The Croydon cat killer myth was debunked by police who claimed ‘there is no evidence of human involvement’ at a meeting with animal charities today.
Following post-mortems, examination of CCTV and the exploration of hundreds of reports, officers are blaming scavenging wildlife, such as foxes, for the appearance of the mutilated cats.
Investigations began in November 2015 when the Met Police began receiving reports from members of the public of dead cats with their heads or tails removed.
In 2016, six post-mortem examinations out of 25 arranged by the South Norwood Animal Rescue League (SNARL) were deemed suspicious and were therefore passed to police to be investigated.
The animals were found to have died by blunt force trauma, such as being hit by a car, and to have been mutilated after death.
There have been similar spates in the past of cat mutilation, according to the Met, but the six suspicious post-mortems meant this case had to be looked in to.
The same veterinary pathologist re-examined the bodies in August 2018 and found puncture wounds not previously discovered, concluding that some had potentially been scavenged.
At the meeting today between Croydon officers, the RSPCA and SNARL, police stated that all the cases of cat mutilation will be recorded as ‘no crime’.
In three instances of cat killings where CCTV was obtained, footage showed foxes carrying bodies or body-parts of cats.
Frontline policing commander Amanda Pearson said: “On average, the Met receives over 1,000 calls each month relating to animals and animal welfare.
“We understand the reason for this – people trust the police to help them when they suspect others have done wrong, fear for their own safety or simply are facing situations that they are unable to handle themselves.
“We will always assist the public in an emergency, but I would urge people to report concerns relating to animal welfare in the first instance to the RSPCA.”