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If you live anywhere near coyotes, you know that they are a constant threat to your pets’ safety.
Outdoor cats are a particular concern. Cats are often just curious enough to get themselves in trouble and may look like an easy target for hungry coyotes.
So, how do you protect your cats from predators?
Let’s discuss how to keep coyotes away from cats.
Which backyard animals are in danger of coyotes?
Unfortunately, coyotes target a number of common backyard animals.
Natural hunters, coyotes see your pets as easy prey.
However, you should know that some animals appear more vulnerable to coyotes than others.
- Cats — Cats are small creatures that are relatively defenseless against coyotes. So, you must provide them with protections so that they can stay safe. Cats are most vulnerable at night. Coyotes primarily hunt after dark, and that’s also when cats are most active. Outdoor cats are at their greatest risk of a coyote attack when a litter has just been born. Coyotes are also more likely to attack injured cats. Please provide extra protection for your cats if they are in either of these situations.
- Dogs — Sometimes coyotes will even attack your dog. Small breeds are at much higher risks than large dogs, but no dog is completely immune to a determined coyote.
- Chickens, goats, sheep and other farm animals — Yes, coyotes are well-known for targeting your favorite farm animals. Check out other articles on our website to learn how to keep your farm animals safe from coyotes.
How to keep coyotes away from cats
As we mentioned, cats are particularly vulnerable to coyote attacks.
But, with your help, cats will have a full line of defenses in place if a coyote comes too close for comfort!
So, how can you protect your cats from coyotes?
Here are some simple tips that you can adopt to take care of your furry friends.
- Keep cat food and water inside.
Do your best to avoid drawing coyotes to your property.
While you will not be able to keep coyotes out of your life completely, you can do a lot to minimize their presence.
For the most part, coyotes are simply looking for their next meal. While this can be bad news for your pet, it means that coyotes do not maliciously target homesteads.
Chances are that if you do not encourage coyotes to come onto your land, they will move on to easier hunting grounds.
By not providing coyotes with food, you let them know that they will not find an easy meal on your land.
Make sure that pet food is contained at all times when your pet is not eating.
Store pet food in sealed containers indoors, and pick up any remnants from your cats’ meal.
Never leave cat food scraps unattended outdoors.
- Provide escape routes for cats.
While cats have claws and a mean hiss, they are no match for a coyote.
Thankfully, cats are excellent escape artists, especially if they have somewhere to climb or hide!
So, you should make sure to give your cats plenty of escape routes throughout the property.
Provide shelter that they can easily access but that a coyote will not be able to penetrate.
Cat escape routes should be structures that are easy for cats to climb but out of coyotes’ reach.
Trees, posts, barns, and makeshift shelters all work well for this purpose.
- Raise cat feeding stations.
If possible, feed your cats off of the ground. Place cat food somewhere that is high enough that coyotes will not be able to access the food.
This will reduce the chances of coyotes smelling a potential meal and will protect your cats while they eat.
This is a good idea if you cannot bring food inside or if you cannot feed your cats only at select times during the day.
One potential product that may help to keep coyotes away from your cat’s food is the Felines Only – the Purrrfect Cat Dish – Veterinarian Designed Cat Feeding Bowl that Keeps Dogs Out of the Cat Food (view at Amazon).
- Build cat posts.
Cat posts help protect your cats if you live on a large property with minimal coyote-proof shelter.
And, they’re simple to build.
Just find a 4×4 wooden board, and plant it vertically in the ground. Make sure that it is secure enough to remain standing if a coyote decides to try to climb it.
Ideal cat posts should be at least 6 ft tall and have a small podium on top so that the cat can easily balance.
You can even turn these into lawn decorations!
- Give your cats somewhere to stay indoors at night.
Cat shelters are essential!
Most coyote attacks occur at night.
Outdoor cats are most vulnerable after dark, so this is when they need the highest level of protection.
Make sure that all of your cats have somewhere indoors to stay at night.
Coyotes should not be able to access this area.
One potential option that may work for you is the ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House (view at Amazon).
- Install fencing.
Fencing in your yard is a great way to keep coyotes out.
Use a fence that is at least 6 ft tall and is buried in the ground.
While cats can get out of the fence, coyotes will not be able to get inside.
Inspect your fence regularly and promptly mend any holes or weak spots.
Install provisions so that coyotes will not be able to dig underneath the fence.
A good option may be the Dig Defence X-Large Animal Barrier (view at Amazon).
- Discourage coyotes when they come onto your property.
Anytime you see a coyote on your property, make sure it knows that it is not welcome!
Maintain a safe distance and stay indoors if possible.
You can throw rocks in its direction, yell and shout, and make noise to scare it away.
Please remember that coyotes have the potential to be dangerous at any time of the day and use extreme caution when dealing with them in your yard.
You can also contact local authorities to alert them to a coyote presence in the area.
Also tell your neighbors to be on the lookout!
If you have an issue with coyotes in your area, it’s a good idea to consult your pet’s veterinarian for a professional opinion as to the best way to protect your cat.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com