Foreign Office staff told to stop feeding Palmerston the cat amid concerns about his mousing skills

Palmerston the cat has become a popular addition to the Foreign Office.

But senior diplomats are concerned that he has become rather too well-loved. Staff have been asked to avoid giving the department’s chief mouser tidbits to eat amid office rumours that he has become less effective at his job of catching mice.

A memo sent out to directors in the government department earlier this week asked them to ensure that the black-and-white tomcat was not fed by their staff.

The message is thought to be the first time the office of the Permanent Under Secretary of State Sir Simon McDonald has had to intervene to keep tabs on the health and weight of the department’s chief mouser.

Sources suggested that while most staff had not noticed a change in Palmerston’s waistline, senior management were keen to keep tabs on the cat’s calorie intake, prompting speculation that his mousing skills had fallen below par.

Sir Simon’s office is in charge of the welfare of the sole feline member of Foreign Office staff, who joined the department from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in April 2016.

They are keen to ensure he returns to his handler to be fed so they can keep on top of what exactly he is eating.

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