Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Cat-like' genet found 200 miles from home at car depot

Genet in cage Image copyright Vets4Pets
Image caption The genet was reunited with its owner after an appeal on social media

A strange "cat-like" creature surprised warehouse workers when it was found curled up asleep in a tyre.

Staff took the curious find to a vet in Milton Keynes who identified it as a genet - which looks like a pointy-faced cat with a long bushy tail.

As reported in the MK Citizen, Vets4Pets put pictures on its Facebook page appealing for information.

The exotic animal's owner came forward from Brighton to collect it. It is not known how it made the 200-mile journey.

Workers at the Mercedez Benz depot came across the genet on Monday, but had no idea what it was.

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Image copyright Kyle Watson
Image caption Its owners have reared the genet since it was rejected by its mother

Unable to find a microchip, Vets4Pets posted photos on social media.

"We had no idea if he was a wild animal, or whether he might be from overseas," said practice manager, Alison Sweeting.

"Later that evening a man came forward from Brighton and said it was his pet."

What is a genet?

Image copyright Thinkstock
  • Genets are "slender, cat-like carnivores", according to conservation charity Arkive
  • Like domestic cats, they have retractable claws and can climb trees
  • They also purr, mew and growl
  • Male genets grow to about 105cm and weigh up to 2.5kg
  • They are relatively common in parts of Africa and have also been introduced in parts of Europe including Spain, Germany and Italy

Image copyright Vets4Pets
Image caption Owner Kyle Watson drove from Brighton to collect his pet

Vet Huw Morgan-Jones, who examined the African spotted genet, said it was the first time he had seen one as a pet.

"They're unusual as they're not as cuddly as a cat and won't sit on your lap," he said.

Image copyright Kyle Watson
Image caption Kamarla gets on well with its owners' domestic cat, two dogs and children

"They don't make the best of pets, as they're skittish and quite stand-offish.

"However, this one was very friendly and we understand he's been trained to use a human toilet, which explains why he wasn't interested in our litter tray," he added.

Image copyright Kyle Watson
Image caption The genet enjoys a varied diet at home

Owner Kyle Watson said two-year-old Kamarla had been missing for 18 days.

He believes the animal was stolen from their garden, then released when the thief realised it was "not like an ordinary cat".

Since returning home, Karmala has been eating its favourite meal of worms, cucumber and bacon "non-stop", Mr Watson added.

But the first thing it did was use their upstairs toilet.

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