A cat from the U.K. has been named the world’s oldest cat just ahead of her 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 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 Flossie had an incredibly long life.
“We were flabbergasted when we saw that Flossie’s vet records showed her to be 27 years old,” said Cats Protection’s Branch Co-ordinator Naomi Rosling.
She was first adopted in December 1995 by a worker at the Merseyside hospital in Liverpool. She was a part of a group of strays that roamed around near the hospital. Some of the workers there decided to each adopt one and she lived with her owner for 10 years, until they passed away.
She was then taken in by her owner’s sister and lived with her for 14 years, until that owner passed away.
At age 24, her previous owner’s son took her in. She lived with him for about three years. He took care of her to the best of his ability, but ultimately took her to Cats Protection.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Naomi Rosling at Cats Protection. “He sought our help when it was in Flossie’s best interests. Responsible cat ownership is when someone thinks about an animal’s needs above their feelings.”
Since older cats are less likely to get adopted, it seemed Flossie would spend the rest of her life with Cats Protection. But she was soon adopted by Vicki Green, who has cared for four senior cats, with one living to 21 years old.
“She was loud for the first few nights because she can’t see in the dark and was a bit confused in her new surroundings, but she sleeps through the night now, snuggled on the 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 sight, Flossie is still playful, Green said. She is also in good health and enjoys cuddles 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 didn’t imagine I’d share my home with a world record holder,” she said.
While Flossie is the 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 the oldest dog living is 22-year-old Gino.
Domestic cats can live for up to 20 years, and cats who are neutered have longer lifespans, according to Blue Cross. Cats are considered geriatric at 15 years old.
The average lifespan of cats is probably around 13 to 14 years, according to the U.K.’s Cat Care 4 Life organization, which helps pet owners care for their cats and find accredited clinics.
Dogs’ lifespans depend on breed and generally smaller dogs live longer than bigger breeds. The average lifespan for 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.