BELOVED family pets are mysteriously disappearing.
Twelve cats have vanished from homes in the Hillhouse area.
In Midland Street alone five have gone missing.
No bodies have been found and no cats have returned home.
The Cat Protection League has now urged owners in the area to keep their cats in at night.
Paul Hinchliffe, 41, of Midland Street, came home from a holiday in North Africa two months ago and his cat, Spike, was gone.
When he and wife Julie began knocking on doors in the area they discovered many more families were suffering the same heartbreak.
"I could not believe it when I started asking if anybody had seen Spike," said Paul.
"I was hoping Spike would have just gone wandering and would come back. But when I heard all these other animals were missing I feared the worst.
"Something bad has happened to him. The cats must have been snatched. There are posters on every lamp-post in this area with pictures of missing cats on them."
Two of Alison Holgate's cats are also missing from their Midland Street home. Her 12-year-daughter, Rebecca, is distraught and she fears for her remaining cat, Matty.
"I have had Elisa, Matty's sister, go missing and also my older cat Harry," she said. "It is like losing a member of the family. It's so upsetting because we don't know what has happened to them.
"This amount of cats don't just disappear. Someone is taking them or something. It makes me sick to think what could be happening to them.
"Elisa went missing in November and since then there have been more and more cats missing.
"Then about six weeks ago Harry went.
"He was very streetwise and would not just have gone to live with someone else."
A Cats' Protection League spokesman said it was very unusual for so many pets to vanish from one area, adding: "I have never heard about anything quite like this before.
"It is very unlikely the pets would be stolen for their fur. If that were the case it would be over a much bigger area.
"We hear of pedigree cats being snatched, but usually not just normal ones. Our advice is to get your cat chipped and keep them in the house at night."