RESIDENTS in Darwen are growing increasingly concerned that something odd is happening to the cats in their area.

In the last few months, three cats have mysteriously gone missing from their Whitehall homes, and two others have been found dead in the last week.

Amy Bentley, of Kirkdale Close said one of her five cats, Twinkle, went missing in April, and a second of her cats, Rocky, has now been missing for over a week.

Mrs Bentley, who used to volunteer at cat rescue centre, Little Tinkers Helpers, said: “You know your own animals and I’ve such a bad feeling that something more is going on than just cats going missing.

“Rocky never goes out, and Twinkle has never been away for this long before. I know there’s others missing from the area too, and last week one cat was found dead near Grimshaw Street and another near Watery Lane.

“I’m positive someone has taken my cats, I just want them home. If someone is doing something to these poor animals then I hope making this public will stop them.”

Karen Louise, who also lives in the area, said her black cat, Binx, went missing in January and has not been seen since.

She said: “I’ve had Binx since he was 10 weeks old. He’s always been an outdoors-y cat, but always returns no matter what.

“He was very street aware with regards to cars, and always a nervous cat, so I don’t think he would go up to people freely for strokes.

“When he went missing I posted at least 100 leaflets in the local community, and placed posters all over. I’ve flooded all local Facebook networking pages and have alerted the local council in case a deceased cat is located. And I continue to look for him to this day.”

Karen said she’d been contacted by people all over Darwen regarding possible sightings, and has visited many black cats, but to no avail.

Christine Lambe, who also lives in the area said she is now worried for the safety of her cat.

She said: “I think this could be a case of cat-napping, as something strange is going on with the cats in Whitehall.”