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How to Protect Your Cat From Coyotes (5 Proven Methods)

Coyotes are opportunistic and rather savage wild dogs. They live in packs and hunt in pairs. They can be found all around the United States, including both rural environments and sometimes cities. Because these creatures are opportunistic and can be found just about anywhere, you need to know how to protect your cat from them.

Because of how aggressive coyotes can be, prevention is largely the best way to protect your cat. In most cases, your cat will not be able to outrun a coyote or protect itself. Additionally, it is not safe for you to try to defend your cat personally.

With that in mind, we are going to give you five proven methods for protecting your cat from coyotes. Most of these methods are preventative, meaning that they will help prevent your coyotes from encroaching on your property and finding your cat in the first place.

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Why You Need to Protect Your Cat From Coyotes

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Image Credit: Andreas Lischka, Pixabay

Many people do not realize how much of a threat coyotes are for cats, both domesticated and feral alike. Coyotes primarily hunt small mammals, like mice and rabbits, but they certainly will attack a cat if they deem it easy prey. Given that domesticated cats are often tame and lazy, they are a great snack.

According to the National Park Service, about 20% of urban coyote’s diet is made up of cats. This is an incredibly high percentage that shows coyotes are a really serious threat to cats, and you need to make all your best efforts to protect your feline.

If your cat is agile and athletic, you might think that it stands a chance against coyotes. Unfortunately, that is very unlikely. Coyotes can run about 40 mph, meaning that a cat can in no way outrun a coyote. Not to mention, coyotes tend to inflict really painful and brutal deaths on their prey.

Coyote Attack Common Facts to Know

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Image Credit: Mariomassone, Wikimedia

Whether a cat or some other small mammal is the victim of a coyote attack, the majority of attacks occur between the hours of 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM because they are nocturnal. This is especially true between the seasons of mid spring to early fall.

During this time of the year, the coyotes are rearing newborn puppies. As a result, females are more protective. Plus, they have more mouths to feed. This causes more coyote attacks for both protection purposes and food.

With these facts in mind, it means that you especially need to take care of your cat during nighttime and during the seasons of spring through fall. You don’t have as much to worry about during the day or winter.

5 Ways to Protect Your Cat from Coyotes

Now that we have learned about coyote’s hunting habits as they pertain to cats, let’s look at the five most effective ways for protecting your cats from this deadly dog.

1. Bring Your Cat Indoors at Night

cats eating_Taras Vyshnya_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Taras Vyshnya, Shutterstock

The easiest way to protect your cat from coyotes is to simply bring it indoors during the nighttime. Many people mistakenly believe that forcing your cat to be inside is abusive. So long as you don’t live in a shoebox or in unhealthy conditions, having your cat indoors is perfectly ethical and safe.

Whenever your cat is indoors, the coyotes cannot reach it. This makes inside your home the safest place for any pet during coyote season, dogs and cats included. It’s best to bring your cat inside as soon as the sun starts to go down.

This does not mean you have to keep your cat indoors all the time. Since coyotes are nocturnal, it is perfectly safe to let your cat roam during the day. Just make sure to gather your cat back inside at night. If you have trouble getting your cat back, change the feeding schedule so that it only gets fed at night, causing it to come back home for food.


2. Remove Coyote Food Sources from Your Property

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Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay

When coyotes come on people’s property, it is most commonly because of food. Either they are in search of food, or they have already found it next to your home. To discourage coyotes from coming to your property, make sure to remove all coyote food sources.

Common coyote food sources include your garbage can, bird feeders, certain trees, and pests on your property. As for your garbage can, try to select a bin that is animal proof. Make sure not to leave any trash or remnants of the garbage on the ground for coyotes to smell. You can even place the bin inside a structure, like your garage or shed.

If coyotes come to your property quite a bit, even if you are diligent with your garbage, they may be attracted to other food sources. Bird feeders, for example, are a common food source that attracts coyotes. Remove bird feeders and fruit trees from your property if coyotes are a serious issue in your area.

As we’ve already mentioned, coyotes hunt small mammals. If you have a lot of small mammals on your property, coyotes are likely to come looking. Hire an exterminator or contact a wildlife rescue to either kill or relocate the animals, based on the animal type and your preferences.


3. Add A Fence to Your Property

cat fencing_Lucia Gajdosikova_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Lucia Gajdosikova, Shutterstock

You can also add a fence around your property to physically keep your cat inside and the coyotes outside. If you want the fence to be effective against coyotes, it needs to be at least 6 feet tall. Anything shorter can easily be jumped over by a coyote.

For additional protection, you can add a 15-inch woven wire extension or roller bar to the top. You may also want to consider adding wire into the ground to prevent coyotes from digging underneath the fence.

Even if you add a fence to your yard, it’s still a good idea to bring your cat indoors during nighttime and eliminate coyote food sources. The same goes for the next few tips we mention.


4. Add Cat Posts to Your Property

cat post_Piqsels
Image Credit: Piqsels

Whether you have a house cat or want to protect feral cats in your yard, you can add cat posts. A cat post is generally a long piece of wood that erects out of the ground. Normally, cat posts sit 10 to 12 feet above ground. It provides a structure for your cat to climb on top of for safety, but coyotes are not accessible to the top.

Cat posts are a great option in the case of an active coyote attack. The issue with this method is that cats cannot outrun coyotes, meaning the cat must already be by the posts to escape. Most cats will instinctively go to the posts, though, allowing them to remain safe.


5. Add Coyote Repellent Lights

red LED light_Piqsels
Image Credit: Piqsels

Finally, the last method for keeping your cat safe from coyotes is to add coyote repellent lights. Coyote repellent lights are typically colored red. The LED lights will emit red flashes, which coyotes interpret as being predator eyes. As a result, coyotes will stay away from your property, as well as other predators and animals.

Much like the cat post idea, coyote repellent lights are a great idea for house cats and feral cats alike, though the lights may potentially scare feral cats as well.

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Final Thoughts

If you live in an area with coyotes, you need to take special care of your cat. Coyotes will hunt on cats, especially during the night and during spring, summer, and fall. Because of how fast coyotes are, it is next to impossible for your cat to survive a coyote attack.

You can protect your cat by bringing it indoors during the nighttime and removing any food sources from the coyotes. These two tips should be incorporated in your cat protection plan, even if you add a fence, cat posts, or coyote repellent lights to your property.

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Featured Image Credit: HeungSoon, Pixabay