Marine Le Pen has moved out of the chateau estate she shared with her father Jean-Marie - the firebrand founder of the far-Right Front National in France - after one of his Doberman dogs reportedly killed one of her Bengal cats.
Ms Le Pen, who has toned down her party's anti-immigrant rhetoric since she took the helm in 2011, recently took her remaining cats and fled the Montretout domain to move to a new residence nearby, 'L'Express' magazine claimed.
The weekly gave few details of the incident beyond saying that Mr Le Pen's dogs are still kept at Montretout even though the former leader, whose pugnacious manner led critics to compare him to a bulldog, lives in another Paris suburb.
Ms Le Pen had been living in one of the buildings - but not in the main chateau - until her beloved cat was mauled to death, it was claimed.
Her niece, Marion Le Pen, a 24-year-old Front National MP, is reportedly planning to move with her family into the property left vacant by the party leader, who polls say could beat President François Hollande in the presidential election in 2017.
Marine Le Pen's chief press spokesman refused to confirm or deny the alleged killing by the Doberman. "This is a serious political party. We do not comment on nonsense like that," Alain Vizier said. It was unclear if the alleged feline death sparked tension within the Le Pen clan.
The family usually presents a united front, but there was a spectacular departure from that stance in June when Jean-Marie Le Pen publicly said the Front National under his daughter's leadership had turned into a "bizarre", insipid, mainstream and conformist party like any other. Yet with her at the helm, support for the party has grown rapidly.
Last weekend, it made a third political breakthrough, after strong showings in municipal and European elections, when it won its first ever seats in the French senate, or upper house of parliament, as the ruling Socialists and their Left-wing allies lost their majority to Right-wing parties. Miss Le Pen (46) may be cruising towards ever-greater political power but she has been brought to a halt on France's roads after police confiscated her driving license for incurring one too many speeding tickets.
The party leader, who has denounced police speed cameras as "another tax disguised as a life-saving campaign", is no longer allowed to drive. (©Daily Telegraph)