Crafty cat-lovers are being urged to help unwanted cats this autumn by making cosy blankets and fun mouse toys as part of Cats Protection’s knitting bee.
The UK’s largest cat charity is appealing for knitters to get creative and help make life a little more comfortable for cats and kittens as they wait to find new homes.
Now in its fourth year, the charity’s annual appeal to knitters will be launched at this year’s Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace, London, in October.
Donations of knitted blankets or mice can be brought along to the charity’s stand at the event, or dropped into any of its branches, shops or adoption centres across the UK.
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity and helps around 190,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 volunteer-led branches and 32 centres.
The charity’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: “Our knitting bee grows in popularity every year and we’re always bowled over by how much support we receive. Whether it’s a fun mouse toy or a cosy, snuggly blanket – all donations of knitted goods are greatly received.
“The cats in our care often come in with nothing – some of them may never even have had a home of their own. So to have their own blanket handmade with love is very special.
“Taking part in our knitting bee is great way to fill those chilly and dark autumn evenings while helping make life a little more comfortable for unwanted cats.”
Knitters can come up with their own designs or follow a pattern for the popular Captain Cat-Battler knitted mouse – originally designed by Lauren O’Farrell (www.whodunnknit.com) – which will be available to pick up at the show. Knitters can also get a copy, and find out details of their local Cats Protection shop, branch or Adoption Centre, by calling the charity’s National Information Line on 03000 12 12 12.
As well as details of the knitting bee, Cats Protection’s stand will be a great place to stock up on Christmas cards and gifts, with a range of cat-related merchandise on offer.
Visitors will be able to use touch screen facilities to take a look at the charity’s online Find-a-Cat search tool to see cats and kittens available for homing in their area.
The charity will also be giving show visitors the chance to sign its petition asking the government to introduce licencing of air guns in England and Wales.
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.