Pet owners are once again fearing for their animals after the Croydon Cat Killer was blamed for two gruesome feline deaths in Kent.

Both cats were discovered in residents' gardens slain, with their tails removed.

Cat-owner Emily, 47, was horrified to find her beloved Scrumpy dead in her back garden with his ears and tail removed last Tuesday.

The 16-year-old cat had been sleeping outside the family home in Maidstone on a flat shed roof during the recent hot weather.

When Emily, who asked to keep her surname private, woke to feed Scrumpy the following morning, she noticed him laying on the patio and assumed he was asleep.

But on closer inspection, she realised her beloved cat had been mutilated, with his ears and tail supposedly sliced off.

She said: "It was so horrible. It makes you nervous not only because of the horrific death of your loved pet but it's the violation of someone coming into your property and doing whatever they want and you aren't aware.

"Scrumpy had taken to sleeping outside in the hot weather so when I saw him lying on the patio I thought he was asleep.

"He would usually sleep elsewhere in the garden so when I saw him at the bottom of the stairs it was a bit strange.

"It was quite a shock, it was a bit surreal actually.

"I went up to him and I realised he was dead and I went to check to make sure, I noticed that his ears and tail were not there.

"It looked as though they had been cut off."

Emily noticed the wounds on Scrumpy's ears were symmetrical, cut in a straight line and there was no blood at the scene and is convinced his killer is human.

She suspects the killer struck by accessing the back of her terraced home via her neighbours' garden.

The following week, a second pet cat Oscar was found decapitated and his remains "carefully placed" in two gardens 20 miles away in Gravesend, Kent.

The body of the British blue cat was discovered in a front garden, also with its tail removed, while the head was found in another garden on Thursday.

South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty group (SNARL) launched an appeal after the horror incident and took the body to a vet for an examination.

The charity and rescue centre investigates the deaths of cats, foxes and rabbits suspected as victims of the killer they refer to as the M25 animal killer.

A SNARL spokesperson said: "On Thursday we were informed that the head of a British Blue cat had been found in a back garden.

"One of our volunteers collected the body part and took it to a vet for examination.

"We were then informed that the headless body of a British Blue cat had been found in a front garden nearby so our volunteer returned and took the cat to vet. The cat's tail had also been removed.

"Oscar's body was carefully placed in a garden and his head was found in another garden.

"It was not dumped at all and there is a very clear distinction.

"A veterinary examination confirmed that his injuries had been caused by a bladed instrument and were not caused by an animal.

"It is suspected that the cat's head had been moved by a fox, although there was no obvious predation."