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The necropsy results are in and the BC SPCA has come to the conclusion that predators were responsible for the deaths of multiple cats in the Kelowna area over recent weeks.
There was plenty of speculation that the deaths were human-caused, but the BC SPCA’s Brian Kijowski says that injuries caused by coyotes, raccoons and other predators can often be very clean and precise.
“We have now received necropsy results which indicate that the wounds are consistent with predation rather than incised or chop wounds,” said Kijowski, who’s the regional manager of cruelty investigation for the Okanagan.
Kijowski noted that these types of cat deaths and injuries can easily be mistaken for those made by human tools, which is why the BC SPCA felt it was so important to wait for necropsy results before commenting about a potential cause of death.
The BC SPCA is warning the guardians of cats or small dogs to not let their pets outdoors without supervision.
“Kelowna has a large coyote population, and this is puppy season for coyotes so the mothers will be hunting for food for their babies,” explained Kijowski.
While Coyotes typically eat small mammals like rats, mice, shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits, they will prey on free-roaming cats, small dogs and chickens if given the opportunity.
They also have a nose for garbage, so it’s also important not to inadvertently draw predators like coyotes to your neighbourhood by providing an easy food source.
Kijowski added that local parks, trails and other areas with tall grass or bushes can be danger zones for smaller pets if predators are around.
If you are approached by a coyote, the BC SPCA advises you “make noise and appear ‘big’ by stamping your feet and waving your arms to frighten the predator off.”
Don’t run away, however, as it could encourage them to give chase.
Instead, maintain eye contact and move away slowly.
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