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Dog v Cat: felines ahead in rehoming race at Battersea Old Windsor

For the first time in its history, the Old Windsor branch of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has rehomed more cats than dogs. According to statistic released by the rescue centre, they rehomed 618 cats compared to 607 dogs in 2016 - a narrow victory, but a victory nonetheless. In 2015, 'only' 593 cats were rehomed by the centre while 717 canines found their forever home.

Battersea Old Windsor’s Cattery Team Leader Caroline Shilton said, “We’ve seen a surge in the number of people looking for a Battersea cat over the past couple of years and we think the Westminster cats have definitely played a part in this. Since Battersea rehomed Larry to Number 10, Palmerston to the Foreign Office and Gladstone to the Treasury, they’ve become world-famous felines and have really shone the spotlight on Battersea’s cats.”

However, Caroline added, potential owners' lifestyle was also a huge factor: as cats are generally perfectly happy to be left alone for several hours, they are best suited for people who work full time.

"While it’s not true for all cats, many moggies are happy to be left for periods of time. Many potential pet-owners are choosing a cat because it’s a pet that fits in with their lifestyle," Caroline said.

However, Team Cat needs to be on the lookout: according to Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal, the dogs are determined to take back the rehoming crown in 2017, and had an really good start of the year.

“It’s fantastic to see that our cats have been feline the love this year. But while cat rehoming numbers are rising, we sadly saw a drop off in the number of dogs that Battersea Old Windsor rehomed last year compared to 2015," she said. "We want to make sure this year our canines aren’t forgotten and we’re hoping we’ll see more dogs find homes. We’ve had an excellent year so far, and we’ve already rehomed 73 dogs, so I think the kennels are on track to give the cattery team a run for their money!”