Humane Society to try oral contraceptives on feral cats on Galveston Island

The Galveston County Daily News reports that the Galveston Island Humane Society is thinking about trying an oral contraceptive on feral cats on the island in conjunction with standard TNR programs.

Cat stalking bird Galveston
Cat stalking bird Galveston. Photo: Jim Stevenson
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Jim Stevenson – world’s most notorious cat website troll

It’s very interesting to note that on this island lives the most famous cat website troll on the planet whose name is Jim Stevenson. He is an ornithologist, cat hater and Executive Director of the Galveston Ornithological Society. Jim gives tours to tourists showing them the wading birds on the beach. He has admitted to shooting at cats on these beaches. He lives on the island at the end of a cul de sac.

As he is on record with new media, he says that he wants the feral cats to be euthanized or trapped and neutered and then kept within a large shelter. In short, he wants to do anything to keep the cats away from the birds.

He is not, therefore, in favour of TNR or oral contraceptives for feral cats. Surprised?!

Galveston beach and seagulls
Galveston beach and seagulls

Add-on program to supplement TNR

The intention is to use a low dose of megestrol acetate in specific areas said Wayne Holt who is on the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee.

The idea, as far as I can tell, is to create an ‘add-on’ program to the existing TNR program. There is clearly pressure on local government to protect the bird species on the island and for some people TNR is too slow.

Megestrol acetate

I did some research on megestrol acetate. It’s actually used as a hormone therapy in people. It is classified as a progesterone. In people it is used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is also used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer. This information does not suggest that it is used as a contraceptive. There are side effects.

Chinese No.2

However, further research indicated that a variant of the drug called Estradiol/megestrol acetate is sold under the brand name of Chinese injectable number 2. It is used as an injectable birth control in the People’s Republic of China. It’s given once per month.

In order to use it as a contraceptive for feral cats, they must consume the medicine regularly. It seems complicated to me and it may not work satisfactorily.

Feral cat population growth

Unfortunately, the feral cat population has grown from about 500 in September 2008 after hurricane Ike to somewhere near 3,200 currently. This clearly has put more pressure on finding means to deal with them.

The Humane Society and animal shelter committee are awaiting approval from the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for a pilot version of the oral birth-control project.

7 thoughts on “Humane Society to try oral contraceptives on feral cats on Galveston Island”

  1. I am very well aware of Jim Stevenson…but I did not know that he resides in Galveston Island.😶

    Oral contraception in cats is debatable. There are just too many variables.😕😕

    • I even have a Google map showing the exact position of his house 🙂 Because it is out in the wilds there isn’t Google Street View. If there was I’d have shown his house from the road. There is a video of him on the site showing him as a guide to tourists bird watching.

  2. This will not happen in the US. There is too much fear that a human might consume the drugged food. I kid you not. There was also concern that non feral cats and dogs might consume this food. This was a hot topic on another forum that the best way to reduce feral cat populations was oral contraceptives packaged in specific cat foods. Coupled with TNR and the severe beating of lousy human guardians we could get the job done.

    • Please, which forum, so we may take a look? I have not yet been able to accept the use of chemicals to control much at all. Thank you, M.E.

      • It’s a private group and a few years ago. Personally I think it’s one of the best ideas when you use it with TNR and fines that make bad guardians who let their pets breed think better of it.
        There is the fear of birds and other wildlife eating the food of course and the specialized food should only be available to someone with a registered rescue or TNR. Assuming the impact on wildlife was minimal and the use of the food allowed only for x number of years with ongoing studies to ensure it’s not impacting bird or other wildlife it’s worth while consideration.
        The other benefit is as the supply or overly readily available pets dwindles rescues and shelters can tighten and reject people that they feel may not end up being committed animal guardians.
        This is not based on finances some of the worst most neglectful people are not financially unstable. There are personality traits that far outshine how much money you have. what kind of food or veterinary care you can provide.
        Let me repeat this is something that could be used to sharply curtail the birth of kittens that die miserably from starvation, disease, cruelty , dogs, and being processed though public shelters. TNR programs would continue to operate. I’m all for outright public shaming of people who don’t S/N. Hell we go after someone for much less these days. There should be a national standard of 1000 dollars per year to keep an intact dog or cat over the age of 5 months. Of all the solutions chemical sterilization of as many stray, roaming and feral cats as possible on a lets say a 5 year program would perhaps really reduce the numbers.
        No matter how you feel about the plight of ferals the best solution is to eliminate them in the most humane decent manner that respects their lives.


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