The world’s first database of cat DNA is set to be published and expanded for use in future crime cases.
The University of Leicester is behind the database, creating it for a police investigation into the death of a Hampshire man – feline hairs were found on a curtain wrapped around his corpse last July.
The curtain fibres matched fibres in the killer’s house, but it was the cat hairs – identical to those of the killer’s cat, which proved it was his curtains which the body was wrapped in, helping convict him last month.
Dr Jon Wetton, who led the project, told the BBC: "Any cat owner will know that cat hairs get absolutely everywhere.
"This could be a real boon for forensic science, as the 10 million cats in the UK are unwittingly tagging the clothes and furnishings in more than a quarter of households."
It is an amazing development in crime technology, and there is even talk of using the database to help solve old cases too, using cutting-edge DNA sequencing methods to identify further variation in cat DNA.
So the lesson for cat lovers intent on breaking the law is always hoover before leaving the house to commit a crime.