(KTLA) – A coyote entered a home in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Friday, coming face-to-face with a man and a housecat.
Security cameras captured the coyote strolling through the home’s living room after entering through a doggie door around 4 a.m. The animal was greeted by a hissing cat, the video shows.
The homeowner, Mia Shoshan, said her brother was sleeping when he heard the doggie door open in the living room. He looked around, but noticed his two dogs were with him and his mother, so he was curious who had come through the door.
“Our cat, Lily, started meowing and screaming, she was terrified and calling for us to help,” recalls Shoshan.
In the security footage, the cat can be seen darting around on dining chairs, the coyote looking on and backing away.
Shoshan’s brother, hearing the commotion, left his room and entered the living room where he came face-to-face with the coyote. The animal dashed back out of the doggie door upon seeing him, she said.
Although a bit shaken up, Shoshan is thankful no one was hurt during the ordeal, including her cat.
“Our cat is 14 years old and took it very hard,” she said. “She used a lot of energy and she has been resting and spending time with us. I have two very small dogs and they would’ve been an easy target for that coyote.”
Shoshan is warning other pet owners who live in the Woodland Hills, West Hills, and Valley Circle area to be aware when walking their dogs outside or leaving pet doors open.
“Usually, we leave the door open for them throughout the day and sometimes at night too, but we will no longer be doing that unless we are going outside with them,” said Shoshan. “Thank God everyone was OK. We were very lucky.”
Ron Lauer, a man who lives nearby, says coyote sightings are far too common in the area.
“A six-foot fence, they’ll just jump right over it,” said Lauer. “They can get in the backyard. They will definitely find a way.”
Lauer has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 60 years and said coyotes can be seen on the prowl almost nightly.
Wildlife experts said the rise in urban coyote encounters with humans are largely due to encroachment and food. As humans expand their footprint across the state, especially in the foothill areas above L.A., run-ins will be inevitable.
Shoshan and Lauer’s homes are not too far from where a 2-year-old Woodland Hills girl was attacked and dragged by a coyote in broad daylight back in Dec. 2022.
The terrifying encounter is believed to be the result of people deliberately leaving food out for animals at a nearby park. Experts say such practices will reduce coyotes’ natural fear of humans.
Wildlife experts say encounters with coyotes can be reduced by following several simple guidelines:
- Keep trash covered and sealed
- Keep landscaping neat and clean
- Keep pets and their food indoors
- Keep all pet doors latched at night
Any coyotes spotted by humans should be deterred by using audio or visual stimuli to scare them off. Suggested actions include shouting, throwing rocks, spraying them with a garden hose or acting aggressively toward the coyote to reinforce its fear of people.