Ottawa police say a series of cat deaths in the city were the result of predatory attacks, most likely by coyotes.
Police opened an investigation this month after four cats were found mutilated with signs of abuse.
A total of seven cats have now been found dead, with the most recent death discovered June 21 in Nepean, police said in a news release Thursday.
One of the deceased cats was sent to the University of Guelph Animal Health Laboratory in Kemptville, Ont., just outside of Ottawa.
A necropsy Thursday determined the cause was a predatory attack, police said.
"There is some relief in knowing that it's not a person behind these killings," said Bruce Roney, president of the Ottawa Humane Society, in a news release.
"But it doesn't change the fact that these cats suffered a horrendous death and that the safest place for a cat is indoors."
Keep animals inside
The society had offered a $5,000 reward for information that helped the police investigation into the cats' deaths. It says that reward will now go toward lifesaving care and shelters for Ottawa animals.
"Our hearts go out to the people who lost a beloved pet during these past few weeks," Roney said.
Police and the humane society are recommending pet owners keep their animals inside.