It's a dangerous time to be an outdoor cat in Palo Alto. The city's animal services division has found about 10 cats over the past month that have been killed by coyotes.
Residents are being asked to keep their cats inside and close by -- otherwise, they could become the next victim.
There's been a steady "rise in the number of cats killed by coyotes" in the Peninsula city, according to the Palo Alto Daily News.
And the evidence is gruesome: about one "gutted or half-eaten cat" every day for the past month, the newspaper reported.
Cats have been killed and consumed by coyotes in Palo Alto for several years, but the past two years have been the worst yet for cat casualties, Animal Services officer Cody Macartney said.
The coyotes may be driven out of the hills in the South Bay by the drought, according to Macartney.
Palo Alto residents are asked to keep their trash bins closed and to keep cats – and cat-sized pets – indoors at night when the coyotes roam.
Representatives from Project Coyote, a non-profit that advocates on behalf of coyotes and other predatory animals, tells NBC Bay Area this is the time of the year when coyote pups leave their den sites and go out on their own to establish a territory, which could also partially explain the recent uptick in cat attacks.
You can learn more about the habits of coyotes at projectcoyote.org.