How to Deter Mountain Lions, Coyotes and Bobcats

PETA says a little "spring cleaning" can make homes safe and enjoyable for residents and pets.

With recent reports of mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats all seeming to enjoy the suburban life in Orange County, it's a good time for residents to do a little "spring cleaning" to make their homes less attractive to wild animals.

Keeping these and many other species away is as easy as never feeding wildlife, making sure all trash and compost containers are tightly sealed, and picking up fallen fruit. Swimming pools can attract thirsty animals, so keep pools covered when not in use.

Keeping bushes trimmed and grass short eliminates potential resting or hiding spots. And turning on outdoor lights or a radio can keep animals from coming any closer. Placing ammonia-soaked rags in dens or other places where animals have taken up residence will encourage them to leave. Keeping things tidy outdoors by moving wood piles and barbecues away from buildings and removing debris will also keep rodents, a major food source for coyotes and bobcats, away. If wild animals find your yard unappealing, they will move on. 

If they are hungry enough, wild animals may also prey on cats and dogs. Pet owners should keep their animals safe indoors and stay with them at all times when they go outdoors. Walk dogs on short leashes. The smell of dog and cat food can attract wild animals, so it's best to keep it indoors.

Eliminating potential sources of food, water, and shelter is a better wildlife deterrent than hunting or trapping programs. As a  pointed out, "In spite of being hunted and trapped for more than 200 years, more coyotes exist today than when the U.S. Constitution was signed." After animals are hunted and killed, more animals move into the area, the remaining animals breed to replace pack members who have been killed, and cities end up with an endless, expensive kill cycle. "Leg-hold" traps (even ones that are padded) and snares mutilate animals' legs or paws, often cutting down to the bone, and frequently kill or injure nontarget animals like cats and dogs. Such harsh methods are not needed. With a little "spring cleaning," Orange County can be safe and enjoyable for residents and their animal companions.

Michelle Sherrow is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; PETA.org.


Roger Barbosa March 21, 2012 at 12:05 AM
seriously? PETA giving advice on caring for animals? The PETA that euthanizes over 95% of animals it rescues on the pretense that they are "too far gone too bother"? Seriously????
David & Rebecca Lara March 21, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Anyone who wants to find out about PETA KILLING PETS just do a search: "PETA KILLS PETS. You will find out what kind of organization this is: PETA KILLS PETS: (Newser) –– PETA's controversial campaigns for animal rights dominate headlines——but behind the scenes, the picture is quite different, according to newly released documents. Last year, the organization killed more than 95% of the pets in its charge at its Norfolk, Va., headquarters, the Daily Caller reports. Documents released by the state's agriculture department show that the group placed 24 animals in 2011——and killed 1,911. DRUDGE REPORT: PETA kills more than 95 percent of pets in its care... Documents published online this month show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization known for its uncompromising animal-rights positions, killed more than 95 percent of the pets in its care in 2011. The documents, obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, were published online by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a non-profit organization that runs online campaigns targeting groups that antagonize food producers. Fifteen years’’ worth of similar records show that since 1998 PETA has killed more than 27,000 animals at its headquarters in Norfolk, VA. In a February 16 statement, the Center said PETA killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year, finding homes for only 24 pets


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