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Knitting pattern: catnip mice

15 September 2015 ( 01 April 2020 )

Use this free knitting pattern from Cats Protection to knit charming little catnip mice to help improve the lives of unwanted cats waiting for their forever home.

Knitted catnip mice
Knit these cheerful mice for unwanted cats cared for by Cats Protection

Crafty cat-lovers can help unwanted cats by knitting cosy blankets and catnip mice for Cats Protection, the volunteer-run rescue that rehomes over 205,000 cats each year from its adoption centres across the country, as part of its annual knitting bee.

Blankets and toys can be dropped off at their rehoming centres and shops, as well as at the Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, London, from October 7-11.

“The finished items have been a great success with the cats in our care, with the mice providing hours of fun and the blankets offering a snug place to curl up on,” says Events Manager Emma Osbourne. “We’ve been amazed by the colour and pattern combinations chosen by knitters and were really looking forward to seeing how creative they will be this year.”

Tips for knitting cat toys

Cats Protection advises that when knitting a toy or blanket for a cat it’s best to avoid using stretchy yarns or small plastic items, such as beads for mouse eyes, to reduce the chance of cats harming themselves. Loose weave blanket patterns involving the use of large needles are best avoided too.

Cats Protection also suggests that cat owners regularly inspect cat toys for signs of wear or damage, and recommend not leaving cats unattended with knitted toys, and not to use knitted toys or blankets with cats that have wool-chewing habits.

Captain Cat-Battler the catnip mouse

This pattern is also available as a handy PDF for you to print out or save.

The famous Captain Cat-Battler was first created by Lauren O’Farrell for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, who have enable Cats Protection to also use the pattern to benefit the cats in their care. He is seen here in the distinctive Cats Protection colour scheme of yellow and blue, but you can use any colour you wish.

Size: 10cm (4”) approx. from nose to start of tail

You will need

  • 3.5mm knitting needles
  • 15g Acrylic DK (body): any colour will do but use of CP’s colours (black or blue and yellow) preferred!
  • 15g Acrylic DK (body, eye and eye patch): please see comment above about colours
  • 15g Pink Acrylic DK (ears, nose and tail)
  • Stuffing (innards)
  • Small squeaker (optional)
  • Catnip pouch (optional)
  • Fierce feline-fighting detemination (essential)


K = knit
P = purl
M1 = make one (make stitch from yarn between stitches)

To make Captain Cat-Battler Catnip Mouse


Cast on 2 stitches in yellow
Row 1. K across
Row 2. P across
Row 3. K, M1, K (3sts)
Row 4. P across
Row 5. K, M1, K, M1, K (5 sts)
Row 6. P across
Row 7. K, M1, K3, M1, K (7 sts)
Row 8. P across
Row 9. K, M1, K5, M1, K (9 sts)
Row 10. P across
Row 11. K, M1, K7, M1, K (11 sts)
Row 12. P across
Row 13. K, M1, K9, M1, K (13 sts)
Row 14. P across
Row 15. K, M1, K11, M1, K (15 sts)
Row 16. P across
Row 17. K, M1, K13, M1, K (17 sts)
Row 18. P across
Change to blue
Row 19. K, M1, K15, M1, K (19 sts)
Row 20. P across
Change to yellow
Row 21. K, M1, K17, M1, K (21 sts)
Row 22. P across
Change to blue
Row 23. K, M1, K19, M1, K (23 sts)
Row 24. P across
Change to yellow
Row 25. K, M1, K21, M1, K (25 sts)
Row 26. P across
Change to blue
Row 27. K across
Row 28. P across
Change to yellow
Row 29- 35. Repeat rows 27 and 28 changing from yellow to blue every two rows ending in a yellow knit row
Row 36. P across in yellow
Cut about 15cm of yarn
Thread yarn through remaining stitches and draw tight to make round ‘tail end’ of mouse.

Ears (make 2)

Cast on 5 sts in pink
Row 1. K across
Row 2. P across
Row 3. K across
Row 4. P across
Row 5 K across
Cut about 10 cm of yarn
Thread yarn through stitches and draw tight to make round part of ear.
Darn in yarn end.
Sew cast on yarn through bottom stitches and draw tight to make lower part of ear.


1. Sew two sides of mouse body together from ‘tail end’ to ‘nose end’ (making sure your stripes match up) leaving a hole for stuffing.

2. Insert stuffing (and optional squeaker and catnip) into mouse body. Wrapping squeaker and catnip in stuffing before inserting to make sure they’re squidgy and don’t make your mouse lumpy.

3. Finish sewing body right up to the tip of the nose.

4. Sew on ears using cast on yarn ends.

5. Embroider nose with pink yarn, running end of yarn through body and out of ‘tail end’ to form tail.

6. Tie knot at end of tail.

7. Embroider eye and square eyepatch with band. Eyepatch band should run from left ear, across his face to first blue stripe under his chin.

8. Greet your new roguish rodent with a cheery “Yaaaaaaaaaarn, me hearty!” and then launch him towards the nearest cat.

Pattern © Lauren O’Farrell (www.whodunnknit)

Interested in knitting or sewing for charity? Read our ideas for ways your skills can help charities

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