BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In the Southdown’s neighborhood missing cat signs have become the new normal.
Recently, Mookie Darden lost his cat, burger.
“He was like one of my best friends so it really definitely hurt,” Darden said.
He says one night he let burger outside and he never came back.
“I assume it’s coyotes because there’s been so many citings of coyotes in our neighborhood and around our neighborhood,” Darden said.
A few streets over in university acres Mike Mcgaugh says he lost two cats and also believes coyotes are to blame.
“She disappeared and we found just parts of her in the backyard,” Mcgaugh said.
This is something he calls an unfortunate recurrence.
“Cats are going missing almost one or two a week,” Mcgaugh said.
A spokesperson from Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries say coyotes have become very common in urban and suburban areas, like East Baton Rouge Parish. This is due to major changes in the landscape, increased food availability, and more. They recommend everyone who has small pets keep them inside.
Mcgaugh got a new kitten and says he hopes the coyotes stay away.
“He’s obviously going to have to spend his entire life indoors because we wouldn’t want him to meet the same fate,” Mcgaugh said.
The two cat owners say they want their situation to be a wakeup call to all pet owners to leave them inside.
Here’s a list of preventative measures from wildlife and fisheries:
1) do not feed wildlife.
2) identify-the problem. Game cameras are now inexpensive and allow you to properly identify the actual nuisance. Many individuals discover loose dogs are actually the cause of cat and small dog deaths.
3) keep small pets indoor/do not allow pets to run loose (especially dusk and dawn); walk them on a leash
4) feed pets and store pet food indoors. If you must feed your animal(s) outdoor, offer food to your pet for 10-15 minutes in the am and pm, making certain to remove any leftover food and the bowl after the 15-minute period. This allows your animal ample time to feed. Of course, if your animal needs additional time, allow for such. Be certain to remove food and bowls, though.
5) store garbage cans/trash bins in a garage or secure all garbage/trash bins with inexpensive metal latches that can be purchased at a home improvement store. Do not use bungee cords. Most wildlife species are strong enough to remove or chew through bungee cords.
6) refrain from disposing food.