EL CERRITO (CBS SF) — There’s a reason the large natural area in the hills above the city is named “Wildcat Canyon.” Police in El Cerrito are warning the public about bobcat sightings in residential neighborhoods over the past week.

The first sighting was reported on Monday evening in the 1200 block of Contra Costa Drive, according to police.

Police said a second resident called to report seeing a bobcat around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday in the backyard of a home in the 1400 block of Vista Road.

Bobcats are small to medium-sized wild cats, weighing 13-30 pounds, that may visit an area to find food, water, shelter or space, according to police.

Late winter is their traditional mating season, so the cats may be more active.

They sometimes find shelter on rooftops, on attics and beneath decks and other small spaces.

Unlike the much larger mountain lions, bobcats are not known to attack people, instead eating small animals like rabbits, squirrels, birds, but on the rare occasion, an adult deer.

Anyone who encounters a bobcat is advised to scare off the animal with loud noises or by spraying it with a garden hose. If the bobcat is found in an enclosed area, people are advised to open the enclosure and leave the area.

The public may report a bobcat sighting in El Cerrito by calling police at (510) 233-1214 or 911.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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