Larry the Downing Street Cat Belongs to the House and Not the Prime Minister

Today, in the Prime Minister’s last session of parliamentary question time, David Cameron rebutted an argument that he does not love Larry, Number 10’s chief rat catcher. He said that he does love Larry but that he can’t take him with him when he moves out of number 10 Downing Street because Larry belongs to number 10. He is a permanent fixture of the building. So despite all the change that is going on around him, what with a new Prime Minister and a new cabinet, Larry the cat is to remain in Downing Street, a reassuring constant in dramatically changing times.

Larry is a brown-and-white tabby rescue cat who was adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and has been Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office since February 2001, after rats were seen jauntily hopping along the pavement in front of number 10!

Larry has become a familiar fixture in the street outside number 10 Downing Street. He has willingly posed for bored photographers waiting for dignitaries to emerge from the front door. In the picture on this page you can see him snoozing outside number 10 while Theresa May is walking towards the front door. To international visitors who may be unsure, Mrs May is the new Prime Minister of the UK.

Larry and Theresa May

Larry and Theresa May. She likes faux leopard skin shoes.

Larry’s position has been assured by the incoming Prime Minister. Although he has been accused of lacking the killer instinct and failing to adequately deal with the rodent problem, he was selected, as I recall because, he demonstrated first-class rat catching skills.

It has been said by somebody close to the incoming Prime Minister,

“Theresa May has kept the country safe the last six years, therefore Larry can sleep easy.” (Theresa May has been the Home Secretary for six years. A major part of her work regards security.

A Cabinet office spokeswoman also said:

“It’s a civil servant’s cat and does not belong to the Camerons – he will be staying.”

There you have it, then. Larry the cat belongs to a civil servant. I would say that he belongs to the house of number 10 Downing Street. I don’t remember any Prime Minister bringing with them to the flat above the working area, their domestic cat.

We are told that one senior member of Mrs May’s team is allergic to cats. I am sure that they can deal with that if it’s true.

Larry and Palmerston

Larry and Palmerston yowling stand off.

Larry has engaged in turf wars with a cat called Palmerston. Palmerston is Larry’s opposite number at the Foreign Office. They occasionally meet when patrolling their territories and in typical domestic cat style they have a yowling stand-off with each other. The photograph above shows this. It is a still photograph from a video taken by the BBC’s chief political correspondent.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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6 Responses

  1. She can deal with the allergies by taking ‘Benadryl.
    That is what allergy medications were created for.Unless she’s allergic to the dog that bites her LoL
    Eva say’s

  2. Diane Ricciardi Stewart says:

    I agree with ME King. My hope is that whoever was or is Larry’s caretakers, that he is continued to be cared for. . . ♥♥♥

    • Michael Broad says:

      Theresa May is not a cat owner as far as I know. I don’t think she is mad about cats but she is kind and brave. I am sure she’ll make sure Larry is well cared for. They’ll be a couple of staff members at No. 10 who are the designated caretakers.

  3. M E King says:

    I’m going to make a guess that the Camerons were not Larry’s prime caretakers and is probably going to be happier staying where he is.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Yes, ME you are correct. Larry is cared for by staff at No. 10. It is a huge office block really although it does not look like it. Larry does not really have a connection with the Prime Minister. He is far more connected to the builing and surrounding area. I am always concerned though for him because he lives in the middle of London and wanders. This is remarkably careless I think of his caretakers but that is the British style.

  4. MARIANNA BURT says:

    I hope the Camerons will acquire another cat to keep them company and console them!

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