Although cats are the leading cause of bird deaths, membership organizations have been unwilling to address the issue because of the extreme reaction from cat lovers. It is now possible to address the issue with the support of cat lovers. It is with low dose cat contraceptives.
Cat lovers who maintain colonies know that many of their cats are euthanized – which appalls them. They know spay and neuter is ineffective – have you ever tried to catch a wild cat, or give it an anesthetic?
Cat contraceptives have been on the market for a long time but only in high dosages requiring a prescription. The drug is megestrol acetate. For cat colony population control it only needs to be given at low dosages.
Veterinarians, based on concerns raised by the Alliance for the Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACCD) organization about side effects, have been unwilling to prescribe it. (Cat lovers are now buying it from overseas suppliers.) ACCD has now changed its position – see quote below. ACCD is a coalition of animal and drug companies. The drug companies which sell the prescription version are not anxious to get a generic nonprescription option.
This new position is based on major French and Italian studies which found that at low doses negative side effects are very infrequent. See links below.
This drug should be available in low doses without prescription. FDA often eliminates the prescription requirement for a drug used a low dose levels. This can be done by filing a petition to FDA requesting that FDA make available at low doses without a prescription.
If you are seriously interested in this I will investigate how this is done. I am a retired lawyer. Jimcubie@birdfriendlyyards.net
“Progestins should always be used with caution. Using the lowest possible dosages, MA and MPA may, however, continue to be used safely in pet queens as well as (in conjunction with TNR programs) for the control of feral cat colonies. More recent progestins appear to be effective and safe, albeit their efficacy and safety need to be further investigated.”