A cat from Great Britain has been named the world’s oldest cat just before her 27th birthday.
Flossie is 26 years and 329 days old – about the equivalent of 120 human years, according to Guinness World Records, which named the cat the record holder on Thursday.
Flossie has lived in many homes throughout her long life. She was recently given to Cats Protection, a cat charity and adoption agency, and they realized that Flossie had an incredibly long life.
“We were surprised when we saw Flossie’s veterinary records showed she was 27 years old,” said Cats Protection’s department co-ordinator Naomi Rosling.
She was first adopted in December 1995 by a worker at Merseyside Hospital in Liverpool. She was part of a group of strays that roamed the vicinity of the hospital. Some of the workers there decided to adopt each of them and she lived with her owner for 10 years, until they passed away.
She was then taken in by the owner’s sister and lived with her for 14 years, until the owner passed away.
At the age of 24, the son of her previous owner took her in. She lived with him for about three years. He took care of her as best he could, but eventually took her to Cats Protection.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Naomi Rosling of Cats Protection. “He sought our help when it was in Flossie’s best interest. Responsible cat ownership is when someone puts an animal’s needs above their feelings.”
Since older cats are less likely to be adopted, it seemed that Flossie would spend the rest of her life with Cats Protection. But she was soon adopted by Vicki Green, who has taken care of four senior cats, one of whom lives to be 21 years old.
“She was loud the first few nights because she can’t see in the dark and was a little confused in her new surroundings, but she’s sleeping through the night now, snuggling in bed with me,” Green said.
“She sometimes misses her litter box or needs help grooming herself, but I can help with all of that. We’re in this together,” she said.
Despite her inability to hear and lack of vision, Flossie is still playful, Green said. She is also in good health and likes treats and food. “She never turns her nose up at the chance of a good meal,” Green said.
“I knew from the start that Flossie was a special cat, but I never imagined I would be sharing my home with a world record holder,” she said.
While Flossie is currently the oldest cat in the world, the oldest cat to have ever lived was Creme Puff, who lived in Texas until 2005 and died at 38 years and 3 days.
The current record holder for the oldest living dog is 22-year-old Gino.
Domestic cats can live up to 20 years, and cats that are neutered live longer, according to Blue Cross. Cats are considered geriatric at 15 years of age.
The average lifespan of cats is likely to be around 13 to 14 years, according to the UK’s Cat Care 4 Life organisation, which helps pet owners care for their cats and find accredited clinics.
The lifespan of dogs depends on the breed and generally smaller dogs live longer than larger breeds. The average lifespan of small dog breeds is 10 to 15 years, and some can live up to 18 years old, according to the American Kennel Club. The average lifespan for medium-sized dog breeds is 10 to 13 years, and for larger breeds it is 8 to 12 years.