A typical adult cat is almost the same size as a red fox, and typically will only prey on animals less than 5 lbs (kittens and very small adult cats. Coyotes, are the greater threat to pets. Survival for coyotes is difficult, and they are known to kill foxes to remove territorial competition. Individual coyotes may view domestic dogs in the same manner, especially small dogs that tend to be aggressive toward larger canines. Male coyotes may also be drawn to domestic dogs in heat, as well as male dogs to female coyotes.
Handling Pet / Coyote Encounters
While encounters are rare, especially for larger dogs, and many are initiated by the dog and not the coyote, owners should always take a few simple precautions.
- Walk your dog on a leash.
- Never leave dogs unattended in your yard, and always keep them inside at night.
- Keep your yard well-illuminated when outdoors at night with your pet.
- Keep cats indoors.
- Coyotes can be creatures of habit. If you encounter one at the same place and time while walking your pet, change your route or the time that you walk.
- To keep coyotes out of your yard, install 6-foot-high wire-mesh fencing extended at least 6 inches underground. Install a “roller” system at the top so animals cannot pull themselves over.