DURBAN North residents have expressed concern after a number of cats seemed to have ‘vanished without a trace’ in recent months.

The Durban and Coast SPCA’s marketing manager, Tanya Fleischer has supported the resident’s fears after confirming that they have received reports of at least 26 cats disappearing in the area since January.  She added that 10 cats have also gone missing in the Glenwood area.

Fleischer, however, did not comment on what could be at the root of the mysterious disappearances.

A post shared on Durban North Neighbour’s Facebook page had amassed over 70 comments from the community, where locals reported cats vanishing on Avon Crescent, Beachway, Roehampton Way, Granleigh Crescent and even the Virginia area.

One of the devastated owners who had lost their beloved feline is Micky Westcott. The Glenashley resident said her 5-year-old cat, Baby has been missing since 24 May.

“She never left the house. She was not old or sick. It is just incredibly odd. She has simply vanished into thin air,” said the 22-year-old.

“I have done absolutely everything in my power to try and find her. I have handed out flyers, posted on social media, contacted local vets and the SPCA and I have even driven all over the neighbourhood hoping to spot her, but have had no luck,” she told the Northglen News last week.

Out of pure desperation Westcott said she had now offered a R4 000 reward to anyone who could assist with the safe return of Baby.

“It has been incredibly hard as she is my best friend. She has such a quirky and unique personality. I have had her since she was five weeks old, and she has been through so many of life’s big milestones with me. She was always with me, snuggled on my bed,” she said.

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Prestondale resident, Deirdre Fordyce has also 0ffered a reward for her missing 11-year-old feline, Jesse – who vanished on 20 March.

“We have shared posts on Facebook and put up posters all over the area and even offered a R5 000 reward, but so far there has been noting,” said an emotional Fordyce.

“My heart is very sore. He never really wandered and we don’t know what has happened to him. The whole community knows that we are looking for him. It is just bazaar that no one has seen him and that there is absolutely no trace of him,” she said.

Jesse has been missing since 20 March.

Farrah Khan Maharajh, founder of Feeding the Furballs, also said the situation was concerning.

“There has definitely been an influx of missing cats. I have been contacted by 17 people to find out if we have picked up a cat or if there has been a new addition to one of our feral colonies,” she said.

Three of the cats have been successfully reunited with their owners, as they were microchipped.

The Redhill resident said there was a whole list of possibilities that could be behind the spate of disappearances, however they needed know the circumstances behind these incidents to find a solution.

Fleischer urged cat owners to ensure that their pets are sterilised, microchipped and have sufficient food and water at home – to avoid any unnecessary wandering.

“We also encourage owners to try and keep their cats inside overnight,” she added.