Dubbed the “Phantom Cat Shaver” by local media, the RSPCA admit they have no leads to go on to collar the mystery culprit who has allegedly struck in Streatham, Bexley, Dagenham and large swathes of Kent.
Natasha McPhee, founder of Animals Lost and Found, told the Standard: “Honestly I have no idea what kind of person does this.
“It’s really upsetting for the cats and their owners too.
“It breaks my heart knowing there are people out there doing these things to animals.
“It makes me question their character as human beings and it also worries me as to what could potentially happen next.
She added: “Most are absolutely petrified some have to keep going back to the vets as they are in a bit of a mess.”
Ms McPhee has created a map logging all the incidents, as seen below.
Kerry Ryan, 50, from Chatham, told Kent Online she is too scared to let her cat Dennis out after he came home with an area around his back legs completely shaved.
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.”
Patrick Hamby, RSPCA chief inspector, urged owners to keep their pets indoors at night and report incidents to the police or the charity.
“We may not be able to do something right away as it’s very difficult if you have no leads to go on, but it lets us know what is going on and the areas it is happening in, so we can concentrate more in those areas,” he told The BBC.
“If a cat has been shaved, it would have had to have been held down by someone they don’t know, which would put a lot of stress on the cat,” he added.
“Your cat may show signs of not wanting to go out anymore, or wanting to go out much less.”