Flossie the cat, just a couple weeks shy of her 27th birthday, has been crowned the world’s oldest living cat by Guinness World Records. The brown-and-black cat from southeast London is roughly 120 human years old, according to a news release.
Flossie of Orpington, UK, is in good health despite her incredible age, though she is deaf and poor-sighted, her owner 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,” said owner Vicki Green, who recently adopted the elderly pet.
“She’s so affectionate and playful, especially sweet when you remember how old she is,” Green added.
Flossie has had many homes since she was born on December 29, 1995, outliving two owners. But in 2022, she found herself unexpectedly homeless when she was turned into UK pet rescue Cats Protection this past August.
“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.
Flossie’s life story began as a stray kitten in Merseyside, Liverpool, where she lived in a colony of cats close to a hospital, according to Guinness World Records. A group of hospital workers took pity on the months-old kittens and each decided to adopt one.
Flossie had a good life with her first owner until they passed away 10 years later. The feline was then taken in by her previous owner’s sister.
Flossie lived in her new home for 14 years until her second owner also passed away. Then aged 24, the son of Flossie’s previous owner tried to take care of her as best he could.
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Flossie spent three years with the son before he made the difficult decision to entrust her with volunteers at Cats Protection; he had realized he couldn’t adequately meet her needs anymore, according to the news release.
“Because most cat owners prefer the idea of adopting a much younger cat, Flossie seemed destined to stay with Cats Protection,” according to the news release, “facing the serious possibility of spending the rest of her life looking for a home.”
But soon enough, Flossie was matched with her new owner and Green reports that she is adjusting well and sleeps snuggled up to her in bed.
“I adopted her on the basis that this is her retirement home and she gets whatever she wants,” Green said in a video for Guinness, adding that she hopes Flossie’s story encourages more potential cat owners to adopt elderly cats.
Green previously owned a cat who lived until 21, named Honeybun, so she has first-hand experience taking care of a senior kitty.
“(Flossie) sometimes misses her litter box or needs help grooming herself, but I can help with all of that. We’re in this together.”
Guinness reports that most days you can find Flossie napping beside her owner, curled up in her favourite yellow blanket, or enjoying a big bowl of food.
“She never turns her nose up at the chance of a good meal,” Green says.
Flossie may be the oldest living cat but she isn’t the oldest cat who ever lived. That title belongs to a cat named Creme Puff who lived a whopping 38 years and 3 days.
Creme Puff’s owner, Jake Perry of Austin, Texas, also happened to own the sixth oldest cat who ever lived, named Granpa Rexs Allen, who lived for 34 years.
In a profile by Atlas Obscura, Perry said that a special diet and plenty of stimulation and fun activities were the key to his cats’ longevity. He says he feeds them dry commercial cat food as well as cooked eggs, turkey bacon, broccoli, coffee with cream, and, every two days, an eyedropper full of red wine to “circulate the arteries.”