Cat survives coyote attack in San Jose

A San Jose pet owner is warning others in the neighborhood to be on alert after she said her cat was attacked by a coyote and nearly died. The attack happened on Myrtle Avenue near Jarvis Avenue.

"I was prepared to have to put her down," said Shannon Holmes of Santa Clara. "I love her. I’m so happy she’s okay."

Shannon Homes beloved pet Ginger is on pain meds and antibiotics, slowly walking and eating after Holmes said the 16-year-old outdoor cat was attacked by a coyote.

"Bewildered, I couldn't believe it at first," said Rey Ochoa of San Jose. "They really don’t belong around here but with the heat and the drought."

Ochoa lives across the street. He was woken up Thursday around 1:45 a.m. to a screeching sound. When he looked out his window, he saw a coyote grabbing Ginger by the neck.

"I just ran out as quickly as I could to chase off the coyote," said Ochoa. "I gave it too good shakes as I was approaching him and he finally let go."

A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured who is believed to be Rey on his cell phone calling 911 as the coyote headed down Shaw Drive.

"He said the coyote looked about 30 to 40 pounds, probably two feet long and maybe 18 to 20 inches tall," said Chris Holmes of San Jose. "The coyote dragged the cat into the middle of the street."

Chris Holmes, Shannon’s dad, said Ginger was discovered the next morning under the bushes in a neighbor’s yard. Ginger was found motionless and dehydrated. Shannon took Ginger to an animal hospital in Campbell.

"There they found the coyote had broken her shoulder blade, her right shoulder blade and she had two puncture wounds," said Shannon Holmes.

"Coyotes primarily hunt small game such as rabbits or squirrels, cats aren’t much bigger than that," said Lt. Jeff Heitzenrater of California Dept. Fish & Wildlife.

Lt. Heitzrater said the drought may be partially to blame, unclear if the coyote came from the hillside or nearby Ross Creek.

Shannon Holmes posted the attack on Nextdoor warning the community to keep an eye on your pets.

"She has to stay indoors for at least six months to a year but I’m not letting her back outside," said Shannon Holmes.

State Fish & Wildlife advises keeping pets indoors overnight. Coyotes are nocturnal hunters more active when it’s cooler at night.

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or