A UK cat has been named the world’s oldest cat just before its 27th birthday.
Flossie is 26 years and 329 days old – roughly the equivalent of 120 human years, according to Guinness World Records, which named the cat the record holder on Thursday.
Flossie lived in many homes throughout her long life. She was recently given to Cats Protection, a charity and adoption organization for cats, and they realized that Flossie had an incredibly long life.
“We were flabbergasted when we saw that Flossie’s vet records showed she was 27,” said Cats Protection branch coordinator Naomi Rosling.
She was first adopted in December 1995 by a worker at Merseyside Hospital in Liverpool. She was one of a group of stray dogs that roamed near the hospital. Some of the workers decided to adopt one each and she lived with her owner for 10 years, until their deaths.
She was then taken in by her owner’s sister and lived with her for 14 years, until the owner’s death.
At 24, the son of her former owner took her in. She lived with him for about three years. He took care of her to the best of his abilities, but eventually took her to Cats Protection.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Naomi Rosling of Cats Protection. “He asked for 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 looked like Flossie would spend the rest of her life with Cats Protection. But she was soon adopted by Vicki Green, who cared for four senior cats, including one living up to 21.
“She was noisy the first few nights because she couldn’t see in the dark and was a bit confused in her new surroundings, but she sleeps through the night now, curled up on the bed with me,” Green said.
“She sometimes misses her litter box or needs help grooming, but I can help with all of that. We’re in this together,” she said.
Despite her inability to hear and lack of eyesight, Flossie is still playful, Green said. She is also healthy and enjoys cuddles and food. “She never looks up from a good meal,” Green said.
“I knew from the start that Flossie was a special cat, but I never imagined that I would share my home with a world record holder,” she said.
While Flossie is currently the oldest cat in the world, the oldest cat to ever live was Creme Puff, who lived in Texas until 2005 and died at 38 years and 3 days old.
The current record holder for oldest dog is 22-year-old Gino.
Domestic cats can live up to 20 years, and neutered cats have longer lifespans, according to Blue Cross. Cats are considered geriatric at age 15.
The average lifespan for cats is probably around 13 to 14 years, according to UK organization Cat Care 4 Life, which helps pet owners care for their cats and find approved clinics.
The lifespan of dogs depends on the breed and generally small dogs live longer than large breeds. The average lifespan for small dog breeds is 10 to 15 years, and some can live up to 18, according to the American Kennel Club. The average lifespan for medium-sized dog breeds is 10-13 years and larger breeds are 8-12 years.