A Hilperton family are hoping a sharp-eyed neighbour’s fast reactions will reunite them with their stolen pet, after Tramp the family cat was catnapped early on Sunday morning from near their home on Marsh Road.

A woman driving a dark blue Fiesta was seen to stop, approach the cat and then bundle him into her car and drive off just after 6.30am, heading towards the Kings Arms pub at the bottom of the road.

Local vets have not had a cat taken in for treatment, and the Phillips family have reported the theft to Wiltshire Police, as a neighbour who saw the cat being taken thought it unusual enough to take a note of the car’s registration number.

“We’re all very upset,” said mum-of-three Alison Phillips. “It’s such a bizarre thing to happen, he isn’t a pedigree cat or valuable to anyone except us.

"We just hope whoever took him will bring him back as soon as possible.”

Tramp is a small white cat with black and tortie patches, and has a very distinctive tail, marked like a ringtail lemur. The family have owned him for about four years.

“If anyone sees him – maybe whoever took him put him out of their car somewhere – we’d be very grateful if they would contact us,” said Mrs Phillips.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen Tramp is asked to contact Glenn Phillips at gphillips@newswilts.co.uk, call Wiltshire Police on the 101 number or ring the Wiltshire Times, where both Mr and Mrs Phillips work, on 01225 773600.