Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

Cats terrified as mystery attacker targets pets

A mystery cat shaver is targeting pets across a stretch of south east England leaving moggies to return home missing patches of fur. Such is the extent of the cat attacks around the Medway area of Kent a map of shaven victims has been produced – and is being added to daily.

Kent-based charity Animals Lost and Found created the map following a sudden spike in reported incidents.

The animal welfare organisation says the online chart will give owners the chance to take extra precaution to keep their cats safe.

Incidents have so far been reported across Kent, from Northfleet down to Dover, with the majority seem to be confined to Medway, and in particular Gillingham, Chatham and Rochester.

Charity spokesperson Natasha McPhee said: “In some areas on the map it is more dense than others. There are roads where two or three attacks have happened.”

The first attacks were reported shortly before Christmas when Victoria Griffiths, from Walderslade, was shocked to see her beloved tabby come back from his adventures with a large bald patch.

The 10-year-old returned home with a huge, strangely-shaped patch of fur cut away, leaving his bare skin exposed.

“I was so angry that some nasty human had decided to shave my cat,” she said. “It was very distressing.”

Kerry Ryan, 50, from Chatham, said her cat Dennis used to go out all the time but now she is too scared to let him out after he came home with an area around his back legs completely shaved.

“I am so angry and deeply shocked that people can do this kind of thing to a cat or any animal,” she said.

In recent days a woman from Hoo has revealed her cat is being attacked every time it ventures out.

Natasha said: “The lady said she even follows it and it just goes and sits a few houses down the road.

“But it is obviously happening the times she is not able to track her.”

The charity says cat owners should be extra vigilant, and even suggest purchasing security cameras or keeping their pets indoors.

But Natasha added: “If you have a feral cat it’s not fair for them to be stuck inside. It can cause more stress.

“My own cat was attacked and shaved a few years back and the furs not really grown back. They are not meant to be shaved.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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