Is the big cat a Bengal pet?

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PICTURES of a big cat published in last week’s Citizen have prompted a number of calls from people claiming to know what it is.

Two readers also believed the cat could even be their lost pet.

One man from Outwell said the cat was almost certainly his missing pet, which disappeared several years ago when he moved from his old home off Isle Bridge Road to his new home in Basin Road.

The man, who didn’t want to be named, said the cat had been spotted in an area that used to be part of his pet’s hunting territory.

He said his cat was really large - at least three or four times bigger than an average domestic pet - and had very distinctive markings like a leopard.

“He was absolutely huge, a really unusual cat. He used to bring home all kinds of things that he had caught. He even bought a dead fox home once and he’d obviously had to fight it because he had a chunk missing out of his right ear,” said the man.

He got the cat as a six-week old kitten and said he was already huge then.

“He was about the size of a fully grown cat when I got him. In fact I thought he was an adult, but the woman I got him from said he was actually six weeks old. I used to have to wear a leather glove when I played with him because he could do serious damage with his teeth - he didn’t mean to hurt but he was just so strong,” added the man, who has made regular trips back to his old home to try to find his pet.

But he is not alone in hoping the big cat is his.

A woman from Wimblington hopes it is her missing pet Bullet who disappeared about seven weeks ago.

“The markings are just like his,” said Joy Barritt, who explained Bullet is a Bengal silver tabby.

She said Bullet, who is one of her three Bengal cats, was the size of an average domestic cat and as well as being neutered is also microchipped.

She said his markings are very leopard-like and she is hoping that the ‘big cat’ is in fact her pet cat.

“I really would like to get him back. It is terrible not knowing what has happened to him. He is really friendly and someone could easily have picked him up. But it is also possible that he has made his way as far as Outwell as he has been missing seven weeks now. I’m just trying to keep positive and keep the hope going,” she said.

Several readers contacted the Citizen after last week’s pictures captured by a reader in fields at Outwell. He described watching the cat, which he said was the size of a large fox, hunting rabbits and pigeons.

Many of the calls suggested the pictures were of a Bengal Leopard cat, which are kept as pets and are larger than average domestic cats. One woman suggested it was a Bengal cat with rosette markings.

Have you seen the big cat? And do you have any ideas on ways the cat can be caught safely, without being hurt? Contact newsdesk on: 01945-586135.