With 33 calls coming in for coyote sightings last year, city bylaw is cautioning residents to keep an eye on their felines.
Of the calls, one included the death of a family cat, who was mauled by the wild animals.
“We do have a large number of cats running at large,” city bylaw manager Suzanne Stubbs said, noting that this is against city bylaws.
“The cat bylaw is exactly the same as the dog bylaw. You can’t leave your cats at large. If they are going to be off your property they should be on a leash.”
The fine for breaking this bylaw is $115 the first time, $175 the second time and $335 for every subsequent infraction.
“We do get the calls where people are so fed up with having people’s cats in their (yard) where they spray,” Stubbs said.
As for coyote concerns, the city appears to be in a lull at the moment, with the last sighting reported on Dec. 17.
But, it’s only a matter of time before coyotes make their way back into town, she said, noting that as soon as they’re unable to find foods in the woods they’ll trot into the city.
The cat bylaw is exactly the same as the dog bylaw. You can’t leave your cats at large. If they are going to be off your property they should be on a leash. - Bylaw manager Suzanne Stubbs
This is where citizens play a role, she encouraged.
“The best thing is to keep your yards clean. Try to get the fruit off your tree – it might be tough, but the bottom ones, get them off.”
Of the 33 calls, only two included pairs of coyotes, with all other callers noting individual coyotes. Of the calls, two were actually foxes, which Stubbs notes to be of similar concern as coyotes.
Although more calls regarding coyotes come in during the winter because they are able to cross the North Saskatchewan River, they also occasionally come in from the east and west, Stubbs said.
“We live around bush lines. I know, for example, at the golf course, they like to hang out there. The same at Little Red, so if you’re cross-country skiing be attentive.”