A 26-year-old British feline in southeast London has set a new world record for the oldest living cat.
The Guinness World Records confirmed that Flossie, a beautiful brown and black, looks just as good and is just as playful as a kitten even though she is fully grown. It was also noted that, in human years, she is 120 years old. Moreover, despite having lived in many different homes throughout her life, she is still very gentle.
Now, besides roaming homes, Flossie’s current owner, Vicki, says that she is still curious but suffers from sight impairments as well as deafness. However, Flossie is not bothered by her deafness and quickly adapts to new environments despite her poor eyesight.
Everyday, Vicki added, she can either be found purring and napping by her owner or curled up in her favorite yellow blanket. Flossie’s rescuer also noted that the she enjoys a nice, big bowl of food and…never turns her nose up at the chance of a good meal.”
Cat’s journey to new record
Flossie’s record journey began in August 2022, when the feline’s future suddenly took an uncertain turn after finding herself homeless. This was after over twenty-six years of happiness.
Her story begins in December 1995, when she was adopted by a worker at the Merseyside hospital. Before the individual took her home, Flossie had apparently been a young stray living in a colony of cats near the hospital.
Flossie’s circumstances changed when hospital workers took such pity on her that each of them decided to adopt one cat from the colony. Suddenly, after her first few months of living feral, she found herself in a place filled with love, warm meals, and toys. She lived with her new owner until that owner passed away about ten years later.
Flossie was then taken in by the owner’s sister, who also sadly passed away after fourteen years of providing Flossie with a home. Thus, at the age of 24, Flossie’s hunt for another house began once again.
Flossie fortunately found shelter when the nephew of the first and son of the second owner gave her sanctuary. Yet, after only three years, his situation led him to make the difficult decision of entrusting her to volunteers at Cats Protection’s Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough and District Branch.
Cats Protection service said that it is always heart-breaking to say goodbye to a family pet. When the owner realized he couldn’t tend to Flossie’s needs, however, he felt it was best to hand the cat over to others who could better care for her.
Naomi Rosling at Cats Protection says, “It wasn’t an easy decision. 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.”
World’s oldest cat seemed destined for Cats Protection
Because most cat owners prefer the idea of adopting a much younger cat, Flossie seemed destined to stay with Cats Protection, where she would have spent the rest of her life looking for a home.
Nonetheless, Flossie was lucky because before too long, a match was made with Vicki Green, a possible new cat mom. The event marked a happy and perhaps unexpected new chapter in Flossie’s long life.
Vicki is an executive assistant and loving fur mom with experience caring for senior cats. She had no idea she would welcome a record holder into her home.
In speaking about the adoption, Cats Protection’s Branch Coordinator Naomi Rosling said, “We were flabbergasted when we saw that Flossie’s vet records showed her to be 27 years old.”
Nevertheless, it was a difficult beginning for them both, Vicki, the new owner, said.
“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,” Vicki reported.
“Our new life together already feels like home for Flossie,” she reported, “which makes me so happy. 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.”
Vicki says Flossie is “affectionate and playful, [and] especially sweet when you remember how old she is. I’m immensely proud that Cats Protection matched me with such an amazing cat.”
Old pets a source of joy
While welcoming a senior or disabled animal into a home has brought many pet owners incredible joy, for some, it is not considered an option. This is mostly because one is required to be aware of the animal’s needs. Yet, Vicki knew exactly what to expect and how to cater to an elderly cat.
Regarding her own experience, Flossie’s owner said, “I’ve always wanted to give older cats a comfortable later life.”
Honeybun, her previous pet and loyal companion of a lifetime, lived until the age of 21. For that reason, she had already experienced the first-hand the joys of caring for an older pet. Having had that experience also helped her to understand Flossie’s needs and prepare her little by little with day-to-day tasks that are normally difficult for a cat of advanced age.
“She sometimes misses her litter box or needs help grooming herself, but I can help with all of that,” Vicki said. “We’re in this together.”
The previous oldest cat that ever lived was Creme Puff, who was born in Texas on August 3, 1967 and lived until August 6, 2005, surpassing Flossie’s age by a full decade.
The oldest living canine and current record holder is a 22-year-old, according to the Guinness World Records.