A cat from the United Kingdom has been declared 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 declared the cat the record holder on Thursday.
Flossie has lived in many homes throughout her 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 stunned to see that Flossie’s vet records showed she was 27 years old,” said Cats Protection’s Branch Coordinator Naomi Rosling.
She was first adopted in December 1995 by a Merseyside Hospital worker in Liverpool. She was part of a group of strays that roamed near the hospital. Some employees there decided to adopt one each and she lived with her owner for 10 years, until they died.
She was then taken in by her owner’s sister and lived with her for 14 years, until that owner passed away.
At the age of 24, her previous owner’s son took her in. She lived with him for about three years. He took care of her the best he could, but eventually brought her to Cats Protection.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” says Cats Protection’s Naomi Rosling. “He sought our help when it was in Flossie’s best interest. Responsible cat ownership is when someone thinks about an animal’s needs over their feelings.”
Since older cats are less likely to be adopted, it looked like Flossie would spend the rest of her life at Cats Protection. But she was soon adopted by Vicki Green, who has cared for four senior cats, one of whom lived to be 21 years old.
“She was noisy the first few nights because she can’t see in the dark and was a little confused in her new environment, but she’s now sleeping through the night, snuggled up in my bed,” Green said.
“Sometimes she misses her litter box or needs help grooming herself, but I can help with that. We’re in this together,” she said.
Despite her inability to hear and lack of sight, Flossie is still playful, Green said. She is otherwise in good health and loves to cuddle and eat. “She never turns up her nose at the chance of a good meal,” Green said.
“I knew from the start that Flossie was a special cat, but I didn’t think I’d be sharing my home with a world record holder,” she said.
While Flossie is currently the world’s oldest cat, Creme Puff was the oldest cat to ever live, living in Texas until 2005, dying at 38 years and 3 days old.
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 have longer lifespans, according to Blue Cross. Cats are considered geriatric when they are 15 years old.
The average lifespan of cats is probably about 13 to 14 years, according to the UK’s Cat Care 4 Life organization, which helps pet owners care for their cats and find licensed clinics.
The lifespan of dogs depends on the breed, and in general, smaller dogs live longer than larger breeds. The average lifespan for small dog breeds is 10 to 15 years, and some can live as long as 18 years, 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.