On average, domesticated cats have a lifespan of about 15 years. Every once in a while, though, you come across a cat who is wise beyond its years, having lived a surprisingly long life. The Guinness Book of World Records honors these cats with titles such as “Oldest Cat Ever” and “Oldest Living Cat”. Today, we’ve collected a few secrets from these cats’ owners to see if we can figure out how to make our cats live longer too!
On April 8th, 2016, Guinness announced that a Siamese cat named Scooter had won the record for oldest living cat. Born on March 26th, 1986, Scooter had witnessed everything from Regan’s presidency to society’s obsession with twerking, ultimately living to the ripe old age of 30 years.
In an interview with the Telegraph UK, Scooter’s owner attributed his longevity to his love of exercise and traveling.
The news outlet reported, “He likes to wake [his owner] up at 6am every morning by jumping around her bed.” He has also visited 45 out of 50 American states.
Unfortunately, Scooter passed away shortly after being named record holder. In the end though, the fun-loving Siamese had lived the equivalent of about 136 human years.
After Scooter passed away, a half-main coon cat named Corduroy was declared the current oldest living cat. The kitty had been chosen by owner Ashley Reed Okura of the United States when she was only 7 years old. Ever since then, the 27-year old cat has been in her care. When Ashley learned about Corduroy’s achievement, she was completely over the moon. “We are thrilled!” she told Guinness. “I bought Corduroy a mouse to celebrate… it is wonderful to share him with the world.”
Although Corduroy has since passed away, Ashley believes that, like Scooter, exercise and activity were key to Corduroy’s long life.
“I strongly believe the key to his longevity is the fact we did not declaw him and allowed him to go outside. He was able to defend himself and exercise his body and mind by hunting.”
Although Scooter and Corduroy both lived shockingly long lives, neither of them comes close to Guinness’s ‘Oldest cat ever’, Crème Puff from Austin, Texas.
Crème Puff, owned by Jake Perry, was born on August 3rd, 1967, and shocked the world by living to 38 years old. Now, as much as genetics are likely a factor, it’s interesting to note that Perry’s previous cat Grandpa Rex Allen had also held this very same title before dying at 34 years old and being beat by Crème Puff.
So, it’s fair to say Jake Perry’s is doing something right.
Perry’s vet Bruce Hardesty has examined most of Perry’s pets and says that at least 6 have made it to 30 years old with many more reaching at least 25. Although Perry feeds them a (non-recommended) diet that includes a daily dose of coffee, it’s unclear why his cats live so damn long. Experts have suggested that spaying or neutering cats can extend their lifetime— but, many of us have sterilized cats that don’t live anywhere to 30 years old, so there has to be something else working behind the scenes.
On top of homemade breakfasts and tons of love, Perry also has another special something for his cats— described by former neighbor Diane Bennett as a “virtual jungle gym/cat playground”.
In an interview with Atlas Obscura, Bennett said, “[Perry] had built tracks along the walls so that the cats could transit the house like hamsters in tubes.”
Nobody can say he isn’t dedicated.
While it’s impossible to predict what exactly will make a cat live beyond its years, these 3 record-breaking cat owners all seem to follow one common practice: letting their cat live and explore like they’re supposed to.
With a doubt, there are likely many other things involved in cat longevity, but by letting your cat work both its body and mind on a daily basis, these cat owners believe you are already half-way there.
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