Falmouth police are warning residents about a reported sighting of a large cat resembling a bobcat or lynx, an animal that police say could be involved in the disappearance of a dog.

The police department said on its Facebook page Thursday that it received a report of the large cat last week. On Wednesday evening, a dog owner who lives in the area where the cat was seen told police that he heard his dog “in a scuffle outside with what sounded like an animal. The dog has not been seen since.”

Falmouth police were unable to provide the name of the dog’s owner Thursday evening.

They said the cat was seen last week in the area of Middle, Ledgewood and Pleasant Hill roads, a large area west of Interstate 295 that stretches to Allen Avenue.

“Most often incidents such as this involve smaller pets (cats) and can be attributed to fox, coyote or fisher. Due to the sighting and missing small dog, we are making you aware and asking you to be cautious leaving pets outside unsupervised or unattended, especially after daylight hours,” Falmouth police said in a news release.

Police don’t know what happened to the dog, because the owner did not see anything after the scuffle.

Bobcats are common in much of the state, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. They are reclusive and are rarely observed in the wild. Deep snow can force bobcats closer to towns and homes in search of food.

Adult male bobcats weigh 20 to 30 pounds and average 3 feet in length, the state says. Females are smaller. They can be various shades of buff and brown, with dark brown or black stripes and spots on parts of the body.

“Bobcats are opportunistic and will prey upon a wide variety of animals,” the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says on its website.

Comments about the warning on the police department’s Facebook page include “Wild Kingdom,” “Yikes,” “no more having Barry roam”and “Don’t want Bear to be someone’s lunch.”

Anyone who sees an animal that resembles a bobcat or lynx is encouraged to contact Falmouth police at 781-2300.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]