If you live in an area that coyotes frequent, you might be worried about the safety of your feline friends. Whether you own a pet cat or care for stray cats, hungry coyotes could prey on these innocent creatures if you don't take the proper precautions. This article will show you how to keep coyotes away from your community and ways you can keep cats safe from them.
Coyotes can outrun cats, so the best thing you can do to keep stray cats safe from coyotes is to provide escape routes for them. You can also keep your pet cats safe from them by keeping them inside and removing or coyote-proofing attractants from your yard.
Read on to find out where coyotes are found, what periods of the year they are most active, and what time of day they are most active, so you can be alert and protect your cat during these times. You can also learn helpful methods to keep coyotes away from your community and to protect your pet cats or neighborhood stray cats from them.
Cat Attitudes is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Ways to Keep Coyotes Out of Your Community
Coyotes are a danger to your cats because they are predators and scavengers who will eat practically anything as long as it's available to them. It's essential to take all of the precautions you can to keep coyotes out of your community so you and your neighbors won't suffer a loss. Some ways to keep coyotes away from your neighborhood are listed below.
Never Feed A Coyote
Some people might mistake coyotes for a hungry, abandoned dog and feed them; you should never intentionally feed a coyote because they will become habituated to humans and potentially put you and your cats in harm's way. Coyotes have a more slender body, flatter forehead, pointier snout, and longer legs compared to dogs. Report neighbors who feed them.
Remove Food & Water Sources
During the colder months, coyotes might have a hard time finding food, and the same goes for water during hotter months. They will be searching for these sources, so It's best to remove them or make them coyote-proof to prevent them from coming into your yard.
Food & water sources that may attract coyotes:
- Cat food & water bowls: If you feed your cat outside, make sure to pick up their food and water bowls after they are finished and clean up any leftovers.
- Bird feeders: Birdseed attracts prey, so don't hang bird feeders in your yard.
- Fallen fruit: If you have a fruit tree in your yard, make sure to clean up any fallen fruit because they attract prey.
- Gardens: If you have a garden, make sure to enclose it with wildlife-proof fencing with a covered top.
- Compost piles: When maintaining a compost pile, make sure to enclose it in a bin with a lid. You should never include meat scraps or bones.
- Trash: Never leave trash bags out until the morning of trash pickup.
Fence in Your Yard
The best kind of fence to prevent coyotes from accessing your yard is wire mesh fencing, and it should stand at least five or six feet tall. It should be secured into the ground using at least 18 inches of concrete to prevent coyotes from burrowing underneath it. You can add a fence extension or barbed wire on top of it to further prevent coyotes from jumping over it.
Install Motion-Activated Lights
Sudden flashing lights can scare coyotes away, so installing motion-activated lights on your house or around your yard can prevent them from intruding. There are motion-activated strobe lights that will do a better job of seeing them off, but you might want to invest in ones that won't disturb your neighbors.
Deter Coyotes When You See Them
When humans feed coyotes, they could become habituated and will feel more comfortable approaching others in hopes of receiving food. If a coyote comes up to you or you see one in your neighborhood, make sure it knows it is not welcome without seriously harming it.
Methods for scaring away coyotes include:
- Odor deterrents: Strong-scented cologne or perfumes emit a human scent. Ammonia spray smells like a predator's scent. You can also make a homemade spray from onions, cayenne, and jalapenos.
- Audio deterrents: Some motion-activated audio devices can produce different sound frequencies or predatory growling. Using air horns and banging pots and pans together is effective but can disturb neighbors. You can also fill a can with pennies or rocks and seal it with duct tape.
- Spray the coyote: Turn on your sprinkler system or spray the coyote with your garden hose. You can also fill a squirt-gun with a mixture of water and vinegar and spray it at them.
- Throw objects at the coyote: Toss small rocks, sticks, or tennis balls at the coyote without hitting it. Do not injure a coyote; that could cause more problems for your neighborhood.
- Act like a predator: Stand tall with your arms raised above your head and yell loud and aggressively. Never turn your back to the coyote or run away as they might think you are prey.
Sources: Humane Society, Colorado Parks Wildlife, WRAL, Preventive Vet
Ways to Protect Cats from Coyotes
Unattended pet cats and neighborhood stray cats are vulnerable without shelter or escape routes and could be injured or killed by coyotes if they encounter them. If coyotes find food in one area, they might come back and strike again, so we have to be cautious and preventative. Some methods that we can take to protect our cats from dangerous coyotes are listed below.
Keep Your Cats Inside
If you have coyotes in your area, you should keep pet cats inside. Some people are wary about keeping their cats inside because they might scratch up furniture, but there are solutions to this. You can get a scratching post or cover their nails with nail caps. If you're worried that they aren't in nature, you can get them a tree or let them out on a screened-in porch.
Provide Heated Shelters for Cats
Whether you own a cat or take care of stray cats in your neighborhood, heated shelters are always excellent safe spaces for cats. They are enclosed, have a roof, and the entryway is small enough so that coyotes wouldn't be able to get them. And there's a plus: the cats get to be warm on chilly winter nights without the threat of hypothermia when it snows.
Elevate Feeding Stations
If you care for stray cats, you should elevate their feeding station to where they can reach it, but coyotes can't. To make sure coyotes won't be able to jump onto the platform, you can make the stations close to trees so the cats will climb in them in case of emergency. Always make sure to clean up leftover food and pick up cat food and water bowls after they're finished eating.
Install Cat Posts
In areas without many trees, stray cats won't have a good chance of escaping coyotes. For this reason, you can install many spaced-out cat posts that are at least seven feet tall, made from wood, and have a top wide enough for the cat to sit on. A cat in danger can climb the post, and the coyote won't be able to climb up or jump up to reach them.
Sources: Found Animals, Humane Society Texas, Emotional Pet Support, Humane Society
Coyotes are dangerous predators who live in most places across the world and will eat anything as long as it is made available to them. With our involvement, we can stop coyotes from harming our neighborhood stray cats and our pet cats. If there are coyotes in your area, make sure to take precautions to keep coyotes from your community and protect your cats from them.