Do Coyotes Eat Cats? Fending For The Feral Felines In Your Area | Kidadl


Do Coyotes Eat Cats? Fending For The Feral Felines In Your Area

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Ever wondered how do more than 8.7 million species coexist in an ecosystem?

Food web interactions such as predation and parasitism are among the common factors leading to the coexistence of wildlife species around the world. Likewise, predator and prey also coexist in the wild, suburban, or urban areas.

Among several predatory and preying species, coyotes are predacious omnivores. Moreover, the Canidae members are ferocious and cunning animals that may attack humans, domestic dogs, and cats. Are you concerned about what a coyote might attack or hunt? Keep hunting through the article to get all your questions and doubts answered!

While coyotes are well-known characters depicted as 'tricksters' in the native folklore of America, a coyote, Canis latrans, is a wild animal found near the hidden places in Arctic regions. These areas include mountains, grasslands, and forests of Alaska and in Northern and Central America. It has various subspecies, including the Mearns' coyote, Lower Rio Grande coyote, Texas plains coyote, Colima coyote, and several others. These predacious omnivores have an incredible sense to smell, and they primarily feed upon various wildlife animals, including invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, rodents, and other mammals such as deer, hares, squirrels, and rabbits. They are opportunistic feeders found taking advantage of everything. They will even eat vegetation like plants, fruits, twigs, and leaves. In some cases, urban coyotes may feed on pet food, trash, and unattended domestic pets to satisfy their hunger. Some people may think coyotes' diet includes everything, from small mammals such as small dogs, domestic cats, rabbits, mice, or others to garbage or human trash, based on this description.

Are you wondering if 'everything' includes you? Coyote attacks are rare and seldom cause serious injuries. While the population of coyotes is increasing in the suburban and urban areas of California and other parts of America, attacks have numbered up to 160 over the past three decades. These animals usually scare humans, small dogs, cats, and other pets living in an urban city with their loud cries and vocal sounds. However, they are not usually a threat to the life of a human or other animals living in the neighborhood or nearby. Still, be careful of coyotes if they are near you. Attacks are uncommon, but can still happen, even in your own yard!

Are coyotes carnivores? What else do they eat?

Coyotes are closely related to the family of wolves, which have the meat of various animals as their main food sources. While coyotes too primarily prey for meat and flesh, they are predaceous omnivorous animals. Being omnivores, coyotes typically eat everything. From being predators, killing and eating the flesh of small mammals, including domestic cats, dogs, and other prey animals, to scavenging for human food and trash, pet food, fruit, vegetable, or plant product found around the urban yard or an open area. Analyzing a coyote's diet, a coyote cannot be classified as carnivores although it preys rather, a coyote is a predacious omnivore, hunting, scavenging, and eating everything it finds while it roams.

Coyotes eat a variety of food, prey on animals, such as dogs, cats, and other hoofed animals, for flesh and meat, scavenge on pet food, human dietary food including fruit and vegetable, trash, and garbage, and feed on every possible chewable thing they find while they roam. Apart from their diet, they have the ability to regurgitate and eat their poop or regurgitated food.

According to the research undertaken by the National park service, urban coyotes' diets primarily comprise feral cats and human trash.

Do coyotes attack and eat cats?

Coyotes are predators, and thus, coyote attacks are quite common. Often outdoor pets and small animals, like mice, rabbits, moles, and voles, fall as a coyote's prey. While coyotes are predacious animals, hunting and attacking smaller animals, they will not hesitate to take down a cat if given the opportunity, whereas coyote attacks on dogs are quite rare. Also, research highlights that cats make up 20-40 % of the coyote's diet, being coyotes' common prey animal.

Thus, a brief answer to the question would be a 'yes.' Coyotes are not just scavengers, as many people think. In fact, they are predators that hunt a variety of animals. Also, coyotes are opportunistic predators, which means they will eat whatever is available to them. Their diet consists of a variety of animals, including small mammals, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish. Coyotes have also been known to eat trash materials and carrion. So yes, cats are on their menu! If you do have feral cats in your area, it is important to be aware of the coyote presence in your area and take steps to protect your cats from potential attacks. Keeping your cats indoors is the best way to ensure their safety, but if you must let them outside, make sure they are supervised at all times. Installing a coyote deterrent around your property can also help keep coyotes away. For more information or assistance, contact your local animal control agency or wildlife trapper.

Coyotes are predators and hunt small animals like cats.

Do coyotes eat all of a cat?

No, coyotes typically will not eat an entire cat. They may kill and eat a cat, but they will not consume the entire animal. Also, neither do they eat the entire cat nor do they carry it to their den. The study suggests that coyotes' dens are devoid of any remains of their kill or diet. While the dens are used for raising pups, parent coyotes often bring food for their pups, they scavenge for fruit, vegetable, litter, or meat. Also, coyotes have the ability to carry food in their stomachs and regurgitate the same to feed their offspring or their potential mate. Nonetheless, coyotes are also known to consume what they regurgitate. Also, they eat poops for various reasons, like cleaning their dens satisfying their hunger when they fail to find something to feed themselves. Coyotes are scavengers and prefer to eat trash items or carrion over fresh meat. However, if given the opportunity, they will certainly devour a feline feast!

Wondering what would attract a coyote to attack your pet animal, specifically a cat? Maybe the cat food? But for a fact, coyotes are not known to specifically like cat food, but they will eat it if given the opportunity. As we mentioned before, a coyote is an opportunistic predator and will consume whatever is available to it. This includes cat food, as well as other types of pet food. It is important to keep your pet food stored securely in order to prevent coyotes from getting easy access. Cat owners often are concerned if their cats will fall prey to a coyote attack or will be hunted by other predacious animals.

Do coyotes kill cats quickly?

A coyote weighs around 14.9-46.2 lb (6.7-20.9 kg) and can run up to the speed of 34.7-42.8 mph (56-69 kph). Considering the speed of a coyote, a coyote is speculated to be quite capable of killing quickly yet precisely. A coyote is known to stalk its potential kill and nip its leg to prevent it from escaping. It is known to hunt or kill with deadly precision. To attack, a coyote nips the legs of its kill to ensure it does not escape and finally attacks the kill, be it a dog, cat, or any other animal, by biting its neck, compressing its windpipe.

Often owners wonder how did their pets die? Although you can never be sure of how your pets died, if you find your pet to have died due to suffocation or shock, it might be a coyote's attack. Also, since a coyote often feeds upon larger animals on-site, smaller animals like a dog or a cat are simply carried off or eaten away, leaving the pet owners completely clueless about how their pets died.

Although small dogs, cats, or infants are at risk due to coyote attacks, it is very rare that dogs or humans will be killed or fall for severe injuries. In rarer cases, a dog might be killed, but humans are not at any major risk, while infants might be killed or surrendered to serious injuries.

How To Keep Your Cat Safe From Coyotes

Worried about your pets falling for a coyote attack? Be cautious and protect them! Wondering how? Scroll to know more, following are some of the key points that might help you keep your pets safe!

  • Keep your cats indoors: Might sound crazy, how can you keep your cat inside, locked in a room? Surely, a cat deserves freedom as much as you need it but not at the cost of its life. Take it out in your presence, take it on a long walk when you can accompany it as it will ensure its protection, and you get to spend time with your furry companion too. By any chance, you are too busy with your daily chores, keep your cat indoors to ensure it is safe.
  • Install a coyote deterrent: Wondering what a coyote deterrent is? Any installation around your property that resists coyotes or any other animal invading your area can be used as a deterrent. A fence, a scare tape, or maybe, a wire apron! A coyote deterrent does not only keep coyotes away but also reduces the risk of unwanted animals and beings entering your property. Speculating how to install one? While installing a fence, ensure it is at least 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. To build a stronger coyote deterrent, add a woven wire extension or roller bar at the top of the fence. Although installing a fence around the ground might prevent coyotes from entering your property, what if it digs under the fence and enter your yard? Install a wire extension or wire apron into the ground to keep away persistent coyotes.
  • Cat posts are effective: A cat post is often a 10-12 ft (3-3.6 m) long piece of wood installed above the ground. The long piece of wood is often a corner post that is easily climbed by a cat but is not accessible to coyotes. Thus, a cat post protects your cat too and also prevents persistent coyotes or unwanted animals from entering your yard.
  • Use coyote repellent lights or motion-sensitive lights: Coyotes, unlike cats, are sensitive to bright lights and so installing these around your property will often successfully scare any coyotes away, especially at night. Red lights, in particular, are quite handy to scare the coyotes away. Also, coyotes are rarely spotted during the day as they are more active at night, taking advantage of the darkness of night. Thus, bright lights reduce the risk of coyotes invading your area.
  • Remove bird feeders and keep coyotes' source of meal secure: Coyotes, being omnivores, are known to eat anything and everything they find, be it your cat or litter. Thus, to prevent your property from being a source of attraction for coyotes, ensure you do not keep a potential source of meal for coyotes out in your yard or nearby your property. Keep your litter packed inside, or pack them in an animal-proof container. Remove bird feeders, if any. Nurturing fruit trees in your garden or around your property, do not forget to gather fruits from the tree when it bears any.
  • Ammonia is the key: Coyotes loathe the smell of ammonia. The presence of the smell of ammonia is surely to distract coyotes from entering your area. Wondering how to utilize the loathing smell of ammonia to scare the coyotes away? Use ragged clothes, soak them in ammonia and place the rags around your property to keep coyotes away. Resoak them every few days to ensure a strong scent of ammonia.

Although you can never surely get rid of coyotes, these steps might prevent the risk of coyote attacks. Being aware and cautious about your safety and the safety of your cat or other pets can help prevent unwanted attacks!

Written By
Gurpuneet Kaur

Gurpuneet is currently pursuing a degree in economics and has lots of experience working with young people. She has worked as a tutor and has volunteered for Action India, teaching and providing medical assistance to the underprivileged. She has also worked for various education agencies, creating student study guides. Along with this, Gurpuneet has written and managed content for multiple sites and companies and was a campus ambassador at her university, where she studied economics. She loves to write about tourist places in India and enjoys conjuring up fun facts for Kidadl.

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