Police are trying to uncover whether a cat was the victim of deliberate cruelty after she was injured in a traffic collision.
A 20-month-old black female cat was hit by a car in Woodfield Avenue, Farlington.
The driver of the car, who is not suspected of any crime, stopped and told the cat’s owner what had happened.
An immediate search of the area did not find the cat.
But two days later, the cat was found dismembered in a nearby garden.
It is not known for sure if the cat died as a result of the collision or afterwards.
Investigating officer Sergeant Matthew Cumming of the Cosham Safer Neighbourhoods team said: ‘We recognise and understand the deep distress these events have caused to the cat’s owner.
‘We’ve pursued several lines of enquiry so far.
‘Police must keep an open mind about what may have happened to the cat.
‘Hampshire Constabulary is grateful to the RSPCA for its expert advice during the investigation.
‘I would encourage anyone with information to contact police.’
The driver’s collision with the cat happened at around 5pm on November 4, but police have only just released details to The News.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: ‘This must be a very upsetting for the cat’s owner.
‘We want to reassure pet owners that thankfully acts of deliberate violence against dead cats are rare and thorough research has shown that these kind of injuries are caused by wildlife after death and due to the small teeth it leaves a very clean wound.
‘This would not even be apparent to a vet without an in depth post mortem.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Matthew Cumming at Cosham police station by phoning 101.
Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.