Following the news MPs have renewed calls for a cat after another mouse infestation swept the Houses of Parliament, leading animal charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has renewed its offer to help solve the growing rodent problem. Having already provided mousers to 10 Downing Street, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Treasury, the iconic London-based charity suggests that rehoming a rescue cat to the Palaces of Westminster could save thousands of pounds of public money spent on pest control after it was revealed taxpayers were left to foot a record £130,000 bill in 2016/17.
Battersea first approached the Westminster authorities to suggest taking on one of their mousers in early 2014, after the cost of pest control for Parliament during the 2012/13 financial year was revealed to be £73,552. The figure has since almost doubled, and includes the cost of hiring a full-time pest control technician.
Battersea's Head of Catteries, Lindsey Quinlan said: "Battersea has been hearing persistent reports of mice scuttling around the Houses of Parliament for several years now, and the latest figures released clearly demonstrate that tax payers are funding a rising cost for pest control in our Government buildings.
"Battersea has over 130 years in rehoming rescue cats, and was the first choice for Downing Street, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Cabinet Office when they sought our mousers to help with their own rogue rodents. We'd be more than happy to help the Houses of Parliament recruit their own chief mousers to eliminate their pest problem and restore order in the historic corridors of power."
Battersea's experience in successfully rehoming Larry, Palmerston, and Gladstone to three different Government departments over the last few years could help allay any perceived health and safety concerns about having the cats in offices. Last year the charity also rehomed almost 50 cats to working farm outlets and the charity is ideally placed to advise MPs on how to ensure the welfare of cats roaming the site.
Battersea currently has around 62 cats looking for a home, including several who would love to pounce on this opportunity given the chance. The charity has highlighted two cats who could be potential candidates for a chief mouser role in the Houses of Parliament or elsewhere. They are:
Top of this lovely seven-year-old’s manifursto is spending time with her public and having a fuss - but like many politicians, she also has an independent streak. She's got a proven track record of bringing back presents for her party so she'd be in her element somewhere with plenty of mice. She isn't interested in the company of other cats as long as there are some humans around to spoil her. Peggy is currently based at our Old Windsor centre.
This gorgeous ginger tom at our London centre is a very chirpy chatty boy, so he'd be perfect as the new Speaker of the House. Simba loves to chase and pounce on his favourite toys. He has plenty of energy and will provide his new home with hours of entertainment, although in the right environment he's also keen to settle down and have a cuddle.
To enquire about rehoming Peggy, Simba or any of our other cats, please visit www.battersea.org.uk/cats