Tokyo fire authorities are looking for a new breed of arsonist: general description - four legs and a lot of fur.

According to a survey by the Tokyo Fire Department, there have been 10 fires that caused major damage to residences this year that were set by pets or animals, a fire official said on Tuesday.Officials said two people have been seriously burned in fires set by pets and about once a week they respond to a fire sparked by an animal that has eaten its way through electrical cords.

The main culprits are hamsters, rabbits and cats. The fire threat from hamsters and rabbits comes when they eat through electrical cords, while unattended cat urine along floor boards can start fires when it comes in contact with wiring, the official said.

Fire officials said four of the major blazes this year were caused by rats that ate through wiring.