Cat lover with 70 pets investigated over ‘animal cruelty’

Cat lover Ian ‘Catmando’ lives in a small townhouse with dozens of cats and claims he trains them to help people with epilepsy. (SWNS)

A cat lover who shares his home with more than 70 pets is being investigated by police and the RSPCA on allegations that he is subjecting the animals to deplorable living conditions.

Ian, who uses the surname “Catmando,” lives in a small townhouse with dozens of cats and claims he trained them to help people with epilepsy.

The 56-year-old describes himself as a “professional cat groom and showman” and has defended his right to care for animals on his property in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

Ian says he spends over £ 5,000 a year caring for his pets and has looked after more than 5,000 cats since 1992.

Ian ‘Catmando’ spends over £ 5,000 a year looking after his pets. (SWNS)

But he is now the focus of an RSPCA investigation after animal rights activists gathered outside his home last week to protest concerns for the welfare of the cats.

They say the pets cannot roam freely because the back garden is covered with chicken wire, barbed wire, and metal bars.

Photos from his home show dozens of cats piled up on cluttered surfaces and living in apparently filthy conditions.

But the unemployed Ian says his pets are happy and healthy, adding that he has trained thousands of cats over the years with no discomfort.

Ian regularly walks the street with up to 15 moggies at a time, claiming that he also trains them for a charity aimed at recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ian, who is not married and has no children, said, “I’ve been a professional cat groom and have been since 1992.

“I have cared for over 5,000 cats and trained 2,000 as alternative treatments for epilepsy.

Ian 'Catmando' regularly walks the street with up to 15 cats at a time.  (SWNS)

Ian ‘Catmando’ regularly walks the street with up to 15 cats at a time. (SWNS)

“Cats can tell when someone is having an epileptic fit, sometimes hours in advance.”

Ian insists that “everything is legal and okay”, claiming that the police, who regularly visit his property, told him that “the cats are all healthy”.

Ian has beaten back the protesters who have been gathering on his street every day since last Thursday, saying that one of his cats had a miscarriage from the stress.

The story goes on

He added: “The protesters believe it is illegal and immoral to train and walk cats. That’s stupidity, what’s wrong with walking cats when people are walking dogs?

Animal rights activists gathered outside Ian's house to protest concerns for the welfare of the cats.  (SWNS)

Animal rights activists gathered outside Ian’s house to protest concerns for the welfare of the cats. (SWNS)

“If at the end of the day you could choose people to walk cats, who will it be next?”

Lincolnshire Police this week warned protesters to stay away from the property so authorities can get their job done.

An RSPCA spokesman said they were aware of the protests and would “always look into and investigate any complaints we received about animal welfare.”

Watch: How Can I Improve My Mental Health?