While it is certainly possible for coyote-cat interactions to occur, there are ways to help avoid them. The best way to keep your cat safe is to ensure that it is indoors and that you leave no food or water bowls out overnight.
Q. Will a coyote kill my dog?
Coyotes do not typically look to kill dogs. Most coyote-dog interactions occur when the dog is off leash and chases the coyote. The best way to keep your dog safe is to keep it on leash when you are outside with it. Remember, there is a leash law in Ohio. Also, most adult coyotes weigh between 25 and 35 pounds and they seldom weigh more than 45 pounds. Coyotes typically will not go after an animal larger than itself. Even small dogs often prove to be too much of a hassle for coyotes to deal with.
Q. What about attacks on people?
Coyote attacks, especially in the Eastern US, are VERY uncommon. In Northeast Ohio there has only been one documented “attack” on a person. That coyote was quickly trapped and consequently tested positive for rabies.
Q. What do coyotes eat?
A coyote’s diet mainly consists of small rodents. Coyotes will feed on any type of road kill they can find. Also, a large portion of their diet consists of vegetative matter such as fruits and grasses. Never intentionally feed a coyote.
Q. Why does there seems to be an increase in the coyote population around me?
The data from the Ohio Division of Wildlife suggests that the coyote population overall in Ohio is stabilizing. However, coyotes will move around and occupy new areas for several reasons. It could be that some younger coyotes are dispersing from their mother’s home range in the Fall. It could also be that your area has an abundant source of rodents upon which they can feed. If you have bird feeders, it is a good idea to make sure all bird seed is cleaned up off of the ground daily to lower the number of rodents around your home.
Q. What are my options for dealing with coyotes if I don’t want them around?
Coyotes are here to stay. Even if they are all removed from an area, other coyotes will move in to occupy the newly voided area.
There are nuisance trappers that can trap for you for a fee. Because you are paying them, the response time is usually very quick. There is no set fee, therefore it is encouraged to get price quotes from several trappers. A list of available nuisance trappers can be found online.
If you need additional technical advice, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Akron office can answer any questions, call 330-644-2293 Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.
Q. Do coyotes hunt in packs?
No. The only time you may see multiple coyotes hunting together is when the mother is teaching its pups how to hunt. However, even in these situations there is no coordinated attack.
Q. Is it unusual to see a coyote out during the daytime?
No. Coyotes have learned to adapt to city living very well. Especially in the Spring and Fall you will regularly see coyotes out during the day. In the Spring they are spending more time looking for small rodents to feed the pups. In the Fall the previous years’ pups are forced to leave and look for areas unoccupied by other coyotes. Because of their great adaption to cities, they regularly hear doors slamming, dogs barking, people talking, etc. So, they get used to those noises when they are out moving around. It is normal behavior for them to pay no attention to people. A good rule-of-thumb is that a sick coyote will look and act sick. They will have hair loss, stumble when they walk, or continuously approach and/or growl at people. If you notice any of these situations notify the police department immediately at 440-871-1234.
Autor Drew Scofield