If you can't stand her heat, spay your cat. What if you want to breed her eventually but her yowling, pestering and general carrying-on while in heat is driving you to distraction? There's hope. Ask your vet about methods to keep Kitty from coming into heat or to stop it.
The cheapest way to keep your female cat from getting pregnant is to quarantine her during her heat cycles. While no veterinary expenditure is required, you might need to visit the doctor because she driving you nuts. While effective, as long she doesn't escape, it's not really fair to Kitty. Quarantining is best done as a temporary measure for a cat you soon intend to spay or breed. Cats can remain in heat as long as 10 days, with cycles every two to three weeks.
The synthetic hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate, marketed under the brand name Depo-Provera, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human birth control, but vet use it "off-label" for dogs and cats. It's generally prescribed for pets for behavioral issues, such as urine spraying, but also keeps Kitty from getting pregnant. However, it has potentially serious side effects, including uterine infections, which could you force you to spay Kitty. It also shouldn't be given to cats with diabetes, but can cause diabetes in certain animals. It also raises the risk of mammary, or breast, cancer in cats.
This birth control drug is approved for use in animals by the FDA. Megestrol acetate, similar to the female hormone progesterone, is marketed under the brand name Ovaban. It stops a cat from coming into heat, or estrus. Ovaban shouldn't be used in felines with mammary cancer, diabetes or uterine ailments. Side effects include vomiting and diarrhea, as well as the possibility of developing Addison's disease, a serious condition affecting the adrenal glands. The more often you give it to Kitty, the more likely she is to develop future reproductive issues if you do intend to breed her.
Sham breeding consists of tricking Kitty into thinking she's mated and is pregnant. It's probably something best done by experienced feline breeders or vets, rather than the average pet owner. According to VetInfo, a Q-tip or similar item is inserted into the cat's vagina until it rubs the cervix. Her body then thinks she's been bred, releasing eggs and ending her heat cycle. Most likely, this is something you don't want to try at home.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.