Coyote in garden - Photo: by Librarian Avenger (Flickr). The photographer says the coyote was "hunting wild sandwiches"
Can a cat escape coyote attack? Well yes but a lot don't. I guess it depends on the circumstances and the cat's expertise at survival. A cat cannot beat a coyote in a fight so he or she will have to escape. Cat vs coyote - cat loses unless it is a wildcat such as the mountain lion. A coyote would avoid a puma.
I live in the UK so I don't have that potential fear of losing a cat due to a coyote attack. We have foxes here but they don't attack the domestic cat usually, it appears, probably because the adult domestic cat is a match for a standard British fox. My three legged boy got close to a fox once and the two just got on in a slightly tense way.
The coyote (American jackal or the prairie wolf) is a different sort of animal altogether, though. This animal is common across the north American continent as far as I am aware (my American friends will correct me if I am wrong) and it attacks domestic cats and dogs. It is resourceful and can be a hybrid of a wolf.
They are adaptable and have integrated into the human environment. Despite being hunted they survive well as a species. The leopard is an example of an adaptable wild cat.
A recent story (mid June 2011) prompted me to write this. The location is Battle Ground (apt name). The coyote chased the cat into the house through the cat flap/door. American cat flaps are much larger that UK ones. A coyote could not get through a Brit cat flap/door. The US cat doors are in fact large enough for a dog to get through. Maybe in a countryside environment the person should fit a smaller cat flap. Just a thought. Maybe there should be a coyote proof cat door? Maybe there is!
The cat was able to escape the coyote once inside the house (plenty of hiding places) and the coyote became very frightened and defecated and pissed all over the place - the house owner also became scared! The coyote was trapped. Eventually he was forced out and he ran away. Thank God he was not shot. I don't like shooting wild animals as an answer to problems. The coyote was just behaving naturally - why shoot?
The cat's caretaker is very sensible. He says he invaded the coyote's territory not the other way around - true.
So, my question is how concerned are cat keepers who let their cats out about a possible coyote attack?
As to answering the question, "Can a cat escape coyote attack?" the answer has to be a yes but not always.
According to Wikipedia if cats are caught they don't usually survive. Dogs are more likely to survive but be injured. Coyotes will attack large dogs too but may be killed by them.
Apparently coyotes prey heavily on domestic animals in the winter in California. Coyotes also treat feral cats as prey. They successfully prey on feral cats and also eat the food placed down for the feral cats. An entire colony of feral cats was wiped out by coyotes. One argument that people put forward for not putting food down for feral cats is that it attracts coyotes (and other wild animals).
In the UK we have urban foxes. They are all around my home at night and I see them on the golf course. I like foxes. The coyote also does well in an urban environment which must be of concern to cat keepers who let their cat go out.
It appears that one reason why a lot of cat caretakers in the USA keep their cats in permanently is because there is more large wildlife in the USA. In the UK we exterminated nearly all large wildlife hundreds of years ago.
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