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Palmerston (cat)

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Palmerston in 2017
Chief Mouser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Held title
13 April 2016 – 7 August 2020
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Boris Johnson
Sec. of StatePhilip Hammond
Boris Johnson
Jeremy Hunt
Dominic Raab
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byVacant
Personal details
Born2014 (age 9–10)
ResidenceForeign and Commonwealth Office (former)

Palmerston is a cat who was the resident Chief Mouser of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) at Whitehall in London. He is a black-and-white bicolour cat and began his role in the position of Chief Mouser on 13 April 2016. Previously, he was from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and is named after the former Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. He was employed at the King Charles Street building.[1]

The inception of the position of Chief Mouser at the FCO followed from the position Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, Larry and from visits from George Osborne's cat Freya who made regular visits to the office.[2]

Palmerston was in the news on 3 May 2016, as it was reported that he had caught his first mouse.[3] On 11 July 2016, Palmerston was caught on camera in a stand-off between himself and Larry in and around Downing Street.[4][5] On 26 July 2016, Palmerston was caught sneaking into Number 10, when the black door was left open. He was later evicted by resident police.[6] On 1 August 2016, a journalist caught Palmerston and Larry having a serious cat-fight, which led to Palmerston having damage to his ear and Larry losing his collar.[7]

In October 2017, Palmerston "appointed" his first overseas envoys. Lawrence of Abdoun, a rescued black-and-white street tomcat, was given a role at the British Embassy in Amman, Jordan, and is named after British military officer T. E. Lawrence and the neighbourhood in Amman where the embassy is located.[8] Leyla Pixie, an orphaned kitten from Turkey, was adopted by the British Consulate General in Istanbul.[9]

On 7 August 2020, Palmerston "retired" as the FCO's Chief Mouser, moving to the countryside to "spend more time relaxing away from the limelight"; his "resignation" was announced on Twitter.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Helena Horton (13 April 2016). "Palmerston the cat arrives for work at the Foreign Office". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  2. ^ Ashton, Emily (11 April 2016). "The Foreign Office Is Getting Its Own Cat And It's Called Palmerston". BuzzFeed.
  3. ^ Horton, Helen (3 May 2016). "Palmerston the diplocat catches first mouse since joining the Foreign Office". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ Etchingham, Julie. "Who's the new top cat in Downing Street tonight - Larry in stand off - join us @ITV news at ten". Twitter, @julieetchitv. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  5. ^ Kuenssberg, Laura. "Here is the exclusive video..." Twitter, @bbclaurak. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  6. ^ Horton, Helena (26 July 2016). "Boris Johnson's cat evicted from 10 Downing Street after sneaking in when the door was open". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  7. ^ Horton, Helena (1 August 2016). "Number 10 cat Larry loses collar in 'most brutal fight yet' with Foreign Office's Palmerston". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  8. ^ Staff (20 November 2017). "British embassy cat in Jordan appointed chief mouser". Reuters. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  9. ^ Kidd, Patrick. "Lapping up the diplomatic life". The Times. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  10. ^ Palmerston [@DiploMog] (7 August 2020). "! Important News !" (Tweet). Retrieved 7 August 2020 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Parkinson, Justin (7 August 2020). "Foreign Office cat Palmerston retires to countryside". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
New title Chief Mouser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office