Does predator urine really deter coyotes?

Don’t let the weird title fool you – this is a serious problem and I’m desperately looking for an answer.

A long backstory and I apologize but it’s necessary.

I live in a wooded suburban area in an older subdivision. There’s little pockets of fairly deep woods all around these houses – there’s woods behind most everybody’s house here.

Over the years I’ve seen deer pop out of the woods across the street, for example. We’ve seen other woodland creatures including rabbits and woodchucks and etc. Seen a fox a time or two as well.

Now we have coyotes. We never had them before but now we do.

I’ve never seen them but my neighbor who works really early hours and is up in the wee small hours has observed them walking down the street.

Normally I wouldn’t care – I like nature just fine and I believe in live and let live – but in the past month I’ve lost two cats to this predator.

I’m desperately trying to keep our remaining animals inside – we also have small dogs – but once a cat has been allowed to be outside it’s hell on earth keeping them inside. My Faith cat sneaked out with the dogs when they went for their last walk of the evening and we didn’t see her. She went off on some kittycat adventure and we didn’t know she was outside. Around 2 in the morning I awakened to some howling and screaming outside and when I got out to check it out it was too late. When we called the roll of kittycats it was obvious what had happened.

People tell me that sprinkling predator urine – wolf urine is mentioned most often – will deter coyotes and keep them off your property. If this is true I’m prepared to make the entire lot smell like eau d’wolf. But I can’t believe this actually works.

Anyone have any experience with this?

And yes, I really want to track the coyote(s) down and shoot them dead. But there would just be more, there’s always more, dammit.

What sort of effect would the scent of wolf urine have on the cats mental stability?

My cats are crazy to begin with. :slight_smile:

Seriously, I don’t know what effect if would have, if any. This would be another thing I’d like to know.

Anyone have any experience using this kind of product?

I looked into it once for deterrents in the garden. Your problem is going to be that i’s not cheap stuff, and water washes it away. So you will be continually re-applying this stuff at quite the cost. This is what kept me away from buying it, so I have no actual experience with its effectiveness.

It does not work Tuba, here are the reasons why.

I do not know the geographic region you live in, but I do know coyote behavior. If there is a pack in your woods, they are feeding on something, meaning there is a temporary food source that when it is gone, the pack will move on. Sadly, the neighborhood percentage of cats and small dogs will have been dramatically reduced once the pack deems it is time to move. This is a sad by-product of urban sprawl, new developments and decreasing habitat for the coyotes.

No amount of wolf or cougar urine will stop a coyote from coming into your lawn to chase a food source for their young. Wild coyotes where I am from in Colorado, routinely wander the foothills well within known predator territory. There are mountain lions, and bears and coyotes all sharing the same habitat. Yes, they may try to avoid eachother, but the cougars are the top of the food chain. Coyotes are a food source when deer are not prevalent.

Keep your critters inside for the summer, the pack will certainly move on soon.

The coyotes around here (SW Michigan) have never seen a wolf, let alone know what thier urine smells like; so I question the validity of using preditor based smells if the prey is unfamilar with them. Perhaps they have seen them from peeking in on me while I watch the Nature channel, but other than that they have no reason to associate any animal (other than man) as a threat.

Have you tried human urine?? I’ve heard mixed reviews but I hear human male urine will be a slight deterent to some animals. Male urine is best supposedly because it has the highest concentration of testosterone which supposedly is the active"deterent". Not positive that will work but it would be free and easy to do just as long as the neighbors don’t see.

Thank you for all your responses.

I tend to suspect Phlosphr is correct and there’s not much I can do except strive to keep all my small animals inside.

Should be mentioned that I haven’t seen a chipmunk or a rabbit around here in quite a while – and even squirrels are rare these days. All part of the coyote diet, no doubt, and they moved up to pets when they cleaned out those sources.

I also haven’t seen a deer in quite a while neither. So this makes me think that coyotes are trolling the area looking for what they can find because there’s nothing left in the woods.

Vigilance is our only defense.

Thanks for your help.

Hi Sorry about you pets. We were losing ducks to coyotes recently. They finally had started to dig under our chain link fence so I started putting out wolf urine in small containers you can hang on the fence. If you just sprinkle it the rain dilutes it too quickly - I’m in WA. Anyway, it has worked for us. I have heard male human urine works also.

See this post is a bit old, but thought I’d add my two cents:

In So. California we have plenty of “gentrified” coyotes walking our streets and killing our pets. First of all, yes, they will respond to wolf urine, it take hundreds if not thousands of years for an animal’s built-in reaction to their most dangerous predators to be neutralized by removing that predator from the ecosystem. And yes, we have throw the balance off by killing wolves. But the fear of wolves remains.

Coyotes generally fear large dogs, but when they hunt in packs they will take German Shepherds no problem.

A way to deter coyote incursion on your property is to go after them with a vengeance when they decide to visit. Throw rocks, scream, swing an aluminum baseball bat. Incredibly effective, especially if they must climb a chain link fence to get into your yard. They will remember you.

Using wolf urine can cause unexpected side effects. When I would take our dogs out in the morning, if there were rabbits on the lawn, we knew coyotes were not around. We’ve had a lot of coyotes in the past year plus and rabbits have been scarce. About a week after going to wolf urine… it’s rabbit fiesta time on our lawn! Now… what urine keeps away rabbits…?

Coyotes are highly intelligent and are quite capable of overcoming an instinctive fear if the risk vs reward assessment looks good to them. If I had to guess I would say whether even freshly applied wolf urine would deter them would depend on how hungry they were and whether they knew from previous experience that there was prey to be had in that location.

If it was me, I would build a coyote-proof outdoor cat run, possibly against the house so the cats could get indoors through a window or cat door. Something out of cyclone fencing with a wire roof and either a concrete floor or a buried L of heavy wire fencing to keep the 'yotes from digging under. If you google it you’ll get lots of ideas.

The effectiveness of predator urine is disputed, and I have also heard that it is not obtained in a humane manner.

“To make it possible to collect their urine, animals like wolves, foxes, bobats and deer are held in cruel, cramped conditions. Often fur farms will collect and sell urine as a side business.”

As a side note, I sometimes make an effort to walk my Labrador near young trees in my yard that are susceptible to deer browsing, in hopes that she will pee around them and discourage the deer. I have no evidence that this works.

This is a reply to also interest me. I’ve heard this theory just awhile ago. I have a small cat sanctuary including a few bengals. I built a security fence on top of the existing chain link fence which works great. Only problem was, one of my male bengals had a amazing skill of escape. He studied the fence which is 8 ft high in places and all he did was jump straight up to the tip of the 45 deg angle post and position himself and launch. He was gone.

Being he was only 16 mo old and no exp in the outside world and ventured right into a bad situation with coyotes. The rest is history even though he made his way back to my front yard to my amazement. He died a few minutes later because of violent injuries to his abdoman. It was a emotional time. I didn’t have the resources to set up an electical wire at the time. The rest of my cats don’t make an escape because they are unable to.

Like the gentleman that lost his cat in the woods that night. I feel like him. All I want to do is kill coyotes. I’m in the desert so the coyotes use the washes for there main stream. There really thick down here and doesn’t matter how many you kill. There’s more behind them.

I feel bad for others with small pets also. Here I live in a city and pay taxes but, it’s against city regs to build a wall not higher than 5 ft or fence higher than 6 ft. around your property, but it’s ok if coyotes climbs your fence to abduct a pet and eat it. and you can’t shoot it. Of coure I improvise, but it’s the principle. If you live outside city limits you can shoot as many as you want, but, then, snakes, cougars, bobcats and the like are more to contend with. Guess it depends on how important your pets are to you. Build the best fence you can and play a tape or cd of sound effects of a cougar snarling or bobcats growling at 15 min intervals during the night with speakrs well positioned outside with low volume of close actual decibals. My neighbors don’t complain because they also have small pets. It works pretty good. It’s a lot of work, but that’s another story.

First of all, if it’s true that this urine is collected in inhumane ways, I will stop using it.

I am in Malibu, have lived with coyotes here since 1989. Each area is different, I’m sure, but they do seem to travel through my area in nearly predictable periods. I majored in geology with emphasis in vertebrate paleontology. The wolf was (and IS) the most important predator in North America. Without the wolf the ecosystem is way out of kilter. The wolf survived the North American extinctions (that the sabre tooth cats did not).

Coyotes fear wolves. But, coyotes, working in packs, are very dangerous. And, although native Americans modeled the Trickster after coyote because of his cunning and ruthlessness, they are not perfect predators. When I first moved to my current location, we never even saw a coyote for the first few years. But, we did see a lot of bob cats. I was told that bob cats go after coyote young. But? Then, suddenly, coyotes appear and bob cats vanished.

We’ve had a number of cats here and they were brought up at our first home in the hills near Malibu. NONE were ever killed by coyotes. And they traveled a lot. We currently have a Maine Coon Cat who frequently ranges deep into the Santa Monica Mountains, and thus far, always comes home (five years now). After we moved to our new home – before we got the Maine Coon – we lost two house cats to coyotes. So…? Maybe some cats are just smart?

We are allowed to kill coyotes here. But… you can’t shoot them. The preferred deterrent method is pellet gun, which also leaves a lasting impression. But, to repeat myself, the most effective method I’ve tried is going after any coyote intruder like you are going to rip their livers out. As the link on predator urine above says: “Carry a big stick, make a lot of noise. These are the things that are going to stop the attacks.”

Predators are aliens, usually invisible from some kind of cloaking device. How on earth do you collect their urine?

Also, I’d wonder if your neighbor actually saw coyotes walking down the street and not some dogs. Coyotes are generally very cautious and avoid open spaces. Not that all coyotes are alike and behave the same either, just something to wonder about.

Actually, one evening last year I was out on a front porch in a suburban neighborhood of Charlotte and saw two coyotes trotting up the middle of the street easy as you please. It was pretty cool. (And yes, I grew up in rural TN, so I do know what they look like :))

In southern Ca? You’re joking, right? They are often in the streets. It’s a serious issue out here:

And, I presume you all read about that young Canadian Folk singer who was killed by coyotes?

Look, let’s be frank: if you want to blame anyone for coyotes being out of control, aim at the beef industry in the United States. The destruction of the wolf population is all about keeping the world safe for hamburgers. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone has created an amazing return to a natural balance, including – believe it or not – improved tree growth.

I thought I’d hear about coyotes in the open as soon as I wrote that. Around here it’s very rare to see a live coyote without binoculars. Most of the time there isn’t confirmation of coyotes, just pets and feral cats disappearing. The animal control guys used to track their infilitration from the number of dead coyotes on the highway, but evolution seems to have eliminated the ‘crossing the highway at night gene’ from the local population. People don’t fear attacks on themselves from coyotes around here, but they don’t want their pets disappearing, and their is a fear that if they get hungry enough, the coyotes might attack children.

Genetic instinct can instill fear absent personal experience.

A friend of mine who lives in the country was having problems with deer feeding
off his landscaping.

In the next county over there is a private zoo of dozens to maybe 100s of big cats–
tigers, leopards, etc.

My friend was able to obtain a pickup truck bed full of tiger shit, which he carted
and shovelled all over his property and guess what?-- no deer!

There have never been any tigers in the Americas, nor any big cats of any kind
in this area probably for 200 years.

A few points:

  1. I live in an area that has plenty of coyotes, overlapping mountain lion territories, and the occasional wolf. There are established wolf pack territories within about 20 miles of here. Our native coyotes encounter wolf/cougar urine on a regular basis. They coyotes are obviously wary of them (a single coyote is no match for a mountain lion or wolf), but won’t leave the area.

  2. As colonial mentioned, this approach does work with prey animals. There’s a waiting list for mountain lion scat from the local nature center, as it keeps the deer away.

  3. Shooting the coyotes is not the answer. I have read some interesting studies about that. When counties offer bounties for dead coyotes, the females go into heat more often and have larger litters. Setting up bounties will often increase the coyote population in an area.