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Cat owner warns others after she finds beloved pet dead in apparent coyote attack

An Elizabeth family is mourning the loss of their pet cat after they believe it was attacked by a coyote. Here's what should you do if you see one near you.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte family is still in shock after they found their cat mangled and killed just feet from their backyard after an apparent coyote attack.

"It's just, it's horrible," owner Claire Lippert said. 

She and her sister said their beloved cat, who they called Fat Boy, was an outdoor feline who enjoyed blissful naps in the sun or under the bushes. 

"He was so chubby, so cute, so adored," Lippert said. "He was the biggest lover."

The almost 6-year-old tabby cat also enjoyed playtime as much as he enjoyed his rest, Lippert remembered. 

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On Easter Sunday, he was outside as Lippert had extended family over. Usually, they would bring him inside at night, but he never showed and wasn't seen on Monday, either. 

"We just kept walking around the neighborhood, calling his name," she explained. 

They even had posters thanks to Sir Speedy in Caswell Road that made them for free. 

Sadly, after putting up the missing signs, they found their adored cat dead in their neighbor's yard. He had been attacked by a predator, Lippert assumed. 

"It's like losing a family member," she said. 

Credit: Courtesy

After recent coyote sightings in Elizabeth and other surrounding neighborhoods documented on the Nextdoor app, Lipper and her family believe the beloved cat could've likely been attacked by one.

Wildlife experts say it wouldn't be the first time. 

"They can live in the most remote dense forest, or they can live in the middle of a large city," Danny Ray, a wildlife biologist, said. 

Families across the Carolinas spot coyotes frequently. One picture on Nextdoor shows a coyote in a Dilworth backyard this spring. 

Videos have captured them running across front yards and driveways, even catching the sounds of their howls. 

If you ever encounter one, experts said to stand tall and be assertive but don't run away because that could trigger a coyote to chase you. 

You can also throw a tennis ball or stick towards them, or use a noisemaker to try to scare them off, experts said. 

Also, be sure to bring your pets inside during the overnight hours and keep a close eye on them while their outside during the day. Coyotes have been spotted at all times of the day and night. 

"I never thought my cat would end up like this but here I am," Lippert said. 

Claire hopes her loss can warn others and hopefully saves the lives of your pets. 

"Cherish them and keep them safe," Lippert added. 

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