Flossie, pictured here with new owner Vicki, has been named the world’s oldest cat by the Guiness Book of World Records.
A moggie from the UK has been named the world’s oldest cat. The Guiness Book of World records along with Cats Protection have recognised Flossie as the oldest cat living, just weeks before she celebrates her 27th birthday.
The record-breaking status marks a turnaround in fortunes for the feline, who was born in the same year as England goal scorer Jack Grealish. Poor Flossie was signed over to Cats Protection volunteers in Kent and faced an uncertain future, aged 26, after her owner was unable to support the welfare of such an elderly cat.
She was given a new lease of life when the charity matched her to a loving new home with Vicki Green of Orpington, south east London, who had experience of caring for senior cats. What Vicki couldn’t have known was that she was giving a home to a record breaker.
Vicki, who is also aged 27, said: “I knew from the start that Flossie was a special cat, but I didn’t imagine I’d be sharing my home with a Guinness World Records title holder. She’s so affectionate, playful and sweet, especially when you remember how old she is.
“I’m immensely proud that Cats Protection matched me with such an amazing cat. She’s deaf and has failing eyesight but none of that seems to bother her. She’s completely with it, loves affection and has a very good appetite. She never turns her nose up at the chance of a good meal, except when she’s snuggled on her favourite yellow blanket.”
Naomi Rosling, coordinator at Cats Protection’s Tunbridge, Crowborough and District Branch said: “We were flabbergasted when vet records showed Flossie to be nearly 27 years old. She’s the oldest cat I’ve ever met; at least 120 in human years. If I’m in such good shape when I’m her age, with someone who does what’s best for me when I need it most, I shall be a very happy lady.”
Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief at Guinness World Records, said: "We were so excited to hear about the lovely Flossie and celebrate her long life - it’s not every day you come across a cat who has been around since the mid-nineties. This is the human equivalent of over 120 years old, which would put her on par with Jeanne Calment, the French supercentenarian who lived to 122 years 164 days and holds the record for the oldest person ever.
“We’re happy to see Flossie settled and enjoying all the home comforts she deserves in her later life. A huge congratulations to Flossie, a highly deserving record-breaker."
It’s a heartwarming final chapter in the story of a cat who remained in the same extended family since being homed as a young stray in 1995. Flossie had been living in a colony of cats near a Merseyside hospital, when two workers took pity on them and each homed a cat.
They lived together for 10 years until the owner died and Flossie was taken in by her sister. After another 14 happy years, the new owner also passed away.
Flossie was aged at least 24 at that time. For the next three years, Flossie lived with the woman’s son, until his situation led him to make the difficult decision to relinquish the family cat to volunteers at Cats Protection’s Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough and District Branch.
Naomi is confident the owner acted in the interests of his cat. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” she said. “He’d promised to take care of Flossie’s needs but, in ways that matter most, that is exactly what he has done. 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 own feelings.”
Flossie has settled well since moving in with Executive Assistant Vicki. “She was loud for 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, snuggled on the bed with me,” Vicki said. “Our new life together already feels like home for Flossie, which makes me so happy.”
Vicki’s previous cat Honeybun lived until the age of 21, so she knew what to expect. “Older cats can need particular care and being the oldest living cat, Flossie isn’t any different,” Vicki added. “She sometimes misses her litter box or needs help grooming herself, but I can help with all of that. We’re in this together.”
Cats Protection created Mature Moggies Days (June 16) to celebrate older cats and recognise their welfare needs. The charity campaigns so that older cats can feel at home in their later years.
Vicki is keen to encourage other potential owners to consider older cats, she said: “I’ve always wanted to give older cats a comfortable later life. All they really want is a comfy bed in a warm loving home and they give so much love in return.
She said: “Cats Protection has a lot of mature cats in need of homes and they don’t need to be high maintenance. All they really want is a cuddle and somewhere warm to sleep. I’m glad that Cats Protection matched me with Flossie; adopting her has been rewarding for us both.”