West Seattle coyotes: Cat grabbed during the daytime

In our seven-plus years of reporting on West Seattle coyotes, we’ve heard people often mention they bring outdoor cats inside at night, in hopes of avoiding coyote encounters. This report from Jaime is a reminder that coyotes roam in the daytime too:

I thought I should report this to the blog, even if not sure of proper procedure.

My neighbor reported to me that just last week after hearing a commotion outside his porch, opened his front door to find a young coyote who had the family cat in his mouth. He immediately yelled and tried to scare the coyote away, which did cause the coyote to drop the cat. But the cat was badly injured and subsequently died.

This was in the middle of the daytime at 50th and Hudson. My neighbor believed that the coyote had entered from the alley into their fenced front yard and grabbed the cat, who was sunning himself on their porch.

Biologists who have analyzed coyotes’ diets say this is only a small part of what they eat – more commonly, they consume rats and mice, among other things you can see listed here – but nonetheless, it can be a risk if your pet is outside, unattended, so we publish this as a neighbor-to-neighbors alert. (A wildlife agent was blunt about it in this report we published two years ago.)

14 Replies to "West Seattle coyotes: Cat grabbed during the daytime"

  • Nature May 21, 2015 (10:32 am)

    Coyotes absolutely can eat cats during the day. 8 years ago our cat was attacked by a coyote on our front porch at 10am. We rushed him to emergency and had him sewn up (he was entirely ripped apart from head to tail). 3 surgeries and $5k later, he survived. Note: he was solely an indoor cat until we exhausted all possibilities of keeping him indoors — long story.

  • Les May 21, 2015 (10:39 am)

    I found what I believe is the rear leg of a black cat on my lawn May 11th.I live at the end of Canada Dr. a few blocks south. I have seen coyotes in the neighborhood many times both day and night.

  • ChefJoe May 21, 2015 (11:35 am)

    and just yesterday I opened my front door to find a neighbor’s startled cat bantering away after depositing a poo in the planting area beside the door. I put out a few more strips of cut wire-cloth (a nice cat-size barbed wire).

  • clueless May 21, 2015 (3:09 pm)

    I’ve had that happen to me too Chef. God-awful smell!

  • Ws parent May 21, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    It may be sad, but it is what coyotes do. They need to eat too. When we lived out in fall city, a coyote ate our cat. Circle of life. I couldn’t really blame the coyote– he just wanted a meal and after all, he lived there first… Indoor cats are the only way to keep them from no harm. Funny, i rarely see anyone post about all the wild birds that get eaten by the domesticated cats…

  • Jill May 22, 2015 (8:03 am)

    I’m sorry you had to experience that, Jaime, best thoughts to you and family members who loved your kitteh.

  • redmondjp May 22, 2015 (10:17 am)

    Same deal over here in Redmond near Microsoft. I live two blocks over from a wooded creek and coyotes have disappeared many a cat and small dog over the past several years, sometimes in the middle of the day.

    I found a cat’s leg deposited on top of my fence once too (probably left there by a crow – I left it and it disappeared a day later). Gruesome, but it’s the price we pay for living in the forest.

  • Aj May 22, 2015 (10:26 am)

    WS parent: coyotes were not here first. They are not native to western wa and are an invasive species.

  • G May 22, 2015 (11:46 am)


    You’re correct. Let me put this myth to rest: I grew up in West Seattle and as a kid spent countless hours messing around in the greenbelts and parks, and never, ever, saw a coyote. Fox, yes, but not coyote. Neither did I ever hear anyone else mention seeing a coyote. They are recent arrivals, as are Barred Owls.

  • Ray West May 22, 2015 (12:48 pm)

    Definitely best to keep cats as indoor pets and to condition them that way as early as possible. I’ve never let mine out, though she’s gotten out a couple times and was so scared she wanted right back in. I always reinforce that the outdoors is a “bad” place.

  • Jeff B. May 22, 2015 (2:54 pm)

    Ws parent,

    I have posted several rants about cats eating birds on this blog and mentioned how I am glad the coyotes are taking care of some of the problem. I have 2 cats that I walk on a leash. So they get outside,but they are safe and so are the birds. It’s really the only way to go.

  • Ws parent May 22, 2015 (10:58 pm)

    Aj & G that’s interesting because the Lummi tribe have stories about coyotes and so do other pacific northwest native tribes. you are probably right In some sense like that they were not here when cougar and other bigger predators lived in west seattle, but when bigger predators move out, coyotes move in. My point was that cats are not native to Washington at all. Coyotes were on washington prairies and other areas, if not parts of the coast way before domesticated cats. When I was little i lived near the foothills of mt rainier and they were (and still are) plentiful that was 40 years ago. City coyotes are silent though, compared to coyotes in the “country”. Very scrappy looking, but very adaptable and smart as far as survival instincts go. Our last cat was indoor-only to protect her from coyotes, and to protect the birds from her. Thanks for thinking of the birds Jeff B!

  • sam-c May 26, 2015 (5:00 pm)

    Jeff B, I worry about the birds too. I always wonder why off leash cats get a pass (on the WSB) when off leash dogs do not. I see them in our yard all the time. And find their deposits in the kids’ sandbox. Gross. Rather, my kid grabbed it…. gross.

    Also- I’ve never been able to tell the difference between an ‘outside’ cat and a ‘lost’ cat. Whenever I see a cat wandering around the streets, I assume it’s an ‘outside’ cat.

  • Mark May 28, 2015 (1:55 pm)

    Just had a coyote in my back yard yesterday at about 6pm. I live at 31st & Holden St.

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