Battersea’s cattery is preparing to be inundated with cats and kittens this summer, so the charity is calling upon knitters and crafters across the UK to make special knitted ‘catnip’ mice – knitted mice mercilessly stuffed to the brim with catnip – to help keep Battersea’s whiskered residents entertained while they wait for new homes.

June to September is a traditionally busy time for the charity, and on a typical summer’s day Battersea’s catteries can care for over 200 homeless cats and kittens. A combination of kitten season, more cats coming in due to the time of year and less people looking to take on a new pet because of holidays means that Battersea’s cattery is often working to full capacity.

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Battersea Rehomer Ros Davies says: ‘We’re approaching our busiest time of year and caring for so many cats is always a challenge. Cats that would normally go in days can take months to find a home, but whilst they wait for a new owner, we want to make their stay with us a little more fun and interesting. We know they love playing with their homemade knitted mice.’

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Better known as a dog refuge, the world famous animal charity has been taking in cats since 1883 and cares for around 3000 each year. Ros continues: ‘This time of year is really tough and we urge anyone thinking of taking on a new cat to get in touch. Even if you’re planning on going away, you can register with us first, and then when you get back you’ll be ready to give a cat a home – what better way to beat those post-holiday blues! Plus, the summer is one of the best times to visit us as we’ve normally got a lot more choice.’

As well as knitted mice, Battersea’s cats also enjoy playing with woolly sticks. Patterns can be downloaded from the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home website. Please send completed mice and toys to The Cattery, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, 4 Battersea Park Road, London, SW8 4AA.

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