GAINSEVILLE, Fla. - Researchers at the University of Florida are testing a contraceptive for cats. They hope it will help areas throughout the country deal with millions of feral cats.
Researchers developed the vaccine, called GonaCon, with the help of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Researchers hope that the vaccine serves as a less expensive method for sterilizing than surgery.
In the study, 15 adult female cats received a single dose of the vaccine while five received a placebo. After the injections, all of the female cats were allowed to breed.
All five cats receiving the placebo become pregnant within seven to 28 days.
The cats injected with the vaccine remained infertile from five months to more than five years.
A total of 93 percent of the cats treated with GonaCon remained infertile for the first year, according to researchers.
GonaCon is currently registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on female white-tailed deer. The vaccine has also proved successful with other mammals, including bison, horses, elk, and squirrels.
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