LOS GATOS (KCBS) — Wildlife experts say the mountain lion population is increasing, and that’s presenting a real danger to small dogs and cats.

KCBS & Chronicle Outdoors Editor Tom Stienstra says legal depredation permits were used to kill more than 100 mountain lions last year. Still, he says, the big cat population appears to be on the rise and it’s not just small pets they’re going after.

When wildlife officials examined their stomach contents, more 52 percent of the animals had eaten cats, dogs, or other domesticated animals.

“What they like to do is get the easy pickings. A cat that doesn’t see it coming. A dog, a small dog running around without supervision. It’s always from behind. It’s always coming from the side. You never see it coming,” Stienstra said.

Stienstra says normally mountain lions tend to avoid any contact with humans. The Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that pet owners should be on the lookout for coyotes as well as mountain lions. They are known to jump fences to grab a small cat or dog.