West Columbia police Maj. Jackie Brothers said investigating the cat killing reports has proven difficult as residents have disposed of the animals' remains before they could be examined by experts, The (Columbia, S.C.) State said Friday.
"We have heard reports of four deaths, but we have not been able to confirm four," she said.
A West Columbia resident said the number of slain or missing cats in her neighborhood could be as high as seven.
Fred Ott, 79, is one of the people who have lost a feline friend in recent weeks.
"Whoever is doing this is one sick son-of-a-gun," Ott told The State.
Brothers told the newspaper the killings, which are being investigated by a police animal control officer and a uniformed investigator, could be the work of dogs in the area.