A “serial cat killer” thought to be responsible for gruesome pet slayings lured his targets with raw chicken, according to the examining vet.
Deaths of up to 10 cats saw decapitated in Croydon and nearby are being investigated by the Met Police.
The vet, who wished to remain anonymous, told BBC News he had ruled out massacre by another animal.
However, the RSPCA said it was maintaining an open mind as to the cause pending farther exam results due in mid-March.
The vet said he believed a “sharp-bladed instrument” had been used.
It has been suggested the deaths may be the work of the same person – dubbed the Croydon Cat Killer or Cat Ripper by some.
Of the 16 corpses he examined, the vet said, he had been able to link 10 of the deaths, with the most recent inspection undertaken on Thursday.
Incisions had been induced with a weapon “like a knife, but not a scalpel because the incisions are too long for that”, he said.
In the past two cases, he revealed, raw chicken was found in the cats’ stomach, indicating the animals had likely been seduced by the killer with the offer of the meat.
“I think they are being strangled and then taken off-site to be butchered, and then the bodies are being returned and dumped, that is why “there dont” blood found at the scene, ” he said.
As the killings progressed, he said, the decapitations had vastly improved in surgical competency.
“My fear initially was the cats were being hacked to death because the cuts were really random but the incisions have become much more precise, which suggests they are being killed first.”
Attempt to return bodies
The killer is thought to have worn gloves and protective attire when catching the cats because DNA analysis has find no evidence of foreign material beneath their claws.
More than 40 cases of beheadings have been reported to South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty centre to date, with the majority dating back to the past three years.
Boudicca Rising, from the centre, told me that she believed the killed were the work of one “sick individual” and bodies “are being displayed where people knows where to find them”.
There was an attempt to return the bodies or body parts to where the murderer suspected the cats lived, she said.
Ten suspicious cat deaths have been linked, in the areas marked below, since September 2015:
Dr Naomi Murphy, who works within the dangerous and severe personality disorder division at HM Prison Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire, said this extreme sort of brutality to animals strongly suggested the work of a sadist, someone who enjoyed harming other creatures.
“Because these killings involve weapons it seems like the type of person or persons schemes and gets pleasure from thinking about the ache they are going to inflict.
“What happens when people are sadistic, like any kind of craving, they often have to go further and further to fulfill their craving, ” she said.
On Friday the Met Police said the number of incidents linked to the investigation at this stage was in single figures. A force spokesman said officers were also aware of a similar allegation in Surrey.
The RSPCA said it was conducting exams on the cat bodies and the results could take a few weeks to come back.
It called on people to contact them if a cat was found dead in “suspicious circumstances”.
Anyone with datum is asked to call police on 101 or call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously.
Quick facts about the Croydon cat killings:
To date the deaths of 10 cats have been officially connected – four in Croydon and one each in Streatham, Mitcham Common, Sutton, Charlton, Peckham and Finchley The killings investigated so far date back to September 2015 Cats are being caught and decapitated in most cases. In some instances their tails are being chopped off too It is possible one person is responsible for the killings Cats are likely being enticed by the killer utilizing raw chicken