Coyotes Blamed For String Of Cat Killings In Berkeley

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — Cat owners in Berkeley are being warned to keep their pets inside because of coyotes.

A sign has been posted after at least three cats were found dead in the Northbrae neighborhood in the last few weeks. Neighbors there blame coyotes.

One woman on Sonoma Avenue thinks she heard an attack on Labor Day. She said it sounded like 2 cats fighting but later discovered cat remains on the sidewalk.

Berkeley Animal Services says coyote attacks have actually been going on for about four months.

Signs have been posted, advising people to keep their pets inside at night.


One Comment

  1. Zuma Mom says:

    Keep your cats indoors, how hard is that to understand?

  2. Al-Hajji Frederick Minshall says:

    That’s nice. Cat owners are being asked to take responsibility for their cats by keeping them inside to protect them from coyote depredation. It’s a good start. How about keeping them inside to protect their human neighbors and children from needless exposure to toxoplasmosis, rabies, tularemia and the other 30 or so potentially-fatal cat-vectored zoonotic diseases they can transmit? Or, how about keeping them inside to protect the 96 rodents (67% of them native, not pest species), 60 birds (95% of them native) or 68 lizards (100% native) each well-fed, free-roaming cat tortures and destroys every year? One would think that wouldn’t be too much to ask…

  3. carol meschter says:

    This is not a matter of keeping cats inside! Cats are not sources of significant disease and they do not kill significant numbers of suburban birds. Coyotes are a very serious problem in CA and nationally. Human and pet attacks are increasing.

    Once shy, coyotes are now dangerous apex carnivorous predators occupying the wolf niche. The animal rights coyote love affair and disinformation campaign about their harmlessness must stop before a child is badly mauled or killed. Humans have successfully hunted coyotes, keeping them at bay, for 300 years. Of COURSE they can be removed and populations drastically reduced; it will work-it just requires persistence. What is not working is accommodation. What municipalities need to bring them to their senses is a large lawsuit by cat and dog owners and bite victims demanding compensation for loss, pain and suffering caused by these municipally-protected pests. We should not be hiding as prisoners in our own homes while the coyotes hunt through our neighborhoods. Why should we be confining our pets, purchasing expensive fences and monitoring our children while at play in broad daylight while coyotes lurk in our shrubs? “Hazing” in which people throw pebbles and hoot like monkeys is totally ineffective and does not address the root problem; coyotes need to be met aggressively and removed. To say that a human is more likely to be killed by a mountain lion or bitten by a dog is a ridiculous and false argument.

    1. Al-Hajji Frederick Minshall says:

      Cats are not sources of significant disease? Perhaps you should inform the CDC. They advise 325 people a year die from fatal food-borne illness caused by toxoplasmosis, more than any other microorganism in our food-chain except salmonella. 70 children each year are blinded by ocular lesions caused by oocytes of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which are becoming ubiquitous in our environment, even to the point of becoming airborne with dust, thanks to the proliferation of free-roaming invasive felines. One in five Americans is infected with the parasite, and a child can incur life-threatening illness by ingesting a SINGLE oocyte.

      And every T. gondii oocyte contaminating the vegetables and meat you eat had its origin in the digestive tract of feral cats that shed their parasite-laden feces in vegetable gardens, roe-crop soils, pastures, and even the near-shore marine environment via runoff. Thousands of marine mammals are being killed globally by this parasite, as are thousands of terrestrial mammals and birds.

      By contrast, in the last 400 years there have been two fatal coyote attacks–in 1981 and 2009–and both involved wolf-coyote hybrids, which began to appear shortly after the US government engaged in wholesale eradication of wolves from everywhere in the US except Alaska from 1880 through 1887. Prior to that fatal coyote attacks were unknown. And in fact throughout the country coyotes are still being hunted in every US state where they occur.

      But what attracts them to your suburbs is the ill-advised practice of “no-kill” outdoor cat-hoarders who feed “managed colonies” of so-called “community” cats. The coyotes are attracted to the kibble these irresponsible idiots dribble to feed their precious “furrr-baybeez”, as well as to the cats themselves. You might as well scatter raw hamburger on your lawns and in your parks and children’s playgrounds.

      As for your utterly false claim that cat depredation doesn’t significantly affect suburban bird populations, the stats I quoted in my previous post were derived from two peer-reviewed scientific studies which were conducted in SUBURBS—one in San Diego, CA and the other in Athens, GA. They were:

      Crooks, K. R. and Soule, M. E.—“Mesopredator Release and Avifaunal Extinctions in a Fragmented System” (1999; Nature 400:563-566), and

      Loyd, Karrie-Anne T, Hernandez, S. M. et al—“Quantifying Free-Roaming Domestic Cat Predation Using Animal-Borne Video Cameras” (2013; Biological Conservation 160:183-189)

      It is legal for California residents to kill nuisance coyotes. But before you start shrieking and flailing that not enough of them are being killed, it would behoove you to eliminate the far more deleterious, disease-ridden “community” vermin that attract them in the first place.

  4. Gail Mihocko says:

    Perhaps if cats were not allowed to go outdoors the coyotes would not be attracted to suburban areas. Coyotes are native predators and belong where they are. Domestic cats are a non-native species and do not belong outdoors except on enclosed private property or on leashes and supervised just like domestic dogs. Remove the food source (cats) and the coyotes will look elsewhere. I have to question however, that these cats were indeed killed by coyotes if remains were left behind. A coyote that is hunting for food would not leave a carcass behind. Sounds more like a domestic dog attack?

    1. Al-Hajji Frederick Minshall says:

      A very good point. Coyotes are looking for food. Doubt they’d kill a cat and just leave it. And it’s starting to look like once people post accurate info about this issue in a forum, the feral/free-roaming cat-nutters stop posting. We only got one so far in here. Used to be you’d have hoards of shrieking, flailing kitty-worshipers (not that I have to tell you that)…

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