Shocked cat-lovers feared they may lose their pets after a plan devised by a Peterborough housing association.
One couple have spoken of their distress and anger at Cross Keys Homes which planned to trap and re-home feral cats roaming The Acres in Barnack.
Cat owners were even told to cut some hair from their cat’s heads to differentiate them from strays if their pets did not have a collar or microchip.
Cross Keys has now apologised to residents and says action will not go ahead.
The association’s chief executive Claire Higgins said: “We are trying to do the right thing for the residents of The Acres, the village and the cats but we admit we haven’t approached this as well as we should have done.
“We are extremely sorry for any upset caused and are trying to do as much as we can to put this right.
“We recognise that there is a real problem with feral unneutered cats in Barnack.
“We have arranged a meeting for Tuesday, February 10, with animal welfare professionals so that we can plan how they can address the issues.”
Some residents received a letter informing them of the plan on Tuesday, just two days before action was set to start.
The feral cats were due to be trapped in long cages and re-homed with the help of Peterborough Cat Rescue and the RSPCA.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “My wife was really upset. She’s kept her cat in the house as she is scared it will be picked up and taken away.
“We were shocked and angry when we saw the letter.
“How were they planning to tell the difference between a stray cat and someone’s pet?”