DEATHS of four cats within a week at Fleet have raised fears that a pet killer may be on the prowl.

All four were discovered dead by their distraught owners who live in the Darset Avenue area.

The deaths have led to a warning by the RSPCA for all cat owners to be on their guard.

Local RSPCA Inspector Joanne Bowling described the situation as "very worrying".

At present the possible cause of the deaths is a mystery, she said.

But it is possible that someone is deliberately putting down poison in order to kill pets.

"If that it so then we need to track down the culprit as quickly as possible," said Insp Bowling.

Other theories involve the cats finding a poisonous substance in a garage or garden shed.

Someone may also be putting down an approved poison to eradicate rats or moles.

"At this stage nothing is being ruled out," added Insp Bowling, who urged cat owners to keep a close eye on their pets.

If cats are suffering from the affects of poisoning, she said, the symptoms include breathing difficulties, fits and a foamy discharge from the nose or mouth.