CAT owners were left devastated after three pets were killed in a 16-day spree.

Two pets were killed in the same street on consecutive nights. They were found in Rugby Road, Brighton, on Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3.

The third was in the Seven Dials area on April 18

Paul Toft and his wife Claudia Heitlander’s cat, nine-year-old Kyo, was killed in Rugby Road on the evening of May 2.

Claudia said there were “no words to say how sad I feel”.

Paul said: “He was attacked just outside my house. You could see where it had happened because there was blood on the ground there, but then he struggled into the garden and that was where I found him on Friday morning. There was a lot of blood.”

Paul said he had initially thought it could be an animal attack but after seeing the wound and hearing reports of other cats killed in the area he was sure his pet had been killed.

He said: “I cleaned the wound and could see it was extremely small. It couldn’t be an animal, it was too precise.

“Then my wife remembered she had seen a notice in Ditchling Road warning people about attacks on cats in the area.

“I realised there had been all these other knife attacks on cats and it was clear what had happened.”

The Argus:

Paul said Kyo spent much of his time out of the house but would come home “for cuddles”.

He said: “He was not a lap cat, more of a hunter cat and he has always been allowed out at night. I have never tried to keep him in.

“I want to share this because I want to know if this person can be caught.

“People living around here who own cats have to know about this threat so they can take precautions against it.

“This is an ongoing thing which is affecting a lot of people.”

The South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty group (Snarl) has been recording and investigating the attacks in the area to raise awareness of the threat of the “Brighton Cat Killer”.

A spokeswoman said there had been 24 confirmed cases in the city that have been attributed to the killer and warned cat owners in the BN1 3, BN1 4 and BN1 6 areas to “be aware, vigilant and keep their cats in as much as they can”.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The death of a cat in Brighton is being investigated by Sussex Police.

“We are keeping an open mind as to the cause of the death of this cat and the other cats reported to us.

“The cat was found dead at the side of a house in Rugby Road on

“Anyone with information about this or other similar incidents is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 504 of 04/05 or Operation Diverge generally.”