Cats in Kent, England are being shaved by an unknown perpetrator

Cats in Kent, England are being shaved by an unknown perpetrator


LONDON — Cat house owners in England are dealing with a “weird” and “unsettling” difficulty: An individual, somewhere, is targeting their pets and randomly shaving off areas of their fur.

Emma Collins initially recognized a thing disturbing when her cat named Goose returned soon after a working day out exploring the streets of the seaside city of Whitstable. Straight down the middle of the rescue tabby’s forehead was a slim, precisely shaven line, leaving her pores and skin uncovered.

Even though the cat seemed normally unharmed, Collins described the incident as unnerving. “It was unusual … it was pretty much like somebody was sending a concept — it was unsettling,” she said in an interview Thursday. “If you can shave a cat, what are you going to transfer onto subsequent?”

At the very least 80 pets have reportedly had chunks of their fur sliced out considering the fact that past calendar year, according to an animal charity that is mapping out the assaults to support warn anxious entrepreneurs. The unusual incidents have acquired national coverage, with British media dubbing the unfamiliar perpetrator the “phantom cat shaver.”

The large vast majority of assaults have been noted in the southern county of Kent, though the group has also recorded attacks in London and as much north as Aberdeen, Scotland.

On social media, worry is growing in local Fb teams, which are saturated with responses from anxious owners and illustrations or photos demonstrating the felines with bald patches. Some cats have been shaved on their legs, other individuals on their backs or stomachs.

Some pet homeowners online have described their cats getting hurt — though some who do not look to be physically harmed by the assaults continue to surface to be much more anxious or concerned of people today.

“My cat came again with a lacking claw when he was shaved and would not permit any individual touch him for days when he arrived house,” just one person wrote.

In the United Kingdom, it is widespread to allow cats go exterior to delight in the contemporary air and roam freely — about 70 per cent of U.K. cats are thought to have entry to the outside. But the attacks are also leaving people today extra nervous now, with many house owners in Kent now saying they will continue to keep their animals inside of.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a British charity devoted to animal welfare, explained Thursday that cats were being notably vulnerable simply because of their tendency to examine neighborhoods.

“We would urge any owners whose cats have been victims of the shaving to book an appointment with their vet. A veterinary examination will decide if that cat has seasoned any physical accidents, be it cuts and abrasions from the shaving or other accidents as a result of currently being held down,” Samantha Watson, scientific officer and cat professional at the RSPCA, reported in an emailed assertion.

“Cat house owners really should also look at reporting the incident to the law enforcement as shaving a cat could be deemed as felony injury,” Watson extra.

Kent law enforcement stated individuals can report issues relating to animal welfare to regulation enforcement or the RSPCA. “Where we obtain a report, our officers will liaise with this charity, who are the guide company for investigating incidents involving cruelty or damage to animals,” the police division explained in an electronic mail to The Washington Article on Thursday.

It is not crystal clear if the noted incidents crack any legal guidelines. Under U.K. animal welfare legislation, it is an offense to “cause unnecessary suffering” to normally domesticated animals.

Natasha McPhee, who operates Kent-based charity Animals Lost and Located, said Thursday that the assaults were “cruel and senseless.”

“Not only is the cat currently being handled by another person they never know, they are having to be held by them for a period of time for these shavings to be completed,” McPhee mentioned in an electronic mail. “This brings about needless anxiety to the cats.”

McPhee speculated that, given the scale of the attacks, far more than 1 man or woman could be to blame.

“In all honesty I just cannot visualize all cases are performed by one particular specific,” she mentioned.

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Rescue cat homeowners have described the assaults as significantly upsetting when it leaves their cats even a lot more anxious than in advance of. The proprietor of George, a rescue cat still left with a zigzagged chunk of fur missing, explained to local media she “was so angry that some unpleasant human had decided to shave my cat” because he was now “even much more skittish in direction of people today.”

Collins considers herself blessed that her tabby, Goose, despite currently being shaved, isn’t emotionally scarred and is however “super-duper helpful.”