Crafty care home ladies knit tiny blankets for kittens and cats in need

7 May 2024

Nimble-fingered ladies at our Dorset care home have knitted tiny woollen blankets to make life more comfortable for kittens and older cats waiting to be rehomed.

A party from Amberwood House in Ferndown visited the town’s Cats Protection rehoming centre to deliver their colourful handiwork.

They brought along 30 gift-wrapped blankets each made from individual squares of wool carefully knitted and stitched together and sized to fit a cat’s travel basket.

Blankets measuring 60cm by 40cm were aimed at kittens while those earmarked for older cats extended to 90cm by 60cm.

Amberwood House resident Mary Whitehouse has been a cat lover since she was a girl when her postman dad used to bring unwanted moggies back to their home.

Her daughters Christine Whitehouse and Elizabeth Doyle helped the blanket-making campaign by stitching together many of the squares Mary and other residents knitted.

After her minibus trip to present the blankets to Cats Protection, Mary said: “It was so wonderful to see how much help they are giving to the cats in their care who are looking for a new home.”

Fellow knitter Betsy Fisher said: “I felt proud to take the knitted blankets over to the cats. I have really enjoyed being part of this project. It’s all for such a great cause. I understand that we weren’t allowed to touch the cats but they were so cute I do just wish I could have cuddled them!”

Companionship Team member Justine Thorpe, who accompanied the residents on their crosstown trip, said: “Many of our ladies love knitting and when we asked around local charities to see if the blankets we were making would be any use, Cats Protection got back and jumped at the chance. For each cat they rehome they like to do so with a blanket.”

Colleague and Companionship Team leader Kirsty Richmond Cole said: “Back in lockdown we knitted a huge amount of squares which we stored in the home’s loft.

“We got them out last year and decided to do something with them. As well as the blankets for Cats Protection, we made woollen bunnies, fingerless gloves and hats out of the squares.

“We sold some of these items at our Christmas market last year in aid of Ferndown Rotary, raising more than £200.

“It has been a really lovely initiative involving residents, their families and team members.”

Cats Protection says there are many reasons why a cat or kitten may need to be rehomed including their owners moving house or experiencing a relationship breakdown.

Rehoming centres also take in lost and found cats who are reunited with their owners wherever possible. Cats can arrive at the centre after they have been abandoned, often sick or injured with the team nursing them back to health so that they can be found new loving homes.

Tanya Burnett, Deputy Manager at Ferndown Rehoming Centre, said: “We are so grateful for the blankets that the ladies from Amberwood House knitted with such care and attention to detail.

“We were also pleased to be able to offer them a tour of the homing centre and although we aren’t able to offer one-to-one time with the cats during tours, we are glad the residents enjoyed being able to see each of the cats in their individual pens, hear their stories and details of the work we do for cats, both at the centre and in the wider community, as we work to help people see the world through cats’ eyes.”

For more information on Cats Protection and to donate or volunteer for the organisation, visit