1. ITV Report

Beware of the cat! Post-snatching feline halts mail delivery

Now we've all seen signs telling people to 'beware of the dog', but how about beware of the cat?

A couple have had their mail deliveries suspended because of their pet, Bella.

The feline's antics have become so notorious not only has she made national headlines, she's also made it internationally with outlets from around the world wanting the scoop.

Here's what owner Matt Sampson has to say:

When the postman approaches the door, at the Patchway home, Bella growls and then grabs the letters.

Royal Mail now say she's putting their worker at risk and must be restrained. It's got so bad her owners have now had to put a box outside for deliveries.

I don't know when it started to be honest the first thing I really saw of it was when I came home to blood on my letter box and down the door and I didn't have a clue what it was because she'd never done it before.

The postman caught me the next day, I thought he'd maybe got a paper cut, but when he caught me he said to me, 'your cat went for me the other day, you've got my blood on your postbox'.

I apologise and since then I've watched it, and I've realised she does actually go for it.

– Laura Lowe, owner

Royal Mail say it puts mail workers "at risk of injury" and after a health and safety assessment no more deliveries can be made to the home.

Officials have dubbed four-year-old Bella a 'hazard' and because of the level of threat, the postie won't push anymore letters through the door unless she is restrained.

I don't know what started it, I don't know how long it's been going on for, but we got the letter from Royal Mail and they said you're going to have to do something because there's problems.

– Laura Lowe, owner
Bella and owner Laura Credit: ITV West Country

The couple were sent a letter from Royal Mail which read:

"I'm writing to let you know that we're experiencing difficulties in delivering mail to your address because of the actions of a cat at your property.

"As a result, a health and safety risk assessment has been carried out, and has determined that the level of threat requires actions to be taken to ensure the safety of its delivery staff.

"Your postman has reported that when he pushes the mail through your letterbox your cat snatches the mail and puts his fingers at risk of injury.

"Please, therefore, either ensure that the cat is restrained at all times away from the back of the letterbox, or provide an alternative safe delivery point for your property."

The box the couple have now been forced to leave outside their door Credit: ITV West Country

If we feel that there is a risk from a dog, or any other animal, at an individual address, we are committed to working with the customer to agree simple steps to ensure we can continue to deliver the mail safely.

In this case we have appealed to the owner to keep their pet under control when the postman calls and we have invited the customer to contact the delivery office manager to discuss this in more detail.

– Royal Mail spokesperson