01/22/2015 08:48 EST | Updated 03/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Bobcats: 3 ways to protect yourself and your pets

The has been a rash of bobcat sightings in B.C.'s southern interior this winter, and reports of small pets and chickens falling prey to the large cats.

Barb Leslie with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service offered tips on protecting yourself and your pets from the predators.

1. Scare them away

Leslie said bobcats typically don't pose a threat to adult humans, but if you do come face to face with one, make yourself appear as big as possible.

"That should do the trick," she told Daybreak South.

2. Don't let small pets and other animals out alone

Leslie said there have been a few reports recently of bobcats taking pets and chickens. She said it's important for farm animals to be protected, and for pets — especially small ones — to be supervised when outside.

3. Don't feed the birds

Leslie said birds are easy prey for a bobcat, and by feeding the bids, you're attracting bigger animals.

"If they're feeding the wild birds, that's when you're seeing the coyotes and bobcats wander in, because you're bringing in a large flock of pheasants into your yard to feed."

To hear more from Barb Leslie with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, click the audio labelled: Protect yourself and your pets from bobcats.