Pet owners in Kent are fearful a ‘phantom cat shaver‘ is on the prowl after a series of strange shearings.
Worried residents are now keeping their beloved cats indoors in case they start going missing.
Victoria Griffiths, 29, from Walderslade, was horrified when her tabby came back from his adventures with a large bald patch.
The ten-year-old cat had a large, strangely-shaped patch of fur cut away, leaving his bare skin exposed.
Ms Griffiths said: ‘I was so angry that some nasty human had decided to shave my cat. It was very distressing.’
Her cat, George, is a rescue, meaning he is already nervous around people.
Ms Griffiths added: ‘When he came back in he wouldn’t let me near him. He was terrified.
‘I was worried they might have done something else to him. Now he is even more skittish towards people, but his fur is starting to grow back.’
A 50-year-old woman from Chatham also said her cat Dennis came home with an area around his back legs completely shaved.
He used to roam the area freely, but his owner is now too scared to let him out.
She fears the shaving was a way of marking her five-year-old pet to be stolen.
She said: ‘I will be keeping him in just in case it’s part of a plan to steal cats, as he is white and has two different coloured eyes, so he is quite rare.
‘I am so angry and deeply shocked that people can do this kind of thing to a cat or any animal.
‘I couldn’t believe that’s what had happened at first, but now I have heard about other people who have had the same experience.
‘It really makes me wonder what kind of world my grandchildren will have to live in.’
Shaving incidents like this are more common than the owners first realised, with reports of similar incidents around Medway just before Christmas.
In January, people in Coventry complained of a cat shaver on the loose after their pets returned home missing perfectly square chunks of fur.
Owners are urged to keep a look out and report suspicious activity.
A spokesman from the Medway-based charity Animal Lost and Found said: ‘We are definitely keeping an eye on the cases that are appearing across Kent.
‘We are urging people to be vigilant if you see someone acting suspiciously around animals and to log it with the RSPCA.’
Call the RSPCA’s national call centre line on 0300 1234 999.
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