Cats Protection’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said the knitting bee was a great way to use up scraps of wool and help cats in the charity’s care at the same time. “Our knitting bee is always a huge hit with craft enthusiasts and cat lovers alike, so we’re hoping to collect more blankets and mice than ever this year. All the blankets and mice we receive are sent to our 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.”
Knitters wishing to support the project can come up with their own designs or follow the popular Captain Cat-Battler knitted mouse pattern - originally designed by Lauren O'Farrell (www.whodunnknit.com) – which will be available free of charge at the show. Donations of knitted blankets or mice can be dropped off at the stand or at any of the charity’s branches, shops or adoption centres.
The charity 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.
Cats Protection attends a range of large lifestyle shows to raise awareness of the charity and its activities, as well as to share information about cats and their care. This year’s shows schedule can be viewed here. Visitors to the charity’s award-winning stands can use touch screen facilities to sign Cats Protection’s online airgun licensing petition and see some of the cats in the charity’s care that are looking for homes as well as browse a large retail range of cat-themed gift merchandise.
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.