Fears a machete-wielding serial cat killer is stalking Croydon and keeping moggies' body parts as trophies mean owners have been urged to keep their pets indoors.

Police are investigating the gruesome killings of two cats found butchered near their homes in Shirley and Thornton Heath in the past fortnight.

It follows a South Norwood rescue shelter warning a twisted killer could be preying on pets after four-year-old ragdoll cat was dumped “in pieces” on the doorstep of his owner’s neighbour in Addiscombe.

South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) raised the alert again this week after two more bodies were found dismembered.

Wayne Bryant, 47, found his eight-year-old cat Amber beheaded on Saturday in Threehalfpenny Wood in Shirley, a day after she went missing from their home in Jasmine Gardens.

Amber’s head and tail were both missing.

Mr Bryant said: “I did a search of the area and couldn’t find them. Maybe the person who did it kept it as a trophy.

"I don’t understand how somebody could go around doing that to pet cats. It is sick.”

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Devastated: Wayne Bryant, owner of Amber, said whoever killed his cat was "sick"

The tail and a leg of another cat were found in Thornton Heath last week, said SNARL founder Boudicca Rising, who said she believed it had been killed with a machete.

The remains of the cat later mysteriously disappeared, added Ms Rising, 44, who started the rescue centre with her partner Tony Jenkins, 51.

She said: “It looked like a machete to the cat. That is the only thing that would have had the force to go through with such a clean cut.

“It is all getting a little bit creepy and odd, to be honest. It is horrible what this person is doing. It is a terrible level of violence.”

The Croydon Guardian reported earlier this month police were called to a cat found in Addiscombe, in Dallmally Road on September 23, but could not investigate his death as binmen had removed the remains.

A fourth cat was found "on display" with a leg missing in Bywood Avenue in Woodside on September 14.

It is understood police and the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have been provided with pictures of injured cats and are analysing them.

Ms Rising said earlier this month: "We put a warning out on Facebook and what then happened is we got deluged with loads of information - people whose cats had gone missing and one whose cat had been found on a neighbour's doorstep.

"We've got three that have been reported by vets has coming back either decapitated or with slits tummy-to-tummy and a slit neck. We have also got a very high incidence of people reporting whiskers cut."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the force had received reports of “cats being harmed”.

He said: “We are working with the RSPCA to investigate these reports.”

  • Anyone with information should call Croydon detectives on 101, quoting reference number 3830910/15, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.