Larry the Cat: The Legendary Chief Mouser of 10 Downing Street

If you think politics is all about serious faces and stern decisions, think again! Larry the Cat has been adding a touch of feline charm to the heart of British politics since 2011. Let’s take a stroll through Larry’s extraordinary life and how he became the most famous cat in the United Kingdom.

Who is Larry the Cat?

Larry’s Identity:
“Larry the Cat” is a brown and white tabby cat, officially titled the “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.” He holds a significant and unique position as the resident cat at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister.

Early Life:
Larry (born c. January 2007), a stray by origin, found himself at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home before being adopted by Downing Street staff in 2011. Initially intended as a pet for the Prime Minister’s children, his “high chase drive” soon made him the official mouser.

By Parrot of Doom - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Career of Larry the Cat

The Call to 10 Downing Street:
In February 2011, Larry was adopted by the staff at 10 Downing Street to address a rodent problem. His new role? Chief Mouser. Larry moved into his new home, where he was introduced by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron. From the moment he stepped through the famous black door, Larry’s life changed forever.

Life and Work at Downing Street:
Larry’s primary duty is to keep the mouse population under control. However, Larry has become more of a celebrity than a working mouser. While his hunting skills are sometimes questioned, his ability to charm everyone he meets is undeniable. He can often be seen lounging in the office, attending high-profile meetings, and even welcoming international leaders.

Relations with Political Figures

Larry has seen multiple Prime Ministers come and go, including David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Rishi Sunak. His interactions with these leaders often provide light-hearted moments in otherwise tense political environments. Larry’s occasional spats with Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat, have also made headlines, showcasing his strong personality.
He’s witnessed the premierships of six Prime Ministers, from David Cameron to Boris Johnson, becoming a true Downing Street resident. He’s been photographed napping on podiums during press conferences, seemingly unfazed by the political drama.

By Pete Souza - P052511PS-0496, Public Domain, Link

Health and Well-being

The staff at Downing Street ensures Larry the cat is in top health with regular vet visits and a balanced diet. Despite the hustle and bustle of political life, Larry manages to find time for his favorite activities—napping and receiving plenty of pets.

Recognition and Awards

By The White House from Washington, DC - The President and First Lady in the U.K., Public Domain, Link

Larry’s contribution to 10 Downing Street has not gone unnoticed. He was honored with a blue plaque at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in October 2012, commemorating his remarkable journey from rescue cat to political icon. Additionally, his legacy extended into the scientific community when a newly discovered beetle species, Caccothryptus larryi, was named after him in 2021.
Also, Larry’s recognition comes in the form of widespread media attention and public affection. He has been featured in numerous news articles, has a strong social media presence, and even has books written about his life.

How Have Larry Become Famous?

Larry the cat’s fame began with his adoption and has only grown with each passing year. Media coverage of his daily life, his role in Downing Street, and his interactions with political figures have turned him into a beloved national icon. Social media has played a significant role in his popularity, with countless fans following his adventures online. 
He has his own dedicated Twitter account with over 890k followers, where his “staff” (presumably long-suffering Downing Street press officers) document his daily exploits, from napping on the Prime Minister’s podium to supervising essential briefings.

Larry the Cat is more than just a pet; he’s a political icon, a media star, and a beloved companion to all who work and visit 10 Downing Street. His story highlights the important role animals play in our lives, providing comfort, joy, and a touch of humor. Here’s to Larry, the Chief Mouser, and the heart of 10 Downing Street!


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