Cat owners are being urged to be vigilant after a surge in numbers of them reported missing.
Carol Wilde, whose cat Baggins vanished from her garden last week said she is just one of many owners in the area who have lost cats in recent weeks.
“I saw him in the garden one minute, and the next he was gone” said Carol, of Devon Drive, Brimington.
“I just thought he had gone into over into the school behind my house, but then I haven’t seen him since.”
She said she saw a reference to a spate of cat disappearances around Brimington, Hasland and Calow on the Facebook site, Spotted: Chesterfield, where it was suggested a gang could be behind the disappearances.
“I heard they are going around and poisoning them” added Carol. “I can’t put it into words how I feel. It is just cruel.”
It comes after the Derbyshire Times reported in July how Hasland-based cat lover, Charlotte Walker had three cats vanish in a year.
Judith Copley, the owner of Hasland Pet Supplies on Mansfield Road said the number of people posting missing cat notices in her shop is on the up.
She said: “It used to be quite occasional, whereas now it is at least one a week. It is more like the norm now. It has been over the last few months to a year that it has really increased.
“I don’t know why, but I have definitely noticed.”
But Derbyshire Police said they hadn’t received an unusual increase in reports of cat thefts.