LIVERMORE, Calif. - A pet owner in Livermore is alerting others after his cat was violently attacked by a bobcat. It happened last night on Old Oak Road.
"It had its mouth in my cat’s neck and it was dragging it," said Patrick Martin of Livermore.
Patrick Martin is describing what he saw: his 16-year-old Siamese cat Sophie on their porch chair under attack by a bobcat.
"I could see the tufts and the ears and the back legs, slight little tail," said Marin. "Telltale signs of bobcat."
He suspects the bobcat came from the nearby quarry. The bobcat eventually let Sophie go. She was unable to walk and was unresponsive. The family brought Sophie to the hospital where she was put to sleep.
"I’m very sad," said Martin. "It’s very disheartening. She’s a very friendly cat. She would come walk down when people walked by even with dogs."
The family warned neighbors about it on Nextdoor. Some shared photos of a bobcat prowling in the neighborhood.
Martin estimates the bobcat weighed roughly 25 pounds. Another neighbor posted video of two bobcats a third of a mile away from the Martin home.
"Now that I know the cats are out I’m probably going to make sure I watch my pets every time I come out," said Kayla Antolik of Livermore.
"They do reside in open rural areas but they usually find places with a lot of cover because they don't want to be seen by people," said Ken Paglia of California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
Experts said bobcats are solitary animals, a protected species that typically eat small rodents and from time to time can go after pets. They are not a threat to humans. The drought may be a factor.
"In drought years, just the food resources for wildlife are a little more diminished," said Paglia.
Martin said the bobcat came back three times after the initial attack. They worry about their other small pets including dog Paisley and cat Zoe who are all on lockdown.
"They will stay around, keep coming back," said Martin. "That’s what our concern is. The cat will keep making the rounds until it runs out of food sources."
Police were called out and searched the neighborhood but did not find the bobcat. Fish & Wildlife advise don’t leave anything out that would attract rodents - a bobcat’s prey.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.