Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Cats, Dogs, Coyotes and Wolves: A mysterious connection Part One


This blog post is important in particular to anyone in the USA who has indoor/outdoor cats, dogs or is a caretaker of feral cat populations.

It is important for our international readers as well because global ecosystems are endangered…and  humans are right at the top of the charts as owning causal responsibility.

I will paw this post over to Mom L because she has lots to share. Hope you will stick around and read the post and also come back for Parts Two and Three.

Mom L here…

There is a direct link between being able to diminish the number of cats and small dogs being killed by coyotes and the survival and growth of all three wolf species in the USA.

The wolf is the top predator in the USA wilds. Bringing them back directly impacts the coyote population in the wild.

Fewer coyotes in the wild means their food sources will be more plentiful; then logical deduction suggests there will be fewer and fewer coyotes who will have to move into urban areas to feed on our cats who are allowed outside, and feral cat populations who have no protection as well as on small dogs who may be roaming loose or even in an enclosed yard.

Gray Wolf (mostly found in Northern USA);


Wolf Haven Gray Wolf


Mexican Gray Wolf (mostly found in Southwestern USA and Northern parts of Mexico…close to extinction in the wild);

DSC_7816 ed

Wolf Haven Mexican Gray Wolf: member of breeding recovery plan


Red Wolf (mostly found in the Southeastern USA, predominantly now in North Carolina…close to extinction…in the wild).

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Wolf Haven Red Wolf: member of breeding recovery plan

We have long been committed in our family to supporting the reintroduction of the Gray wolf into parts of the Northern USA, specifically, the initial reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park in 1995-1996. Our belief was that they would contribute to returning  a lost balance in the ecosystem in this part of the USA.

Our trip to Yellowstone in the winter of 2006 offered these sightings of  5 wolf packs, among about 20 packs,  during our week long tour. One of the packs is shown close up on a week old kill…to caution anyone who might be bothered.


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In just 10 years from 1996-2006, ecosystem balance, in many ways, had already begun. I have a link to a great report listed below. Suffice it to say, one very visible impact of bringing back the top predator in the ecosystem, the Gray Wolf, reduced the coyote population by 80%. The remaining coyotes are more leery of humans and are now hunting the small animals and rodents that bring balance in another way rather than preying on campsites, garbage and loose dogs brought in by tourists.

I hope I have managed to grab the interest of some of Savannah’s readers so as to encourage you to return for Part Two and Part Three of ” Cats, Dogs, Coyotes and Wolves: A Mysterious Connection”. Part Two will post December 1 and Part Three will post December 3.

 Be Well, Mom L

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33 thoughts on “Cats, Dogs, Coyotes and Wolves: A mysterious connection Part One

  1. Pingback: Savannah's Paw Rocks BlogPaws | Pet Blogging in Middle-Earth

  2. Pingback: Cats, Dogs, Coyotes and Wolves: A Mysterious Connection Part Three | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  3. kittiesblue on said:

    Knowing personally of several cats who have lost their lives to coyotes, I am anxious to read more. Thanks for sharing this info, Linda. Now please tell me how you made it snow on your blog. I love it. Hugs, Janet

  4. This is a very interesting post. I hope the wolf population will be allowed to recover. Terrible things have been done to them by mankind.

  5. Pingback: Cats, Dogs, Coyotes and Wolves: A Mysterious Connection Part Two | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  6. Peeps seem to mess everythin’ up, you know? If fact, messin’ stuff up might be what peeps are best at. They SHOULD have left the wolves alone, in the first place. Wolves are such beautiful creatures.


  7. Mags Corner on said:

    My belief is if all the wolves are gone…just a matter of time until all is gone…even the humans. Great post sweet Linda. Hugs

  8. catfromhell on said:

    A wolf pack has moved into the Midway area. They are protected on the Canadian side of the border, but not the US. There they are thought of as vermin and can be hunted any time of the year. But they are a wily pack and are thriving. The coyote population has gone down, but not significantly. Wolves in the wild are a wonderful thing to see. And one of the reasons our cats are well trained and not allowed out after dusk.
    Great Post!!1

  9. The Swiss Cats on said:

    Very interesting ! We don’t have coyotes in Switzerland, we have foxes. The few wolves coming from the italian Alps are not really welcomed by alpine sheep farmers, sadly. Purrs

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  11. Interesting post. (And lovely photos!)

    We have coyotes even here in the middle of Dallas and I hear the occasional story of someone losing a cat or small dog to one.

  12. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Our HuMom has always been interested in the repopulation of the wolf. Now if we could just stop the hunting of the Yellowstone wolves when they leave the part along with the killing of wolves all over the west. We need to make ranchers understand that losing this top tier predator is more dangerous than their fear of losing livestock. We never miss one of your post but will await parts 2 & 3 on this topic will special interest.

  13. My own sweetie, Buzz Lucas, was almost KILLED by a coyote in southern CA years ago. His head injuries were extensive and ugly to look at. We now have them even in NY/NJ cities. One was spotted by North Bergen HS. I’m glad I stay indoors.

  14. Unfortunately, here in Michigan there is a big push to institute wolf hunting. It was on the recent ballot and was defeated, but that will not stop those that want wolf-hunting to continue to try and get it. We also have coyotes…even here on our island…and residents are warned to keep small animals in.

  15. We’re all interconnected. We’re not in wolf country but there are coyotes in our area. People are always advised to keep their small animals indoors but some don’t pay attention or don’t think anything bad will happen to their pets.

  16. spittythekitty on said:

    The Human and I thought this made for fascinating reading. There’s an old margarine commercial that ended “Don’t mess with Mother Nature” that we think was pretty good advice all the way around! XOXOXO

  17. Love wolves!
    Every creature has it’s place in the ecosystem,if humans stopped messing it up,then we’d have balance.
    Jane x

  18. Thanks for the great info. We will be back!

  19. We’ve not seen any of those here, but we shouldn’t in these parts.

  20. I have always been so fascinated by wolves. Their beauty, their mystery. Just amazing! The coyote population has got SO scary in a lot of places!!! Here in Canada too!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  21. We posted about the coyote problem here a while back, and we agree that the reintroduction of the wolves will help, at least in the regions where the wolves lived in the first place. Unfortunately, the lack of predators has caused the coyote population to overpopulate and spread, and now it’s places like here where they don’t have any predators, so we are likely stuck with them, at least in areas where the wolves never roamed in the first place. Hopefully humans will take notice of the unintended consequences and think before they act in the future.

  22. Mother nature knows best. We humans only screw things up when we interfere.

  23. The wolves need our help, they are like the “police” of the nature and without them we will run into a lot of trouble ….

  24. This makes perfect sense…even down to the smallest creature when we interfere we get a butterfly effect…here we have no Coyotes…we have Dingos and they have been much maligned for years…they are on one island in particular where people are almost told what a great place to see Dingos..they mess with them ..the dingos attack..dingo becomes the bad guy….we had cane beetles…they imported the cane toad.. to get rid of them..this creature now is in plague proportion up north and if eaten by dogs,cats,big lizards,reptiles,birds of prey they oozes a toxin from it’s skin…I hope the balance is restored in your wild I fear the cane toad here will not be eradicated and continue to kill domestic and wild life…live and let live..each creature forms a particular place in te ecosystem….great post Linda and Savvy 🙂 much loves Bev xx

    • Bev doesn’t the red wolf look like a Dingo! They are small like the dingo too, almost prehistoric looking. Thank you for understanding my post. I knew it was a risk as this is education not humor, but these posts are written with and from my heart…I had to do them. It has taken me days to research, and think to write.

      • I do very much appreciate them Linda..i am after the ‘lesser Attenborough Jerome” as hubby calls me 🙂 I m fascinated by nature and the complex issues between it and domestic life. It does look like a dingo..dingos are beautiful and sadly I fear for their sustainability with the way people malign them and push into their world. Humor is always enjoyable but when issues such as this happen they need to be explored and shared. hugs Bev xx

  25. That is great news for Yellowstone,good to see this kind of work being done,xx Speedy and Rachel

  26. We have way too many coyotes here in the big city south of you! There does need to be a much better balance, and I think a lot of humans don’t realize how it works.

    • I never thought about the wolf being the ONLY natural predator for coyotes, not even Cougars, mountain lions. The wolf keeps all the natural predation in balance. We’re very intrigued and perhaps it is a piece of know
      Edge that can motivate domestic animal guardians to get more active in supporting wolbes against hunters and bad legislative decision making

  27. No Coyotes here, but my cats are still indoor – due to living in a city with a bus line on the front door and a fire brigade just next corner running “wild” on this street … as they have to.
    Still I love to hear stories of wolves being reintroduced into a landscape that was once theirs to roam. We have wolves roaming over from Poland back into the North of Germany, too. They use military training ranges – as those are out of bounds for most humans and the training is not taking place all over the range. but just in special regions. The rest is left to its own devices – and the wolves moved in. Now shepherds start complaining – though there are not many proven casualties from wolf encounters. And yes, they do a DNA test then – because the shepherds get compensated. Some shepherds want way more to be done and want to ban wolves altogether. They want to be reimbursed not only for more effective flock-saving dogs (there are those from France who are even able to fight off bears!), they want to get money from dead sheep without a DNA test – and if that is not going to be, they want the wolves shot again …

  28. Very interesting read! We have loads of coyotes here. That’s one of the many reasons we’re indoor kittehz.

    We’ll be back for part two!

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