Categories: Cat Newscrime

Rampant Cat Thefts in UK. Fur Trade?

This is a follow-up from the Ipswich cat thefts of which there were about 100. The position is much more severe than once thought. An investigation by cat owners who’ve lost cats reveals that about 200 cats have gone missing in one town and its environs over 8 months, and one of the cat owners says that most thefts in the area seem to be clustered around the A14 (a major road).

The A14 runs inland from Ipswich, which is a seaport. It is marked on the map. When I saw that, I felt that it supported my theory that this is about the cat fur trade with cats being shipped over the Channel to the continent where, despite it being illegal in Europe, it is still active.

The cat owners who have done research into their lost cats are nonplussed as to what is happening but, one of them, Mrs Catchpole believes it could be dog fighting. We know that cats are sometimes used as bait in dog fighting to get the dogs into a killing mood. (Interesting and very sad: it is believed that cat declawing originated in dogfighting)

The cat owners believe that the cat thieves are also torturing the cats because one of them came back and he was in a bad way. His fur was burnt in places and it had been torn out. He had been violently kicked. I’m not sure that the cats have been tortured. I just think that cat’s who have escaped have done so violently and have also been mistreated violently and therefore they come back in a poor state and injured.

The fact that these thefts are clustered around the A14 would indicate to me that the thieves started to steal cats in Ipswich and when the supply ran out the natural thing to do would be to drive up the main road to other villages and towns looking for wandering cats, which once stolen they could then be driven back to Ipswich and put on a boat to be shipped over to the continent.

Initially, the cat owners involved did not make a connection between the missing cats. They saw the missing cats as isolated incidents but then gradually it became apparent that this was a much more serious and widespread matter affecting a large number of cats and on the basis of that they got together and were able to deduce that about 200 cats have gone missing and perhaps more.

These cat owners managed to collate information by setting up a website where people could report lost cats. The founder is Deni Parkes.

However, it isn’t just around the A14 and Ipswich where thefts have taken place. Near Bath, 24 cats are gone missing and in one small area in Northampton over the past 6 months 30 have also disappeared (not far from the A14). There have been sightings by people living in different places of a couple enticing cats into their car with treats.

Two thousand pounds (GBP) has been raised in pledges for information leading to a successful conviction but Mrs Catchpole (not her real name because she wishes to remain anonymous because of a fear of being attacked) believes that £2,000 is not enough.

Mrs Parkes makes what I believe is a rather strange remark. She says that there is no protection of the cats whatsoever. I would have thought that cat owners in Ipswich, every single one of them, would by now be keeping their cats inside until the matter was resolved. I realize that that is difficult to achieve (for a Brit) but the risk of losing your cat appears to be high in and around Ipswich which would certainly motivate me to keep my cat inside if I lived there.

I suspect that the police believe that this is organized crime. Personally, I also believe that it is organized crime and as mentioned linked to the fur trade.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • heymoron!

    Guess what moron, I've got an electric car. It has no engine to get hot and no room to get under the wheel hubs and no traditional engine just a massive solid impenetrable battery! And also guess what, I spoke to all my neighbours and they didn't hurt my cat with their cars either. Fancy that! An electric car and honest neighbours. Must be foul play then, troll.

  • Would be good to know more about the fur trade~ and any other aspects of this ~ I had no idea it was possible.
    Deni Parkes

    • As far as I am concerned the cat fur trade is still alive and well in Europe. It is illegal but when did that stop anything? Switzerland was a centre for it but it has probably gone underground. I feel fairly sure that these missing cats have been shipped to the continent for fur which sounds awful but then a lot of things about life are awful.

      China is the world centre for cat fur and it is produced brutally. Horrendously. I won't go into detail. I hate the Chinese for it. That and cat meat. Quite disgusting.

      Cat fur is found in gloves and accessories. The accessories you buy in the high street are quite possibly lined with cat fur. Yes, a domestic cat companion was killed for her skin. The world is quite sick.

      Thanks a lot for visiting and commenting. Please update me when you can in further comments.

  • I think people need to re-think letting their cats outside in the UK, get a safe enclosure and/or keep them inside. They can transition to living indoors as mine had to when I moved from country acreage to suburbia with busy roads. My cats are fine now as indoor cats who get to go out in their enclosure most days. The world has changed and cat owners need to protect their pets against all the dangers of being allowed to roam outside.

    • I tend to agree with you Pippa. In the UK, Brits like to let their cats roam at will but it is often too dangerous to allow that.

  • Burnt fur? Torn-out in spots? Other bodily injuries? Sounds like some criminally-negligent cat-owner let their cat crawl up into someone's engine compartment for warmth the night before and the cat finally fell-out on the road after the manifold was already fur-singing hot and the fan-belts tore out some of the hair. Injuries like "being kicked" from falling out of a moving engine-compartment onto the road. Makes much more sense, doesn't it. It explains every last bit of it.

    It's so easy to blame everyone else for what you did to your own cats, isn't it.

    • Do you actually read articles in full? Her other kitten went missing at the same time and was found more than 2 miles away but without injuries some time later.

      Why pick on one person's experience simply because she was fortunate to have her cats returned to her and she was able to describe based on the veterinary examination what happened to the one kitten.

      Explain the 200 plus other missing cats? Are they all climbing into cars for a jolly warm kip?

      Are you merely trolling? Or are you involved with these disappearances.

    • I disagree. Your response is the classic one but these cat owners have been seeing a trend and with 200 cats missing there is something going on far beyond one individual cat getting caught in an engine compartment. I did not mention it but one cat was said to have his eyes glue together which I take to mean glued closed. This is not about individual cats. There are too many.

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