It’s a cat cabinet takeover for British politics as Westminster welcomes its third Battersea mouser

29 JULY 2016

There is a new cat on the block in Westminster as the third Battersea mouser has been welcomed into the heart of British politics. Named after former Chancellor and four-times Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, this sleek black feline has fittingly been rehomed to the Treasury to help conquer the building’s menacing mouse problem.

Gladstone arrived at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home back in May as a neglected stray and was brought into the rescue centre by a member of Battersea staff. The one year old domestic short hair was found wandering the streets of London, and like many of the 1025 stray cats brought into the world-famous rescue centre last year he was found hungry, and with no microchip, meaning his previous owners could not be traced.

From bins to The Budget, Gladstone’s tale is a spec-cat-ular rags to riches story and when he’s not polishing his whiskers and stalking the corridors for mice he can look forward to setting his sights on visitors from all over the world whilst pawing over pound signs. He follows in the footsteps of political puss Larry who was rehomed from Battersea to 10 Downing Street five years ago, and more recently Palmerston who went to live at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office back in April this year. Gladstone certainly has his work cut out to live up to his political namesake William Ewart Gladstone who provoked strong reactions and served as Prime Minister for four separate periods, more than any other Prime Minister.

Battersea’s Head of Catteries, Lindsey Quinlan said: “We are thrilled that Gladstone has now taken up residence in the Treasury and have high hopes that he’ll be ready to take on the rodents of the Horse Guard Road offices. He’s a confident cat who absolutely loves people so he’ll have to tear himself away from his cat cuddles to get down to business becoming a marvellous mouser. Staff at Battersea fell in love with Gladstone during his stay here, his big cheeks and big heart match his big personality and we think the staff at the Treasury will quickly fall for his charm too. History has it that Gladstone and Palmerston’s political namesakes had a rocky relationship so we look forward to hearing how he gets on in Westminster and whether he makes friends or foes with his famous Battersea feline predecessors.”

A spokesperson from the Treasury said: “We are delighted to introduce our new cat, Gladstone, to the heart of British politics. Gladstone can look forward to pouring over Budget scorecards, greeting visitors from around the world, but most importantly, setting his sights on the rodent population of the Treasury and assisting our pest controllers in keeping down the number of mice in our Horse Guard Road offices. We are confident that Gladstone will live up to the legacy of his namesake, William Ewart Gladstone, and go down in history as one of the most impressive cats to roam Whitehall.”


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Notes to editors  

  • Larry the cat was rehomed to 10 Downing Street in February 2011 and Palmerston was rehomed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in April 2016.
  • Battersea started taking in cats in 1883 and changed its name to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 2002.
  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.  
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats. 
  • Battersea cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres at any one time. 
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 30 days and 22 days for a cat.
  • In 2015 27% of dogs and 30% of cats arrived as strays. 
  • In addition to the site in South West London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.