Are Coyotes Dangerous?

Coyotes are rarely a threat to full-grown humans, but are often dangerous to pets and small kids. Coyotes are only dangerous to humans when they are protecting their young, when they feel threatened, or if they have rabies. While they generally do not attack humans, coyotes often attack and kill smaller sized dogs and cats. 

Are coyotes aggressive towards dogs?

Agressive Coyote Coyotes are known to be aggressive towards both small and large dogs. In most cases, a large dog will be able to protect itself against a single coyote, but coyotes often hunt in packs. These predators are known to provoke large dogs out of their yard and subsequently gang up on them and kill them. On the contrary, a small dog is an easy target for a coyote. Small dogs are killed by coyotes more often than large dogs. 

As humans encroach on a coyote’s habitat, these predators are forced to find new sources of food. Coyotes have found other sources of food such as livestock and small pets. Food sources like these are easier to hunt than their normal pray, and therefore have become a common target.

In many urban areas, coyotes have become immune to human activity. This means that coyotes are not scared of humans. When this occurs, coyotes are in their most aggressive state, and will not hesitate to attack dogs and cats.

Are coyotes aggressive towards cats?

Coyotes are known to be aggressive towards cats, but unlike dogs, cats have a better chance of escaping. Cats have quick reflexes and have the ability to climb trees. Because coyotes cannot climb trees, cats often have an escape route. 

Unless a pack of coyotes is able to surround a cat, a cat will be able to avoid these predators in most cases. 

What do you do if you encounter a coyote?

Coyote CallIf you encounter a coyote, the best thing to do it to be as loud and aggressive as possible. Coyotes are timid and scared of humans. The best thing to do is to stand up tall, broaden your shoulders, clap your hands, yell as loud as possible, and run directly at the coyote in an attempt to scare it off. This routine will almost always scare off an individual coyote (unless it has rabies) and will also scare off a small pack.

If a coyote does not respond to the aggressive behavior, continue to harass the animal until it runs off. If the coyote does not run off, it is most likely confused and thinks you are going to feed it. This often only occurs in areas such as campgrounds or near cities when coyotes are being fed by humans. This is illegal and should be reported. 

Can a coyote kill you?

A single coyote generally will not be able to kill a full grown human. A large full grown male coyote is only around 30 – 40 pounds and 1.9 – 2.2 ft. tall. Because humans are much stronger, heavier, and taller, a coyote will get scared if a human becomes aggressive towards the coyote. If needed, a human could kill a coyote. 

Although a single coyote may not be able to kill you, a large pack of coyotes has the ability and numbers to kill a human. Coyotes are known to gang up on their pray.

Do Coyotes hunt in packs?

Coyotes hunt in packs. These predators hunt in packs because it is easier to catch their pray by surrounding them. Their pray (rabbits, rodents, birds, etc.) is often quicker and faster than the coyote, so they use the benifit of numbers to attack their pray.

Have you ever heard a pack of coyotes howling in the middle of the night? This often occurs after a pack of coyotes have killed their pray.