Kick away the New Year blues and help unwanted cats and kittens by making cosy blankets and fun mouse toys for the UK’s largest cat charity. Creative cat lovers can follow a suggested pattern or come up with their own designs to create blankets and toys which will make life a little more comfortable for cats in the charity’s care. With the long, dark and chilly nights well and truly upon us, there’s never been a better time to start stockpiling some homemade donations for unwanted cats and kittens. All the blankets and mice received are sent to centres and volunteer-run branches across the UK, where they provide that extra bit of comfort for cats as they wait to find new homes. Donations of knitted blankets or mice can be dropped into any of its branches, shops or adoption centres across the UK. Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping 190,000 cats a year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres. Come up with your own designs or follow a pattern for the popular Captain Cat-Battler knitted mouse originally designed by Lauren O’Farrell (www.whodunnknit.com).
Cats Protection advises that when knitting a toy or blanket, it’s best to avoid the use of stretchy yarns or small plastic items, such as those that can be used for mouse eyes, to reduce the risk of injury to cats and kittens. Loose weave blanket patterns involving the use of large needles are best avoided too. The charity also suggests that cat owners regularly inspect cat toys for signs of wear or damage, not to leave cats unattended with knitted toys and not to use knitted toys or blankets with cats that have wool-chewing habits. More information about Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk