BC SPCA confirms predators responsible for Kelowna cat deaths

Cats mutilated by predators

The BC SPCA confirms mutilated cats found in the Kelowna area since Jun. 19 were victims of predator attacks.

“We have now received necropsy results, which indicate that the wounds are consistent with predation rather than incised or chop wounds,” says Brian Kijowski, the BC SPCA’s regional manager of cruelty investigators for the Interior/Okanagan. 

Residents believed the cats were being deliberately mutilated, but Kijowski says injuries caused by coyotes, raccoons and other predators can be so clean and precise that they are sometimes mistaken for those made by human tools. 

“That’s why we felt it was important to wait for the necropsy results before commenting publicly on the cause of deaths.”

The SPCA warns pet owners of small pets not to let them out without proper 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.”

Coyotes normally eat small mammals like rats, mice, shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits, but will prey on free-roaming cats, small dogs and chickens.

They are attracted to garbage, compost, fallen fruit, seeds from bird feeders, and pet food, that's why the SPCA urges the community to avoid leaving out attractants. 

Local parks, trails and other areas with tall grass or bushes can be danger zones for smaller pets, and owners are advised to keep their animals on leash when outdoors. 

“If approached, make noise and appear ‘big’ by stamping your feet and waving your arms to frighten the predator off, but don’t run away, as it could encourage them to give chase. Instead, maintain eye contact and move away slowly,” says Kijowski.

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