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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Study: Coyotes snack on cats

UPDATED: Wed., April 24, 2019, 5:32 p.m.

In this Feb. 24, 2011 photo, a coyote crosses a snowy street in the Irvington section of Portland, Ore. Coyotes are a fairly common sight in rural areas of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, and landowners might instinctively reach for the rifle if they see one in the pasture or sniffing around the barn. Many cities, Portland among them, are now home to thriving coyote populations. (Beth Nakamura / AP)
In this Feb. 24, 2011 photo, a coyote crosses a snowy street in the Irvington section of Portland, Ore. Coyotes are a fairly common sight in rural areas of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, and landowners might instinctively reach for the rifle if they see one in the pasture or sniffing around the barn. Many cities, Portland among them, are now home to thriving coyote populations. (Beth Nakamura / AP)

Coyotes love cats.

At least 20% of the time. That’s what a two-year National Parks Service study of urban Los Angeles coyotes found.

Cats made up 20% of the city-slicking canines’ diets, according to the study. A summary of initial findings was published in March. The full study will be published later this year.

Coyotes studied in a nearby L.A. suburb only ate cats 4% of the time. Those coyotes ate rabbits 48% of the time.

Coyotes are resilient and thrive in some of the country’s largest cities, including Chicago, New York and Portland.

The L.A. study differs from earlier research finding that urban coyotes eat basically the same food as their rural brethren – primarily rodents. Cats make up between 1 and 2% of a coyote’s diet, according to a 2002 study of Chicago coyotes.

The easiest way to avoid conflict with the predatory animal is through deterrence.

Don’t provide a food source, secure garbage, leave animals inside, especially at night, and if you do see a coyote scare it off, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. For a more detailed list of recommendations from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife visit: wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/canis-latrans.

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