An animal lover believes a fox was responsible for killing her beloved cat.

Rachel MacGregor’s husband discovered the body of 12-year-old moggy Misty in an overgrown garden behind her house in Luther Street, Brighton.

The 40-year-old said: “It must have happened in the early hours.

“She was not there in the morning and then she just did not turn up.

“I saw a fox on our wall and when Misty did not return my husband climbed over into the garden and found her. She had been mauled and was covered in blood.”

The video maker said there were many foxes in the area.

She said: “I am devastated by the death of my cat.

“These foxes are running around my area and could have been in the garden.

“They are rife around Hanover. They are on my doorstep and if I have a cat it is liable to be killed.

“People are a problem as they are feeding them like pets.”

Brighton and Hove City Council does not deal with foxes but instead directs people to the Fox Project, based in Kent.

Trevor Williams, the director of the Fox Project, said cats were a more dangerous animal than foxes.

He said: “A vociferous minority do not like foxes.

“But cats will chase foxes out of the garden.

“People think foxes are big things but they are the same size as a cat.

“Cats have sharper claws – they are a far more dangerous animal.

“People are afraid of foxes but there is no evidence for this. A sense of proportion is needed.”

Mr Williams recommended the use of repellents, saying foxes tend to move away relatively quickly when they used. But he added foxes would keep coming back to a natural habitat such as an overgrown garden.