A British cat has been named the world’s oldest cat just before its 27th birthday.
Flossie’s age is 26 years and 329 days — roughly 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 in her long life. She was recently given over to Cats Protection, a cat charity and adoption agency, and they realized that Flossie had an incredibly long life.
“When we saw Flossie’s vet records listed her age as 27, we were stunned,” said Naomi Rosling, branch co-ordinator for Cats Protection.
He was first adopted in December 1995 by a worker at Merseyside Hospital in Liverpool. She was part of a group of stray dogs roaming near the hospital. Some of the workers there decided to adopt each and she lived with her owner for 10 years, until he passed away.
She was then taken in by her owner’s sister and lived with her for 14 years, until the owner passed away.
At age 24, the son of his previous owner took him in. She lived with him for about three years. He took care of her to the best of his ability, but eventually took her to Cats Protection.
“This was not an easy decision,” said Naomi Rosling at Cats Protection. “She sought our help in the best interest of Flossie. Responsible cat ownership is when one puts an animal’s needs above one’s own feelings.”
Since older cats are less likely to be adopted, it seems likely that Flossie will 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 is 21 years old.
“She was loud for the first few nights because she couldn’t see in the dark and was a little confused in her new surroundings, but she now sleeps through the night, snuggling up 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 loss of hearing and vision, Flossie is still playful, Green said. She is also in good health and enjoys hugs and food. “She doesn’t turn up her nose at the chance of a good meal,” Green said.
“I knew from the beginning that Flossie was a special cat, but I never thought I’d be sharing my home with a world record holder,” she said.
While Flossie is currently the oldest cat in the world, the oldest cat ever to live was Cream Puff, who lived in Texas until 2005 and died at the age of 38 years and 3 days.
The current record for the oldest living dog is held by 22-year-old Gino.
According to the Blue Cross, domestic cats can live as long as 20 years, and cats that are neutered live longer. Cats over the age of 15 are considered geriatric.
The average lifespan of cats is around 13 to 14 years, according to the UK’s Cat Care 4 Life organization, which helps pet owners find accredited clinics looking to care for their cats.
The lifespan of dogs depends on the breed and generally smaller dogs live longer than larger breeds. According to the American Kennel Club, the average lifespan of small dog breeds is 10 to 15 years and some can live as long as 18 years. The average lifespan for medium-sized dog breeds is 10 to 13 years, and for large breeds it is 8 to 12 years.