A gene therapy shot might keep cats from getting pregnant without being spayed

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 10:52 in Biology & Nature

Invasive surgeries to spay cats could one day be a thing of the past, replaced instead with a single shot.   An injected gene therapy given to female cats prevented them from getting pregnant, researchers report June 6 in Nature Communications. None gave birth to a litter of kittens even after mating with a fertile male. The tactic, if it holds up in further testing, could offer a more efficient way to control a global population of feral cats that numbers in the hundreds of millions. “We love domestic cats, but they are killers out in the environment,” says Bill Swanson, a conservation biologist at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Every year, free-roaming cats around the world probably kill billions of birds and small mammals (SN: 1/29/13). Spaying both feral and pet cats can help to keep feline populations, and their casualties, under control.   The experimental gene therapy targets anti-Müellerian hormone,...

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