Contrary to many cat lovers out there, coyotes are not specifically gunning for cats during the winter months or any other time during the year! The fact is that domestic cats are seen as one of two things to a coyote: either they are a food source, or they are a threat to potential other food sources.
Just as anyone with a pet dog, cat parents are not particularly fond of coyotes for this reason, so they do not want them anywhere around their neighborhoods! Feral cats are obviously not supposed to exist only to provide for the food chain, but if coyotes do eliminate them, then the songbirds may be more prevalent. This is not meant that all cats should be eaten or attacked by coyotes, only that nature has a way of evening itself out!
So how can cat owners keep their pets safe and sound in areas where coyotes are known to reside? Well, according to The Cook County, Illinois, Coyote Project, if you are aware of coyotes in your neighborhood, there are specific precautions that you should typically make:
1. Keep your cat indoors so that they have a zero percent chance of being attacked by an outside predator.
2. Build a fence to help keep coyotes out and cats in. The fence must be tall, at least six feet tall and contain a roll-bar top, however, because coyotes have been known to jump over fences.
3. If you walk your cat, make certain that you carry protection for both you and your cat should an unexpected meeting with a coyote occur. Perhaps you will want to carry mace or a walking stick of some type in order to fend off an attack on your cat.
4. Do not keep garbage cans, meat containers by the grill or any other food residues outside that could potentially attract a hungry coyote.
According to a 2004 statistic provided by Morey, only about one-percent of cats are likely to be a food source for coyotes. Small rodents and bunnies made up about 50% of their diet, thus the fact that coyotes typically face off with the feline population, especially of the feral variety, since this is what those outdoor cats focus on eating as well!
The best way to prevent your kitty from becoming Wiley-Coyotes’ next meal is to follow the guidelines suggested by the experts. It is important not to attract a predator or feed a predator and it is just as important to look out for your own feline’s well-being by keeping them inside if the coast is not clear! Coyotes do not intentionally seek out cats, they only do so when hungry or protecting their own safety and well-being.