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Every year, an estimated 60-100 million feral cats are born and live in colonies outdoors. Surgical sterilization is a routine part of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs that help decrease regional populations of free-roaming, community cats. However, this method is too expensive for large-scale sterilization, especially in resource-poor areas. TNR also requires the difficult task of capturing cats safely. To address this problem, researchers will design and assess a novel vaccine, a nonsurgical and noninvasive method of sterilization that does not require capture and handling of cats. The team will assess whether male cats receiving the vaccine have reproductive hormones that drop to levels similar to those seen in castrated male cats. If successful, findings will inform further studies into the technique and may provide an easier and more cost-effective way to manage and reduce numbers of free-roaming, unowned cats.

Study ID
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Grant amount awarded
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University of Georgia
Study country
United States
Kristen Navara, PhD