AN infamous cat killer has struck in Southampton again and could come back, an animal charity has warned.

Residents are urged to be vigilant after a cat was killed in the SO18 area of the city.

The search for the notorious Croydon Cat Killer came to the centre of Southampton last month after reports of a decapitated cat found in the Itchen area.

As previously reported, the killer is believed to be responsible for more than 450 cat mutilations and the killing of rabbits and foxes.

Now Tony Jenkins from South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), the charity that leads the charge in finding those responsible for the killings, has confirmed that the Croydon Cat Killer has struck in Southampton again, killing an Egyptian rescue cat called Rocky.

Mr Jenkins said the cat was found in the driveway of a property a few yards away from where she lived.

He confirmed that Rocky was not decapitated but said her tail had been cut off with a knife, and said all the injuries matched with those of previous cats killed by the Croydon Cat Killer.

He added: “Displaying the cat in someone’s driveway is typical of the cat killer and the injuries are also consistent.

“We don’t know if it’s one person, it all suggests it is one person but it could be a small group of people.”

It is believed Rocky was killed overnight between June 23 and 24.

Now Mr Jenkins said the cat killer could strike in Southampton again.

He added: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he had done it already.

“Sometimes people do not report it.

“Keep your cats indoors, especially overnight and let them out under supervision. It’s devastating for people to have their cats killed in such a way.”

Rocky’s owners decided to remain anonymous but paid tribute to her and in a statement said: “Rocky was the most sassy, intelligent and magical Egyptian rescue cat who did exactly as she pleased.

“Everybody who met her had a story to tell about her, as she left a paw print on the hearts of everybody who knew her.

“She really was one of a kind.

“Rocky was taken from us too early and will be sorely missed but we know she will already be the boss and have complete ownership of wherever she is now.”

A spokesperson for Hampshire police said the incident was not reported to the force.