Meet Larry the cat: The feline in charge of 10 Downing Street

Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defenses and testing antique furniture for napping quality.

 Larry the cat walks outside of 10 Downing Street in London, Britain July 7, 2022.  (photo credit: PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS)
Larry the cat walks outside of 10 Downing Street in London, Britain July 7, 2022.
(photo credit: PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS)

Human occupants of the UK's 10 Downing Street have come and gone with relative frequency in the last decade, but one feline has remained a constant presence in the prime ministerial household: Larry the Cat. 

Larry took up residence on Downing Street in February of 2011 under then-PM David Cameron. According to the UK government's official website, "Larry was recruited from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home on recommendation for his mousing skills. He joined the Number 10 household and has made a significant impact."

As far as responsibilities go, the website also reports that "Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defenses and testing antique furniture for napping quality. His day-to-day responsibilities also include contemplating a solution to the mouse occupancy of the house. Larry says this is still ‘in the tactical planning stage.'"

Larry's hobbies and responsibilities 

 Larry the cat walks outside Number 10 Downing Street on Liz Truss' last day in office as British Prime Minister, in London, Britain, October 25, 2022. (credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS) Larry the cat walks outside Number 10 Downing Street on Liz Truss' last day in office as British Prime Minister, in London, Britain, October 25, 2022. (credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)

Upon appointment as official Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, Larry also opened an unofficial Twitter account in 2011. He follows 150 accounts, the majority of which share rodent-related content. Larry also tweets his thoughts on the various occupants of 10 Downing Street and the goings-on of the British government in general. 

 Britain's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak walks past Larry the cat outside Downing Street, in London, Britain, October 25, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN COOMBS) Britain's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak walks past Larry the cat outside Downing Street, in London, Britain, October 25, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN COOMBS)

In terms of actually catching mice, Larry keeps his cards close to his chest. He has reportedly caught three or four mice over the years but has allegedly been lax in his duties since 2015. 

However, the Chief Mouser does his fair share of public relations work, both on a local and international scale. According to a BBC article from June 2011, then-prime minister David Cameron reported that Larry took quite a liking to President Obama when he came to visit. More recently, The Guardian reported that Larry had confidently chased a fox off his property.

Lobster on the menu

Despite the frequent changes in leadership, Larry is hopeful for his prospects with incoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. On October 24, as Sunak prepared to take over, Larry tweeted saying "Rishi Sunak is becoming Prime Minister. His family is loaded so caviar and lobster on the menu for me from tomorrow."

 Larry the cat is petted outside Downing Street, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 18, 2022. (credit: CLODAGH KILCOYNE/REUTERS) Larry the cat is petted outside Downing Street, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 18, 2022. (credit: CLODAGH KILCOYNE/REUTERS)

Larry intends to keep the public updated on the inner workings of 10 Downing Street, as well as any proposed feline dietary changes, as a new prime minister takes hold of the reins.