Police in China have rescued over 1,000 cats from being slaughtered and sold as pork or mutton, a state-affiliated media report said.
Police intercepted the truck carrying the felines in the eastern city of Zhangjiagang.
They acted on a tip from animal welfare activists.
The cats were moved to a shelter, according to a newspaper report.
The rescue uncovered an illicit cat meat trade and raised fresh concerns about food safety.
Cat meat can fetch 4.5 yuan ($0.61; £0.51) per catty, a unit of measure in China roughly equivalent to 600g.
One cat can yield four to five catties.
It was unclear if the rescued cats were strays or pets. They were in transit to the country’s south, where they would have been served as pork, lamb skewers, and sausages.
According to reports, activists in Zhangjiagang had noticed many cats in nailed-up wooden boxes in a cemetery and monitored the situation for six days.
When individuals loaded the cats onto a truck on 12 October, the activists stopped the vehicle and called the police.