Residents Fear 'Cotswold Cat Shaver' Has Returned to Gloucestershire
Two years after the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) conducted an investigation into the suspected shaving of 12 cats within a six-mile radius in the Cotswolds area of England, residents of Gloucestershire are worried that the malevolent mystery groomer has returned.
Gloucestershire Live reported on March 21st that recent cases of shaved cats have occurred in Nailsworth, Minchinhampton, and Brimscombe.
Local cat owner Madi Rhys-Davies reported her cat Tabby returned home last week with a shaved leg and stomach.
Tabby had reportedly been missing in Walkley Wood for over a day prior to returning home. The cat appeared nervous and aggressive, according to Rhys-Davies, and after careful examination two 'shaved' patches were found on her foreleg and stomach.
Tabby's temperament changed dramatically after the incident, said Rhys-Davies.
"She came home last week with what looks like a shaved leg and stomach. She’s an ex-rescue cat who used to be very skittish and nervous," she said.
"We rescued her 18 months ago and we were really making improvements with her. Now we are back to square one, with her attacking anyone who looks at her," continued Rhys-Davies. "She’s a lot more nervous now. Within the last few months she had started to let us play with her and became cuddly. But since this happened, if anyone goes near her she tries to attack them."
Veterinary nurse Emma Green, a manager at Companion Care Vets, said she thought the missing fur was due to overgrooming.
"In my opinion, that cat has overgroomed rather than been shaved," Green said. "Obviously having not actually seen the cat in person it is very difficult to say for sure."
"But the leg patch isn’t where we would shave for an IV. It’s on the wrong side of the leg," she explained. "There is still hair in the bald spot, just much thinner. Clippers would remove all of the hair. In my honest and professional opinion, as a qualified vet nurse of almost 15 years, this looks like overgrooming rather than shaving."
Rhys-Davies isn't convinced by this explanation, citing the emotional change in Tabby, and physical evidence she said doesn't align with Green's theory.
"On her stomach it looks more like clippers than overgrooming," Rhys-Davies said.
A similar incident of mysterious cat shaving was reported last year in the United States, when seven domestic cats in Virginia were said to have been shaved without their owners' consent.
Police initially suspected those cats were being shaved by a concerned neighbor checking to see that they were spayed or neutered, but eventually discarded the theory after the same cats were shaved multiple times.