Calgary cat owner warns others after pet killed by bobcat

Click to play video: 'Woman warns others after pet cat is attacked and killed by bobcat'
Woman warns others after pet cat is attacked and killed by bobcat
A Calgary cat owner is warning others after she believes her beloved pet was one of several attacked and killed in a field right by her home. As Tomasia DaSilva reports, wildlife experts say the bobcat population has exploded in Calgary – Jun 17, 2024

A Calgary cat owner is warning others after her beloved pet was attacked and killed by what she believes was a bobcat.

Glenda Muron told Global News her cat Wilma went missing from her home in Arbour Lake back on May 28.

Muron said she searched for six days until a neighbour said he had seen Wilma’s remains in a nearby field. That same neighbour added he’d seen a bobcat patrolling the field for several days.

“It’s devastating quite frankly to lose her that way,” Muron said tearfully.

Muron said others have told her that Wilma was the third pet cat to have been killed by the wild cat in the area in the past few weeks.

The Nova Scotia native, who just moved to Calgary a few years ago, said she was shocked to learn bobcats are regularly seen inside the city limits.

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“I was in shock,” she said incredulously. “I live in the suburbs!”

Glenda Muron and her pet cat Wilma. Glenda Muron/Supplied

Wildlife experts said bobcat sightings have become increasingly common inside and outside Calgary city limits.

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“The bobcat population really does seem to have exploded,” said Sara Jordan-McLachlan, a conservation analyst with the Miistakis Institute.

Back in 2021, she researched bobcats and their range in the city, and while she doesn’t have exact numbers of how many bobcats call Calgary home, their numbers have increased.

“We actually have a real ideal landscape for them,” Jordan-McLachlan said.

“We’ve got a lot of greenspaces for them to live in and we’ve got a lot of prey that’s inside of the city.”

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Their prey usually consists of small rodents and rabbits,  but Jordan-McLachlan said small cats and dogs can be at risk too if the animal is hungry enough.

Humans, including children, are not usually at risk.

“I don’t think we should be fearful of them,” she said.

“You’re not as tasty as you think. We’re not actually on their menu at all and the only reason they’d be interacting with us at all is probably in a defensive behaviour.”

Jordan-McLachlan added bobcats generally only attack humans if they, or their offspring, feel attacked.

She said that as the city grows, encounters are likely to increase.

“As we continue to develop into these suburb areas we are going to be interacting more with wildlife.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary woman recounts bobcat attack'
Calgary woman recounts bobcat attack

How to deal with bobcats

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Services told Global News it hadn’t received any recent reports of bobcats attacking cats in the Arbour Lake area. It urged anyone who is concerned to contact them.

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To prevent bobcats from coming to your property, Fish and Wildlife recommends:

  • Removing any food, shelter or water that may attract them to your property
  • Not leaving pet food outdoors and do not feed them
  • Removing bird feeders and bird baths so bobcats are not drawn into your yard to prey on the birds
  • Trimming trees, shrubs and even grass so there is no shelter for bobcats to hide in. Spaces under decks and outbuildings should be closed off for the same reason
  • Adding motion detector lighting to walkways and driveways to deter them from calling your home their home
  • Keeping dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens or other animals that live outdoors in a secure enclosure
Wilma the cat. Glenda Muron/Supplied

Muron said she came forward to help other pet owners avoid the heartache she’s going through.

She said she knew there was a risk to letting Wilma wander, but added she was a feral cat for years, and there was no way to stop her from going outside.

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