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In the USA, do coyotes kill lots of cats?

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Ginger tabby defends himself from coyote attack and escapes to safety

I can refer to 3 studies which tell us how often coyotes kill domestic cat to feed. In one study in Tucson, Arizona, they concluded that domestic, stray and feral cats represented 42% of the coyote diet. They don’t differentiate in the reports that I have seen between stray, feral or domestic cats. In a second study: Consumption of Free-Roaming Cats and Other Anthropogenic Foods by Coyotes in Southern California, with Implications for Cat Management, they found that approximately 35% of coyotes consumed domestic cats. The study took place between 2015 and 2018. The percentage was much higher than they had believed.

Ginger tabby defends himself from coyote attack and escapes to safety

Ginger tabby defends himself from coyote attack and escapes to safety.

In a third study conducted in 2005-2006, they found that coyotes killed cats 53% of the time when interacting with cats. This was an approximate 50/50 success rate. Although alpha male coyotes were far more successful than pack members with a 63% kill rate compared to 32% for pack members. Apparently in Arizona the vast majority of coyote attacks on cats occurred between 10 PM and 5 AM. In Denver 20% of coyote attacks on cats were within fenced enclosures which highlights the dangers to cats in backyards. Because we don’t know the number of coyotes in the USA, we can’t know the number of cats that they kill even based upon the data that we have.

Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which would stop it working here. I have no control over this.


It would seem that in America coyotes rely quite extensively on stray, feral and outside domestic cats for their diet.

The estimated number of coyotes in Kansas alone is between 150,000-300,000 it is believed. They are found in every US state except Hawaii. Around 400,000 coyotes are killed each year in the United States. I cannot find an overall population size of the coyote in the USA which surprised me. The number is very large and therefore the number of cats killed by this predator is also very large. They are a significant hazard to the domestic cat and a major reason why American cat owners keep their cats inside all the time.

How many careless cat owners simply lose their cats because they don’t come back home and how many of those cats have been killed and eaten by coyotes? No one’s counting but the number will be high and think of feral cats, without homes; highly vulnerable to attacks by this predators.

Below are some more pages on cats.