Cat Mutilations?

I read an article in yesterday’s newspaper about how mutilations of cats are a “disturbing national trend.” By the way, the article is online at . There are a couple of things about the article that trigger my BS alarms, but the author of the article seemed to have zero suspicion that it’s not all true.

First, we’ve had a prolonged drought in the North Texas area (74 consecutive days with no rain and counting), and it seems likely that coyotes are having to come into the suburbs to find their next meal. I saw a coyote walking right through my suburban neighborhood of Plano, Texas, about two months ago, in the middle of the day!

Second, there’s the statement in the article “These sick individuals are very bold, because they’re coming to the property at least twice; once to take the cat and then to bring it back.” Apparently, several of the mutilated cats have been found in fields adjacent to the houses where the cats came from. This really makes one want to apply Occam’s Razor - either some sick person/group is catching our cats, taking them away to mutilate them, and then bringing them all the way back, OR a coyote is killing the cat, taking to the safety of a nearby field, and eating parts of it. One of these seems much more likely to me.

Now the police detective said that “it’s definitely not a coyote.” Of course, that’s what the sherriffs said about UFO cattle mutilations and the policia said about chupacabra attacks, so I don’t put a lot of weight on just his statement. He doesn’t say exactly why he doesn’t think it’s a coyote, I assume because it’s key to the investigation.

There’s another article I found online at about mutilations around Toronto, Canada. I don’t know whether they have coyotes there, but I bet they have some kind of predator. This article seems to make a big deal about how the injuries seem to be “bloodless,” but the UFO kooks also make a big deal out of the same thing regarding cattle mutilations, and debunkers have pointed out that after an animal is already dead, further wounds don’t bleed very much.

So is this a trend of disturbed teenage males? Or are some reporters overlooking the obvious? I certainly have sympathy for people who’ve lost their cats - my own cat disappeared three years ago, I’ve assumed to a coyote. I’m pretty sure that a human couldn’t have come near him. And I don’t doubt that cats are sometimes killed by disturbed teenagers, after all, TWIAVBP. But a trend?

Oh, and one other thing - this same cat who disappeared, once came home with a rabbit that he caught and brought it in my garage. I went out to look at it to make sure it was dead, and the cat broke out in a huge purr. I left him with it, and the next morning there was a rabbit head and a rabbit pelvis with back legs attached. No bloody mess, and no other rabbit parts. I guess if I hadn’t seen him bring it home, I might have assumed that a teenager crawled into the 6-inch space under the garage door and dropped a mutilated rabbit in my garage.

maybe the cats are mutilating themselves as part of a catsroots resistance movement against a great injustice, like too much dry food or being put in the laundry room for the night.

one of our cats used to spray his musky cat gland stuff on the left corner of the entertainment unit. he would do this every single day unless my mom gave up and carried him with her wherever she went. did he get what he wanted? yes. did he stop spraying on the entertainment unit? no. that didnt stop until my mom stopped letting him inside but - i digress. the point is that he was protesting.

the texas cats could be rising up and martyring themselves because they think texans are getting too many dogs, or something.


maybe it is a cat doomsday cult, like heavens gate, only with cats.

I’d bet on coyotes. After all, the fact that the areas around the slain felines were bloodless would imply that the coyotes were lapping up all the moisture that was available from their prey - significant during the drought you guys are having.

There’s a great joke about cunnilingus in here somewhere. Of course I have way too much tact to mention it.


I worked in Plano 2 summers ago, and I remember reading in the Dallas Morning News about a series of cat mutilations. IIRC, at least one of the articles mentioned that the cat was decapitated, and other gruesome physical descriptions sounded like the work of a person. I don’t have the initiative, but a DMN archive search might turn up useful material. (6/98, 7/98, 8/98)

We had the same problem in San Jose here, last year (& early this year), and the Polcie, etc were out after the “cat mutilator”, but it turned ou to be coyotes. You could search the san Jose Mercury news archives, or contact the Santa Clara county Humane soc, and they will provide yopu with info to back up the coyote hypothesis.

Another vote for Coyotes. Happens all the time up here. However, maybe they are alien space coyotes :wink: Scary.


CurtC writes:

Quite probably not just because of the drought. Although I live less than 10 miles from Hartford, CT, I’ve had coyote packs in the neighborhood, and have seen one, albeit at 0300 (what I was doing out at 0300 is left as a exercise for the student).

Now these are eastern coyotes, which indubitably have a few dog genes in them, and some might argue that they are therefore bolder than their western cousins. What not in dispute by local veterinarians, animal control workers, etc., is that the eastern coyote is the number two predator of the domestic cat behind the automobile.

As you say: is it possible that some cat deaths and mutilations are the work of disturbed teenaged boys? Certainly. But absolving coyotes of all responsibility simply won’t fly.

Then again, you might have a very disturbed individual in your town:

“The childhood pre-killer has a difficult time distinguishing fantasy and play from reality (FBI, 1985), and this difficulty only increases as time goes on. Episodes of bedwetting and firesetting, coexist with a tendency for cruelty to animals, and have been called the ‘triad’ of childhood characteristics representative of future serial killers (Burgess, 1991).” Source

David Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Edmund Kemper were all animal torturers as children. Kemper specifically targeted cats.

And it’s not constrained to serial killers, either. Mass-murderers and psychopaths exhibit similar behavior as well.

Heres an article about the San Jose catter.

According to a now-dead link on Google, a twelve-year old girl was caught and charged with serial cat killing in Saskatoon, Canada.

Let us hope that it’s the coyotes.

Sofa King wrote:

This is pretty stong evidence that it’s coyotes, if you ask me. I did some searching after what Danielinthewolvesden posted, and found stories in the San Jose Mercury-News about this cat mutilator. Then they did an article on April 22, 2000, headlined “S.J. POLICE FIND COYOTES RESPONSIBLE IN CAT DEATHS.” The article states: “A series of 30 cat killings and mutilations that has alarmed South San Jose pet owners for nearly a year is the work of coyotes, not a perverted human as once suspected, San Jose police said Friday.”

Drought can have an even stranger effect on coyotes. There was a newspaper headline a while ago: Drought Turns Coyotes to Watermelons. (Contrary to expectation, the story was about coyotes raiding a farmer’s melon patch.)

Coyotes. Damnably abaptable and clever. If you see any of them developing opposable thumbs, shoot them.

Raccoons have manipulative paws already. I have to wait until I see one of them fabricating a tool before I can be justified in a war of extinction…

I don’t know if a coyote could even catch a cat.I have it on good authority,itis packs of angry mice.:slight_smile:

Has anyone checked out the local Chinese eatery?

This was coyotes, ferkrissakes, and I should know, as I had something (minor)to do with the investigation. But I emailed them, so they can correct this very misleading article.

Note, cat killers/torturers (and they, all-too-unfortuately exist, Saddam Hussain is one) rarely return the body. If they start finding “mutilated” cat bodies on the lawns in the area, as opposed to say, dumpsters- it is likely Canis Latrans.

In Surrey in England two years ago there was a spate of “cat mutilations.” The police and local cat-owners were very concerned that they might have a disturbed individual on their hands; a constable was put on the case full-time. He logged about 250 cases over a twelve-month period, and mapped out cat deaths over a wide area of the county. Last summer he ended the case and named the culprit (the story appeared last August in The Independent).


With this story rattling around my head, the coyote theory sounds a good one.