THEY looked like cats with rats’ tails – or rats with cats’ faces. And they were alive.

News of the strange creatures found in a house in Lethabong, Rustenburg, North West on Thursday soon had residents gathering and taking pictures.

No one knows where these creatures come from or how they got into the house.

The family first realised there was something strange going on when they heard strange noises behind the grocery cupboard.

Family members thought they may have fallen from the ceiling and then got trapped behind the grocery cupboard. They called the local pastor, who used a grinding machine to take them out.

The cops were called, but they could not do anything and left.

SAPS spokesman in the North West Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said this was an issue for the SPCA.

The family said the animal unit from Rustenburg came and told them that they were not supposed to kill the creatures.

By that time four of them had already been killed, while two others were taken away and others were burned. The family said the animal unit told them the animals were not known and they needed blood samples to conduct tests to find out what they are.

The Rustenburg SPCA said the organisation is concerned that people panic and kill animals.

They believe the creatures could be a special kind of cat breed.

“People must remain calm and call the SPCA emergency number. Killing a creature in an inhumane way could lead to prosecution. Just don’t do anything to the animal,” said Carla van den Berg, inspector at the Rustenburg SPCA.