'There is definitely something malicious going on' - Fears catnapper on the prowl in Ireland
'We have 90 cats missing and nobody seems to care'
A catnapper is allegedly at large, with more than 90 felines now missing from Irish homes across the country.
Pet Connection, a pet shop based in Newry that is tracking the disappearances, is urging the public to protect their pets as there may be something sinister at play.
Emma O’Hare, who has worked at the store for 10 years, said: "I believe there is definitely something malicious going on. Either the cats are being poisoned and the bodies lifted before owners can find them, or they’re being stolen for dog fighting or a similar cruel activity.
"It is unlikely they are being sold on as they are not pedigree cats being taken, many of these cats were rescued by their owners as kittens.
Believing it could be a copycat ofthe notorious ‘M25 Cat Killer’, who has killed more than 300 cats across the U.K.,the concerned pet owner said: "We first had reports of cats going missing at the beginning of September. It started in Newry, right up to Belfast and there are cats missing in Dublin too.
"There is a case in England at the minute and it’s known as the M25 Cat Killer, who has been covering a huge distance killing cats. He has been leaving bodies, which is completely different to this case because they simply disappear.”
The pet shop is now pinning reported disappearances to a map on their Facebook page.
"If it was dogs that were going missing there would be much more outrage over it. If one dog goes missing there is uproar on Facebook and we have 90 cats missing and nobody seems to care," said Emma.
Encouraging pet owners who are searching for missing cats to come forward, she added: “The more people that know about our Facebook page,the more people can contact us and let us know that their cats are gone missing.
"We are asking people to look at our map and if it seems that there is even one cat missing nearby to keep your catinside until we figure out what is going on.
The store has advised owners to protect their pets by ensuring they are “microchipped, wearing a collar and a tag”