15/11/2011 12:37 GMT | Updated 15/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Politicians And Their Pets - PHOTOS

Animals have found their way into political news for a variety of reasons in the past few weeks. Most of the stories seem to have revolved around cats.

There was the cat taken by John Hemming's wife, then the row which erupted between Theresa May and Ken Clarke over whether or not an immigrant was spared deportation because of their cat. A story which turned out to be false.

Even poor Larry, Number 10 Downing Street's mouser, has come under fire for being "not fit for purpose", after mice were seen freely roaming around the PM's residence long after Larry should have got his, er, paws under the table.

But as this slideshow reveals, punishing hours and constant attacks from political opponents have prompted many of our leaders to take solace in the company of furry friends.

This seems to be very common among American presidents, but some of Britain's leaders have also proved to have a penchant for political animals....