to think which of her well meaning, cat owning friends of hers gave mom a sample .

As to your other question, yes, if the pill is a good solution for those weeks until I can get her spayed I would indeed be able to give it to her every day. I have no vacation planned and Ticia is a very lazy cat, she rarely stays away for more then an hour or two before coming back home.

I guess if reactions or experiences with the birth control pill for cats are good here on the board I will make an appointment with my Vet this week, if they aren't good I guess I will just keep her inside for a while longer. Ticia doesn't really mind to be kept inside though she does try to get out when she happens to be there when I open the front door, so as long as I'm careful it shouldn't be a problem.


Dru
post #4 of 13
Hmmm.... I've never heard of such a thing.
Here is what I've been able to find:

In the United States, there is NO APPROVED birth control pill. However, there are a couple brands of pills used in other countries. I don't know where you are. The one I could find is called Megestrol Acetate, under a few different brand names.

If it is one of those it has "significant side effects", including diabetes and hyperglycemia, mammary cancer, vomiting and diarrhea, and liver damage.

I would HIGHLY suggest that you not give these to your cat. Keep her inside until the spay. Those risks are not worth it, and if you are in the US I have no clue what they could be.

Do a search on "estrus suppression" for cats. This does not sound like a good thing to me, and giving an animal or yourself random pills from who-knows-where (even if it is your mother) is never a good idea.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by drusilly
Hi All,
Some of you, who have read my first post here on the board, may know that I recently adopted a pregnant cat and she now has three adorable six week old kittens. I'm keeping her inside at the moment until the kittens are weaned and I can get her spayed.

Today though my mom phoned me to tell me about a birth control pill for cats and to say the least, I'm a bit skeptical. Mom says that it is ok to give them to Leticia (my cat) as a short time solution for the month or two until I take her to the Vet to get spayed, it would allow her to go outside whenever she wishes and I can sort of accept the argument that for a short time it won't harm her.
BUT, mom also says that it is ok for me to give Ticia those pills while she is still nursing the kittens and I'm not convinced that is in any way true.

Now mom is coming over tomorrow with a packet of those pills and I either want my mind at ease that it is indeed all right for me to give Ticia the pill for a short time, even though she is still nursing or I want to be armed with some good arguments to convince my mom that she is wrong (which is not an easy task, I assure you).

Any opinions on this? Is it ok, somewhat all right or the worst mistake you can make? Thank you kindly for your comments.

Dru
Dru....I'm truly skeptical about the whole thing. I would opt for spaying and keeping her indoors until she can be spayed.

Katie
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the Info Zissou'Mom, the pill does indeed contain Megestrol Acetate, it is approved where I live and you can get it through the Vet. Other forums from my own country I have visited show that while a small percentage of cats have a bad reaction to the pill most take to it very well without any side effects at all, while most people agree that it is only a solution for a short time some have been giving this pill to their cats for as many as twenty years without any adverse reaction.

Still, I think the risk is too high for my darling cats and getting Ticia approved for the pill by the Vet when I plan on getting her spayed as soon as possible anyway is too much of a hassle. As long as Ticia is happy being inside I'm happy letting her stay inside. I'll just have to tell my mother no and leave it at that! So there , thanks for all the advice, I appreciate having my mind put at ease in that my skepticism was well placed and my instincts concerning my cats correct.

Take Care,
Dru
post #7 of 13
You know, human birth control pills have potential side effects as well. In fact, all medications do. That in itself isn't necessarily a reason to avoid them. If they were prescribed by a vet, that's a good sign that they're legitimate.
post #8 of 13
Honestly I wouldn't risk giving her something like this. It is a lot safer anyways to keep her inside and if she goes out and something happenes to her, her kittens still need her...Just a thought. I would just keep her in until spayed and not bother with the birth control. If she did end up having a bad reaction to the pills, you will feel just awful.
post #9 of 13
I'm sure Ticia will be just fine inside until she can get spayed (and a couple weeks after). Just make sure to keep her two doors from the outside, or if you have a door out the garage or something use that one (same effect, if she escapes out one door she still doesn't get outside. She's probably gonna be so busy and exhausted from her babies that she won't want out as bad anyway.

Thanks for getting her spayed! And I agree about the pills.

Emmylou, they weren't prescribed by a vet and I am very familiar with the possible side effects of human BC and they are nothing like that.

Notice that it says "you can get them from a vet" not "I got them from my vet, who examined and prescribed them for my cat". There is a HUGE difference.
post #10 of 13
Drusilly said they were gotten through a vet. It's in a post a few above this one. If they turn out not to be from a vet, then, no, I wouldn't use them. Do-it-yourself herbal remedies without the backing of the scientific establishment are a bad idea.

In fact there are similar side effects in human birth control pills. For the basic combination pill, potential side effects include: nausea, mood changes, headaches, blood clotting, thrombosis, liver problems, and negative complications for those with diabetes, epilepsy or gall bladder disease.
post #11 of 13
In Florida they are working with a birth control method for feral cats. It is a feed-through powder and they have not perfected it at last report. It will hopefully one day, take the place of spaying and neutering and cut down on the population of feral cats.

I would opt to get your female spayed before giving her a birth control pill at this time.
post #12 of 13
I think if I read one of your notes, where you list this, you are talking about Ovaban (Megestrol Acetate).

I dearly regret using this with one of my cats, and suggest you read this, the section on progestins, which this is, and all the possible side effects. My cat did develop a pyometra after use of Ovaban. http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proce...8747&O=Generic

I would simply get her spayed.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
To make a few things clear, yes the birth control pills are only available through the Vet and they are approved in the EU. They are in pill form and, I believe, administered once a week. Overall they seem to work very well (or so I gathered from treads on forums from countries where this pill is available) BUT, a small percentage of cats seems to have a bad reaction to the pills which is why they are only approved by a Vet and there is also still a small chance for the cat to get pregnant despite taking the pill.

I guess every cat owner has to decide for him- or herself. I personally am happy for those people who are satisfied with the product but I have decided against using it for my own cat. For me there are more disadvantages and risks than advantages and as the heat and the kittens are keeping Ticia inside for the most part anyway, and the other times I'm used to being careful it's a moot point anyway. I have also talked to my Vet and while she has offered to make an appointment she has also brought up the points above and I have declined the offer. Thanks for all your comments, they have helped me making up my mind in this matter.

Dru
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