Lakeland, Florida -- Police say a cat killer is on the prowl, posing a serious threat to pet owners in two Lakeland neighborhoods.

Lakeland Police say that so far, three cats have been found mutilated and several other cats in the area have been reported missing. Two of the cats were cut in half, likely done with a knife or another sharp object.

Investigators do not think an animal such as a coyote caused the injuries, because the cut incisions appear deliberate and precise.

"This is bizarre, sadistic stuff that we don't want to hear," says Sgt. Gary Gross with Lakeland PD. "That's why we're out here in full force trying to resolve this."

Police are going door-to-door questioning neighbors, looking for answers and clues that could lead them to the cat killer.

Officers recommend keeping your cat inside until investigators get to the bottom of this case. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or the Lakeland Police Department 17 863-834-6900.

The warning comes on the same day a horrific story made headlines out of New York, where dozens of dead cats were found in plastic bags hanging from trees. Police in New York have not named any suspects in that case.

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