Gardaí are attempting to track down two men who used a pregnant cat to 'blood' two hunting dogs.
Animal welfare charity, My Lovely Horse, described the attack as one of the most horrific they had ever come across.
The cat was torn apart by the two dogs - and its kittens ripped out of its womb.
Two men were seen releasing the heavily pregnant cat from a cage to be immediately attacked by a German Shepherd and a greyhound/lurcher-type dog.
The incident took place at around 11pm last Tuesday evening in Knocknaheeny on the north side of Cork city. A car was seen parked nearby.
Both men looked on while the cat was mauled to death - and had lamps to illuminate the attack.
Four of the kittens died at the scene. However, one kitten survived after local teenagers raised the alarm. The kitten was able to receive treatment.
My Lovely Horse official Orla Donoghue told Cork’s RedFM they were shocked by the behaviour of the men.
"They apparently call it sport - a bit of fun," she said in disgust.
Ms O’Donoghue paid tribute to the youths who raised the alarm over the incident.
Gardaí were at the scene within minutes on Tuesday evening but found no trace of the two men.
However, the bodies of four tiny kittens were recovered.
There was no trace remaining of the mother cat.
Orla said Gardaí and animal welfare officials are now appealing for anyone who may have information on the attack or those who were involved in it to notify the authorities.
The process of 'blooding' involves a smaller animal such as a cat, rabbit or even terrier-type dog being attacked by larger dogs to improve their hunting or fighting sense.
It is also used to train dogs for 'lamping' - a process where smaller animals are hunted by night with lights.