PET owners have spoken of their fears of an epidemic of disappearing cats in Blackpool.
Animal lover Peter Davis has noticed six missing cat notices in shops and on lamp-posts over the last couple weeks near his home in South Shore.
Mr Davis, 79, of Saville Road, said it was a growing issue.
He added: “So many people are losing cats and there are a lot of posters going up from people who are upset over their missing cats.”
Gareth Hazelwood-Fudge’s cat, Baxter has been missing since Friday.
The eight-year-old tortoiseshell tabby has never been one to wander far from home, and Mr Hazelwood-Fudge and his family are starting to worry. It’s not knowing that’s the worst thing,” he said.
The 37-year-old, of Sedbergh Avenue in Marton, said he had visited the local cat charity, Furry Tails Feline Welfare, put posters up with pictures of Baxter in the area, and had put the cat’s picture on social networking Facebook.
He added: “The children are asking where his is. We’re all hoping he’ll come back.”
And John Rose, who is the joint founder of Furry Tails Feline Welfare in Marton, said there were many reasons cats went missing.
But he warned there was a chance they were being picked up from the street and then sold on the internet.
He said: “I have heard of a number of cats going missing recently. The worst case is they are being sold on eBay.
“If someone has noticed a nice white cat, a long-haired cat or a pedigree one there’s every chance that if it is missing, it has been sold.”
The increase has led Mr Davis to become more possessive of his own cat and he warned other animal lovers to be on their guard.
He added: “I’m not letting her out of my sight.”
The RSPCA says cats are animals which roam by nature, making them more vulnerable to danger than dogs.
A spokesman added: “We always recommend owners ensure their cats are neutered and microchipped which is the best way to reunite animal and owner if separated from one another.
“Anyone who’s microchipped cat is missing should log it with the microchipping company in case anyone finds it, contact the RSPCA and animal welfare charities, vets and the council’s environmental cleansing department in case the worst has happened and it has been picked up.”