Larry the Cat ‘happy and healthy’ says Downing Street after reports he was seriously ill

Larry the cat has lived at Downing Street since 2011 (AFP via Getty Images)
Larry the cat has lived at Downing Street since 2011 (AFP via Getty Images)

Downing Street’s Chief Mouser Larry the cat is “happy and healthy”, a spokesperson has confirmed, following reports he was seriously unwell.

The 16-year-old feline has resided at Number 10 since 2011, under the tenure of five different prime ministers.

Frequently pictured prowling outside the front door of the famous premises, he has captured the hearts of the public and members of the press.

Rumours Larry was unwell have recently swirled online, but a Downing Street spokesman has told ITV News: “I would say he is happy and healthy.”

The news was welcomed by Larry fans.

“Glad to hear Chief Mouser Larry the Cat is still in good health,” said one, named Jane, on social media platform X. “I know he hasn’t got many more years of leading the country, but I can’t imagine Downing Street without him.”

“Very relieved to hear this”, added Larry fan Ed Clarke.

Larry was adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in February 15, 2011, as a pet for then-prime minister David Cameron’s children.

Rather than moving on when Mr Cameron left Downing Street, Larry stayed on and has remained there during the premierships of five different prime ministers.

Officially known as the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, the former stray’s duties include ridding Number 10 of rodents.

Other daily duties include greeting guests to the house, and “testing antique furniture for napping quality”, according to the Number 10 website.

Larry has himself made the headlines on many occasions over the years. In October he was filmed chasing off a fox outisde the prime minister’s residence. The same month he appeared to snub new prime minister Liz Truss by running away as she bent to stroke him.

He is also a match for other local cats, having been seen wrestling with Palmerston - his foreign office counterpart who lives across the road.

In a rare interview with Sky News on Friday, Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty opened up about her family’s time at Number 10 and said their Labrador, Nova, has “mixed emotions” about living there.

“She sometimes doesn’t get on with Larry the Cat,” said Mrs Murty. “And they’ve had some heated exchanges and Larry’s come out on top.

“So she might have some mixed opinions on living here. But, you know, our family is so grateful to be here.”