What are the odds they will jump a 7 ft soft mesh fence to get at my cats during the night?
They'll find a way.
Cats are safe in coyote country only if they're indoor *only*;
although we think of coyotes as nocturnal, I've seen them at all times of the day.
I had an Akita Coyote mix ( they called her an Akita Chow for her own safety) . She could easily clear a 6 ft fence and was as fast as a Greyhound. Keep your Cats inside!
They can also dig under the fence.
And Sylvia is right, coyotes are out all times of the day. In my old neighborhood, which was your typical suburban area, they were cruising around during the day. The first time I saw them I thought they were scruffy dogs. I walked my dogs daily and saw them often.
If it's soft mesh they can tear thru it and if it's more solid, they can climb it. Our cat has a kennel(on our deck and attached to the house) and my cat is safe in it only because we have a secure top/roof on it.
If you don't have a solid, or heavy wire, type fence, with some type of protective top, then your cats can climb out as easily as something can climb in.
And as weed30 mentioned, coyotes can also dig!
I had to google the type of fencing you are thinking of.
Coyotes could easily get under the bottom of mesh fencing; they might not even have to dig.
I used to live in a rural area, next to a dairy farm. They had to keep all the new-born calves, with their moms, in a special field with a tall, very sturdy chain link fence that was reinforced at the bottom, so the coyotes wouldn't kill the calves.
My house was right next to the field where the pregnant cows were pastured, and the owner of the farm asked me to call him at any hour, day or night, if I heard or saw coyotes in the field, because it probably meant there was a new calf and he needed to get right down there and rescue it.
Country or city or town, cats are much better off being indoors away from coyotes and other predators as well as poisoning , traps, fights,cars, and cruelty.
I actually live in the city. The mesh fence is a cat fence that the cats can't get out of. It's not possible to dig under it, in my case. We have a coyote that seems to have taken up residence in our neighborhood - in no small part, I'm sure, due to the fact that one of my neighbors puts food out "for the stray cats." Sigh. I'm going to have to talk to her.
Thank you to those of you who provided substantive responses. It's interesting to note that most of what I've read has indicated that coyote go after smaller prey, but someone in my neighborhood shared a story of a golden retriever being lured out and mauled by a coyote (probably more than one, altho I don't know that), and there's a similar story on the Animal Debates forum.
I've started to take the cats in late at night now, bc I'm afraid the coyote will jump the fence. I've also called the Humane Society Wildlife Center to see what, if anything, they can or will do.
All of my cats have gone outside - always have, always will. I wouldn't deny them that. I've installed the cat fence for them so that they can enjoy the outdoors with less risk. When I didn't have a cat fence - on a bigger property - I took them out, but stayed with them and watched them. I don't wear a bike helmet, or a suit of armor when I get in my car either.
I asked for information that people KNEW, not PUSHY, INANE opinions, lily316. You already know I have a cat fence, so take your big mouth and unsolicited opinions elsewhere. Try to have some respect for other people, if you can.
Does your city have an animal control division?
Seems to me eliminating the coyotes---especially in the city, would be the safest course of action.
People who take their time & trouble to respond to questions on this forum do so for the love of animals;
to ask a question & then attack someone because you don't like the answer is not only rude, but it begs the question, "Why did you ask if you've already made your decision?".
I was born in rural Texas,
live in a medium-sized town in Texas,
lost a beloved cat, undoubtedly to a coyote, when I lived in a small town in Texas,
once had to beat a retreat to the safety of my car when I tried to help a "poor thin scruffy dog" tearing into a bag of trash (don't ever believe that wild animals are afraid of us superior beings),
once comforted a neighbor's child who saw a coyote grab her brand-new Labrador Retriever puppy out of her front yard right & run off with the screaming puppy in its mouth.
so I do know coyotes, better than anybody would want to.
Unless your "cat fence", whatever that is, is a cage, with a mesh floor & ceiling as well as 4 sides, coyotes will find a way to get in there, & if "soft mesh" is anything less formidable than a chain link fence, they'll tear it up.
Feed your cats to the coyotes if you want, but be aware that that's what you're doing.
PS: The answer to the coyote eating the food set out for stray cats is to call animal control to trap the coyote, not "speak to" your good-hearted neighbor to make her stop feeding hungry animals.
I wish your cats the best luck.
Betsey ..no reason to name call. I just said if you love your cats and want to protect the answer is as clear as the nose on your face. Cats belong inside unless you're okay with the many accidents that can happens to them outside. But don't come here crying when one of your cats get killed by a coyote You have already read Sylvia's info , so do what you want with it. Just because I take care that my cats are never exposed to the violence out there, don't get on my case. I Am the responsible pet lover and have never in all the 15 cats I've had over the many years, lost one from a accidental death. And YOU should have respect for posters too, many of whom agree with me.
The general thinking is that to keep coyotes out of the yard, one needs a minimum of 8' fence... problem in a lot of HOAs do not allow fences that tall here in Los Angeles, where we have a very large and hungry indigenous population of coyotes. Most of the coyotes seem to live nearly entirely off the local pet populations, with pet cats and small dogs being the bulk of their diet. They are pretty bold, too, some even hunting into mid morning, and many attacking pets on leashes (if the dogs are small enough). I work emergency and we see about 1-7 coyote attacks per week, most small dogs (rarely see cat attacks... I assume if a coyote gets a cat, that's pretty much it... or perhaps cats are a lot harder to catch than small dogs are, so the coyotes are going after them, mostly). We now recommend owners do not let their smaller dogs in the back yard (unless an 8 foot fence, electric fence, or several large dogs in the yard, too) after sunset, or walk small dogs after sunset or before 10AM. Walk dogs on harnesses so they can be lifted up over your head without choking them in case of coyote attacks. And maybe carry pepper spray or some loud noise maker etc... many coyotes seem fairly easy to chase off if owners can react fast enough.
To keep a Coyote out of your yard . I dont know if you live in area where you can put in Hotwire. But that is the best way to keep them out of your yard. when putting in your fence of hotwire but it No more then 5 in off the ground. Running the wire up to 4 feet off the ground. dig your Fence little over foot into the ground to make it hard for them to get to the cat.
We have a lot of Coyotes where we live. We do not allow our cat outside. But that is just us. But the best thing for a coyote is 45 round to the head.
Hope this helps .
I agree with lily316, I got Charlie when he was 10 weeks old and he is an indoor cat. I saw my neighbour last week and she said her cat was missing for a few days. She found him a few streets away and he was lying on the side of the road, he was dead. Probably hit by a car, she wasn't sure.
A few years ago my neighbour let her little dog out before they went to bed. She was in the kitchen and she heard him screaming. She ran outside and a coyote climbed her six foot fence, he grabbed her dog and was trying to climb over the fence with her dog. She managed to scare him and now when the dog is outside she is with him.
I have heard a lot of coyote stories this year from my neighbours. One guy takes his dog over to the Credit River for a run before he goes to work. I met him one day and he had a golf club with him. He said one morning 3 coyotes rushed him and his dog. He screamed at them but they didn't want to go, so he tried to hit them with the golf club and they took off.
Please be careful with your cats, it only take a minute to break your heart.
Lily, I agree with your advice. Your post was good common sense, and not inane OR pushy
I think it's great that betsyhac has found a solution to keeping her cats outside and safe.
Coyotes are very tenacious. I don't think your cats will be safe from them. Your neighbor, feeding the strays, has set out the dinner bell for the local wildlife. I hope you can talk to her.
I love the idea of calling animal control to remove a native predator so that homeowners can feel safe leaving their cats out.
Who's going to call all the cars in, other dogs, people who put out poison, other animals, traps, and cruel people?
I agree with Lily - if you want to protect your animals (cat, dog, etc) keep cats inside and dogs under close supervision (on a leash) outside. I live in a suburb of Philadelphia and saw a coyote take an adult Peke out of my neighbors yard with 8 - 10 adults standing around talking. There is no fear in "citified" coyotes.
I asked for information that people KNEW, not PUSHY, INANE opinions, lily316.
Wow, that was harsh and extremely rude. Lily316 was in no way pushy or inane.. she just stated some simple facts.
The indoor/outdoor cat debate doesn't need to be brought into every post; I wish you guys would give it a rest. You're not changing anyone's minds; the cats are still going outside. Don't overlook the fact that you have a large population of feral cats that people are tending and they are interested in these topics as well.
If anything you're playing the devil's advocate here. For instance, the post asking for suggestions to keep cats from killing birds. You deterred people from posting up suggestions and the thread died off. That just leaves you with more dead birds. Do you think that lady isn't letting her cat outside now because of the banter on the thread?
This poster went the extra mile to install a Purrfect fence for her animals. She's got an unexpected threat and asking about coyotes which we are interested in reading responses about. The rest is just off-topic and there's no need to be combative. Take a look at the Purrfect fence. It addresses most of your arguments about letting cats outside. Yes, there's still issues; I'll give you that. However, there's safety and health issues with keeping cats imprisoned in an indoor only setting as well. I could start by telling you a really graphic story about the lady that dried her kitten in a clothes dryer... Not a danger for an outdoor cat.
I've had 15 cats over the years and none has every been in the clothes dryer. I can honestly say since they are all in the house I can monitor their activities and cater to their needs and they have NEVER been in any kind of accident...fights among themselves or problems with the dogs. The only thing that happened was one of my cats jumped into a deep drawer and it was shut on her. A few hours later I missed her and called and there she was ...sleeping in the closed drawer. If she were lost out side I'd have miles and miles to look for her. I think it's nice to give your cats out side exercise, but that won't trump my concern for their well being. Of course my dogs are out all the time but they're in a fence in yard and are out of harms way. Around her there were stories of cats being abducted for use as bait in dog fighting training.
I agree with kittens. This isn't about indoor vs outdoor, both of which have benefits and risks, and I too wish we could open a separate thread about that issue and leave it out of other threads such as this one.
One suggestion for coyote protection might be to install a kitty door from the outdoor fenced area into the house. I don't know if that would be feasible for you, but it would offer protection for your cats, betsyhac.
Although coyotes do hunt during the day, I think they are most likely to hunt at night. You might think about bringing your cats in during the night and letting them out during the daylight hours.
The threat posed by coyotes is affected by multiple factors, including available food sources and other things. I think that coyotes in rural areas are more reluctant to closely approach human dwellings than in suburban areas where the coyotes have become accustomed to humans. Also coyotes are hunted in rural areas and this is a deterrent. Coyotes are opportunists and likely to go with the easiest prey or scavenge, rather than to chose prey that can put up a good fight. Parents with a family to feed are more likely to take risks. So whether or not coyotes would be motivated to break through the soft mesh barrier to reach your cats is an open question.
Spedigrees.....the rural area theory doesn't apply. I live in a rural area and the coyotes think nothing of walking thru my yard and down the driveway....during the day.
My DSis lives in a more remote area and recently lost her cat to coyotes, within 20 ft of their house. They'd never had a problem with coyotes so didn't worry about their cat being outside. She never ventured beyond the yard.
I live in a rural area too, Nigel, and no coyotes are ever sighted near the cluster of houses around me. I don't know anyone who ever lost a cat or small dog to a coyote. yet there is a good sized population of coyotes in my part of the state. As I said, there are many factors that enter into the equation.
For one thing, my home is surrounded by woods which contain an abundant source of game for predators to hunt, and most of the neighbors seem to have a vendetta against coyotes and would not hesitate to kill any that might show themselves. Animals are not stupid, and I'm sure the coyotes know that it is always open season on them.
Coyotes do not care whether they're in the city or the suburbs or a small town or way out in the country.
They aren't interested in human beings & our presence does not deter them.
The only way to keep a cat safe from coyotes is to keep it inside the home or build a giant cage with 4 sides plus a floor & a roof or ceiling out of heavy gauge wire fencing such as chain link;
you can use chain link for the roof, or do what a friend of mine did.
She built a cat habitat that was similar to an enclosed porch:
wood floor, chain link "walls", & a metal barn-type roof.
It was attached to the back of the house, & the cats had a kitty door.
Safe cats, safe birds, happy friend.
Thank you Lisa, Annz, Camlan, Handymac, Lzrd, Mountain Lady, Kittens, Spedigrees and Nigel for your kindness in offering a helpful response. I agree, Sped, that MANY factors go into any one situation. We have not, up until now, had any coyote sightings in our neighborhood. It seems that may be changing. Mountain, hot wire is not an option. I don't want to hurt any other innocent animal or even a child. Lzrd, I did get this hissing spray from a company in CA that supposedly will scare them off. I'm going to keep that in my leash pouch for when I'm out walking, so thx for that suggestion. And I am now taking everyone in at about 10 every night. Before that, hopefully, there's enough activity around to keep the coyote(s) laying low.
Sadly, there's an old battleaxe brigade in this forum that thinks bc they have nothing else to do but dictate on every single post, that they own the forum and, therefore, have the right to consistently be mean and combative. I've seen it deter many a poster from returning. I know that I won't be asking any more questions here - so as not to give these nasty people a podium. But I will be reading and answering. This forum belongs to everyone and I'm hoping that if enough of us are more interested in helping, rather than browbeating, most people will see through and past the OBB.
Some people can't handle the truth.
& some people are incapable of or unwilling to address issues or to acknowledge that they're wrong, & so they call names instead of making a change.
I wish the cats all the best.
To all the OBBs here who love their cats and speak up , keep speaking out to maybe help some new cat owner who doesn't realize the dangers out there. Being in animal rescue, I've seen it all, and it's not pretty. (BTW..why does she think we're old?...lol) Does she not know name calling is against the rules on GW?
Lily and Sylvia, you're both like Jehova witnesses. Geeze why don't you take your crusade for indoor only to a separate thread as has been suggested. It's a pity that this forum is not moderated, or does not provide an 'ignore' feature.
Betsyhac, I'm very sorry that you have been the victim of these bullies, but just remember that the loudest are not necessarily the majority opinion. I hope you can ignore these rude browbeaters and feel free to ask any future questions. One option would be to do a quick 'select all' and then copy and paste an entire thread into a text document, then strip out Lily and Sylvia's replies, and read only the relevant posts. I hope your kitties stay safe. Your plan to bring them in at 10 pm sounds like a good plan.
Not to add to the controversy, but when we moved in to our place (suburban/town), there was a large population of feral cats living in the woods behind our house. Two or so years ago, sightings of a coyote circulated among neighbors. Now, not one feral cat sighting in at least a year.
As someone who is a first-time visitor to this forum, it seems as if there may be some over-reactions to what seem to be innocuous and mild statements. Wow. If I weren't on a liquid diet for the next couple days, I would be fixing popcorn and settling in for a spell. ;)
Oh for goodness sake, this is the pet forum girls. Now we are going to start trolling each other when we normally have a really nice forum and everyone's enjoyable to converse with? Let's not go there.
That FACT is there are benefits and pitfalls on both sides of the issue none of which can be applied to everyone.
My cats were confined to indoor-only until I could set up accommodations for them to get outside. So I can comment both sides from experience. They are truly much, much more stimulated being allowed outside into their kennel. It can't even be measure on the happy meter; I would never deprive them of this if I have a choice. I live in a nice area so many of the cons being thrown out sound totally ridiculous for me and just aren't applicable to my situation. I have to address the parasite issue and an occasional mole in the house - not a big deal.
There is probably going to be someone that wants to argue this (lol) but I think everyone else can attest that their cats will gravitate to the outdoors. My window usually has a cat in it and when the doors are open, that's where they sit.
Rather than the hate-posts pushing each others buttons I'd prefer to see some threads encouraging the best of both worlds for the cats - outdoor enclosures. That really should be the least controversial and most beneficial. Whether it be a window box or enclosed balcony for the city dwellers or an enclosed backyard/kennel we could certainly give each other a tremendous amount of feedback to enhance our cats lives.
I'm personally interested in these topics because I'm in the process of moving and looking for a small yard (I have huge space right now) that I can enclose for my cats. The two that are penned right now love to be leash-walked; I can't imagine how delighted they'll be for an entire yard of hopping crickets.
If cats couldn't be litterbox trained the indoor/outdoor issue would never been a topic to begin with. It can be very difficult to set up outdoor space for cats due to fact that they climb. It's normally not feasible to roof your entire yard... They sell incredible outdoor set-ups for cats but in this economy they aren't the most practical for everyone. I looked at the Purrfect fence for my yard but it wouldn't work in my situation due to my terrain, acreage and trees. Otherwise, it's almost ideal, apart from the coyotes I guess! I did research the fence and couldn't find much feedback about it. Now someone out there googling is going to at least find out coyote may be an issue with this fence. How is killing these threads helpful?
Betsy - I would suggest talking to your neighbor that is feeding the wildlife indiscriminately as was mentioned. I had a similar situation with my neighbor. They weren't really thinking about what they were attracting into the neighborhood. They immediately stopped because they had concerns about their young children. I ended up with a woodchuck taking residency under my porch before they stopped. But they had concerns about rabies and such... That might help to reduce the frequency of their visits until animal control can help.
Maybe someone missed this post:
That's a great idea kittens! I'll be happy to share my outdoor enclosure and would love to see others.
As you mentioned, some of the online set-ups are expensive and it took me many hours of searching the web to get ideas of enclosures and tunnels for access.
I did talk to my neighbor, and she said that she stopped leaving the food out awhile ago bc another neighbor's dog was eating it.
Are you saying that your current yard (not the small yard you hope to move to) is not conducive to a Purrfect fence bc of the terrain? I think the Purrfect fence has a video on their site about how to adapt to various terrains. You might want to just check that out for ideas, even if you are going to construct your own type of fence.
I've actually thought about putting a top fence up bc of owls. I guess I'm kind of waiting until my potbelly pig is gone. I haven't had any issues with anyone complaining about him (they really have no reason to, but we stay under the radar, just in case). But they might not like that type of fence and then would start to question Pudge's being here, etc. etc.
I really like the black mesh for the walls of the fence bc they're so unobtrusive, and you can see right through them. I'm bummed to hear the coyotes might go through them.
Yes, the fence won't have worked here. The yard is very odd, pie-shaped and if I cut a section off just for fence it would have cut out all my gardens. There is one spot I could have sectioned off but it's riddled with trees, too many for tree guards. Otherwise, I was looking at around 2000 feet of fencing. I forget how much a foot that fencing cost but it wasn't do-able. The property also slopes in one area (drastic) so I think they could have jumped that area after all the work.
I'm hoping to find a city-type sized lot that I can somewhat easily cage in. It would be nice to be outside playing with the cats. I don't like this confinement thing. My orange kitty roams around the property hunting without incident but these two I was bound to run into trouble with so have had to pen them.
Right now, we just settled for a dog pen they go into that I put a screen top on. It's 10 or 12 feet long. I put it up against my deck (next to the house) so it's not so obtrusive. This stuff is ugly in the yard! The window repair shop put a cat door into a basement window for me which leads them to the underside of the deck. The deck is large so I went under and screened it all in. I left a hole on one side and put a hole in the dog kennel. The holes abut next to each other. It's not fancy at all but they don't care and they have some space to run if they want. I put a couple of tree limbs in the pen for climbing. They go outside all of the time.
I really prefer a solid fence for my own privacy. I'm pretty darn sure my cats could clear a 6-footer even if I put the nice side facing the yard. They are very active (Bengals). When we play 'catch' my one kitty leaps up about 3 feet, straight up from a sitting position. With a little determination, I think they'd be over it! I talked to the zoning people and they said there might be a possibility of getting a variance for an 8 foot fence. I'll have to wait to see what sized property I get and the neighbor situation. I don't want to piss off the neighbors when I first move in so I'm trying to find something that will look the best within a reasonable budget.
I know they sell attachments to put on wood fences but I have no idea how they work. They have coyote rollers and (I think Purrfect fence) a mesh, spring system. The only feedback I find is linked on the company sites. I'd hate to go to that kind of expense any have a cat Houdini over it. I still have something like that link you sent me before in mind, too. That might be the best. Most of the Bengal breeders seem to have elaborate catios set up for the outdoors. They look beautiful but I'd prefer to let them have full run of the yard. It's difficult to figure out when you don't know what yard you're going to buy! I'm just trying to explore some options so I have ideas when I go out looking.
I'd love to see photos of everyone's set-ups. And I don't believe we've seen your pig yet unless I missed a post! Do share if you've got a camera.
Is your yard wide enough to put some type of cat tree/jungle gym in the middle of it? You know, if a coyote comes in, it's bound to make some noise. The cats might instinctively make a b-line for something to run up. (You might be able to build something for them with a hiding tunnel at the top). Just a thought.
well another shi*storm on the pets forum & I'm not the cause of it? I go out of town & everyone runs amok!
OP, I live on the border of Detroit & we've seen coyotes on our street many times in the last few years, I suspect you're going to need to bring your cats in at night for their safety.
As for indoor/outdoor cats, I got piled on by 2 dear friends last yr, both said it's cruel to keep a cat inside. One said she doesn't expect her cats to live more than 4 yrs or so & has lost her cats to many early deaths, yes some were cruelty. Her current cat is a bird/small rodent killer & she laughs & says he has a little belt w/notches in it for every kill. I'm not on board w/that, but she's across the country so I can't really sneak up & put a bell on that cat.
One thing I do wonder about, both these friends say they've NEVER had litterbox problems with any cats that had access to outdoors...
I'm more on the side of inside cats (for myself). One of our current cats, Sammy, was found outside in a steel yard in Detroit & still wants to go out. So he gets in his harness & leash & we take him in the backyard, he LOVES it outside! If I had the space & finances I'd consider a cat fence area. I can understand both sides but choose safety which in my neighborhood means never outside unattended. I also had the misfortune to comfort a man who had run over & killed his own cat in the driveway, that was one hurting dude.
As for the tone of responses you've gotten, you'll need a thick skin around here. We fight amongst ourselves & believe me I've been where you are now...but it could be because I give as good as I get & have been known to type & post before I really think it over, a classic way to offend on the web. I was called a troll on a local neighborhood forum for standing by my opinions. You won't change anyone's minds here, pick & choose the advice you want, the rest, scroll on by. Good luck!
Kittens - tunnel top sounds fun for them. It's on my list to investigate. Problem with some of my cats is that they think they can take on any dog!
Here's a pic of Pudge enjoying a pear.
Awww, well he's sure to put a smile on everyone's face!!! It's so fun to see pet piggy pics on this forum :)
If worse comes to worse, and I hate to even suggest it but you may have to replace your fence with a different material if this becomes too worrisome.
Keep us posted on how things are working out and if you have any luck with animal control.