El Cerrito residents see number of cats disappearing

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An unusual number of cats in the El Cerrito hills have gone missing, but the neighbors have a strong suspicion they know the reason. (KGO-TV)

A large number of cats are disappearing from an East Bay neighborhood and a lot of pet owners are wondering what's going on. In the El Cerrito hills, missing cat signs are posted all over telephone poles and around the neighborhood.

There are missing posters for a cat named "Mackie" who only had three legs and couldn't have gone far. There is one for "Bumper" whose owner says he's blind and very friendly. And there is a poster for "Tabitha" who went missing on the 15th. These cats and several others all disappeared in just the past few weeks.

"Our cat went missing and then we went looking around the neighborhood and there's posters of missing cats all around," cat owner Andrew Shalaby said. His cat Tabitha is one of the missing cats. "One of the posters said that there were three or four missing cats in 10 days. Then there is another neighbor that said it could be closer to 10."

Shalaby found a suspicious bowl of cat food in his driveway. He's going to have it tested for poison, but other missing cat owners are pretty sure they know what's happening.

On Saturday, a neighbor found Beth Hird's missing cat, Mackie, and sent her a photo to identify it.

"He emailed them me and I could tell that it was our cat and that it was obviously attacked by a coyote or something big," Hird said.

"Oh, it's the drought," cat owner Sue Roberts said.

Roberts says her cat was also killed by a coyote and she saw one in the neighborhood the other day. She believes the drought is forcing coyotes and other animals to wander into neighborhoods looking for food.

"I saw one just below the Arlington, in Kenningston just trotting toward the cemetery at dusk," Roberts said.

It's unclear what happened to the other missing cats, but these neighbors warning pet owners to take precautions and bring their animals in at night.
Related Topics:
petslost petcatscoyotesanimalanimal attackanimal newsanimals in perilwild animalspetdroughtEl Cerrito
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