Can cats fight off coyotes? Yes, sometimes.

People ask whether domestic cats can survive a coyote attack or what is the percentage of domestic cats who manage to escape from a coyote attack. The video on this page is instructional in so far as it tells us that not all cats are vulnerable to a coyote attack because they are able to defend themselves, not against one coyote but three. So the answer to the question in the title is yes, sometimes. I’ll depend on the cat’s character and the motivation and state of mind of the coyote.

Domestic cat sees off three coyotes
Domestic cat sees off three coyotes. Annotated screenshot from YouTube video.
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It is obviously very unusual to see this sort of behaviour but it does show how the ‘weapons’ of a domestic cat; the claws and teeth, can be treated with respect by coyotes. They seem cautious in the video. It looks extraordinary. There have been a few cases recently of domestic cats successfully seeing off coyotes in direct, nighttime encounters recorded on security video cameras.

The domestic cat can be a match for a coyote under certain circumstances. That said many cats, predominantly feral I’d suggest, are killed by coyotes in America. It is a constant source of concern. It is why many households decided to keep their cats inside full-time in America. Almost single handedly, the coyote is a reason why cat owners confine their cats.

In North America, coyote distribution has expanded over the past century to where they are found more or less across the entire area of Canada and America. They are very capable, resourceful survivors in the urban or near-urban environment. Outside cats are a ‘prey item’ for them. Predators preying on domestic cats is something you never see in the UK and rarely in Europe.


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