International Cat Day is celebrated each year on 8 August, ever since it was created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare back in 2002.
To honour the occasion, we’ve created a timeline of the most interesting, shocking and adorable feline achievements, from 1952 to 2017.
1952: Most prolific cat
A tabby cat named Dusty, born 1935, of Bonham, Texas, USA produced 420 kittens during her breeding life. She gave birth to her last litter (a single kitten) on 12 June 1952.
1970: Largest litter - domestic cat
Considering that the average litter for a domestic cat is five, 19 kittens is a big achievement. The furry bundles were born in 1970 to a Burmese-Siamese cross belonging to V Gane of Kingham, UK.
1986: Fattest cat
In previous editions of the Guinness World Records book, the editors recorded heaviest animals and pets. The heaviest cat of all, for example, was Himmy, owned by Thomas Vyse (Australia), who weighed 21.3kg (46lb 15 ½ oz) when it died on 12th March 1986 at the age of 10 years 4 months.
Himmy – who had to be transported in a wheelbarrow – was thankfully unchallenged until 1998, when editors and record managers decided to discontinue the category to deter people from over-feeding their pets just to appear in the book. Today, we still monitor animal weight and size by breed – such as the largest breed of horse – but not individual specimens.
1988: Wealthiest cat
When Ben Rea (UK) died in May 1988, he bequeathed his £7-million ($12.5-million) fortune to Blackie, the last surviving of the 15 cats he shared his mansion with. The millionaire antiques dealer and recluse refused to recognize his family in his will and split the majority of his wealth between three cat charities, with the instruction to look after his beloved pet.
1996: Most expensive wedding for pets
Feline sweethearts Phet and Ploy did nothing by halves when they got hitched in 1996. Phet, the groom, arrived at the ceremony by helicopter, while his bride was dropped off in a Rolls‑Royce car!
The total cost of the unusual union came to a whopping $39,443 (£25,230). The couple were known as “diamond eye” cats, as both shared a rare form of “glaucoma” in which a blueish film forms over the surface of the eyes.
1998: Oldest cat café still in existence
The oldest cat café still in existence is Cat Flower Garden, located just off Zhishan Station in the Shilin District of Taipei, Chinese Taipei, and opened in 1998. A recent tally of its animal members included 15 cats as well as two dogs and one bird.
Cats are permitted to jump onto tables and even onto the patrons, and snacks for them can be purchased in the café. The café's patrons are mostly young Taiwanese and Japanese tourists, and a minimum drink fee is required in order to enter the café. This fee's purpose is to ward off would-be loiterers who only wish to experience being there but have no intention of purchasing anything to eat or drink. The menu offers a wide range of edibles, including cat-shaped biscuits, and the café's shelves are stocked with cat books. Following its success, other cat cafes have opened in Taipei, with over a dozen currently in existence there, plus many others elsewhere in the world.
1999: Longest post-earthquake survival by a cat
In December 1999, 80 days following an earthquake that struck Taiwan on 21 September killing an estimated 2,400 people, a cat was discovered alive after being trapped by a message board that had fallen during the quake and pinned the cat to ground in the rubble of a collapsed building in Taichung, Taiwan.
The cat, dehydrated and barely breathing, weighed less than half the weight of a healthy cat that size and was rushed to a veterinary hospital where it made a full recovery.
2001: Longest cat whiskers
At 19 cm (7.5 in), the longest whiskers on a cat belong to Missi, a Maine coon who lives with her owner, Kaija Kyllönen. The whiskers were measured in Iisvesi, Finland, on 22 December 2005.
2004: Oldest cat ever
A cat named Creme Puff, born on 3 August 1967, lived until 6 August 2005 – an amazing 38 years 3 days! She lived with her owner, Jake Perry, in Austin, Texas, USA.
2011: Largest collection of cat-related items
Carmen de Aldana (Guatemala) has 21,321 different cat-related items, as of 14 March 2011, which she has been collecting since 1954.
Carmen started her collection after the purchase of three little ceramic kittens in 1954 when she was 13 years old. Only one of them still exists. She now has a private museum of cat items at her family house in Puerto Barrios, Izabal. Among 23,007 of her collection, 21,321 are counted as no duplicates.
2013: Newest breed of cat
The newest recognized breed of domestic cat is the Selkirk rex, also known as the poodle cat, on account of its thick curly fur, which is composed of three separate layers. It arose from a spontaneous genetic mutation originating in Montana, USA, in 1987, from which the breed was developed. In 2013, it was officially recognized as a genetically distinct line by the University of Veterinary Medicine in the USA, and as a valid separate breed it has been recognized by the International Cat Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association, and the Cat Fanciers' Association.
2015: Loudest purr by a domestic cat
The loudest purr by a domestic cat is 67.8 db(A) and was achieved by Merlin, owned by Tracy Westwood (UK), at her home in Torquay, Devon, UK, on 2 April 2015.
2016: Most tricks performed by a cat in one minute
Super-talented Didga performed 24 tricks with her owner Robert Dollwet (USA/AUS) in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia, on 5 Feb 2016. The tricks included jumping, high-fiving, spinning, rolling over and riding a skateboard.
2017: Most views for a cat on YouTube
Full of character and sublimely lazy, Maru is the most viewed cat on YouTube. His name means “round” in Japanese, and it’s partly his tubbiness that has won the Scottish fold cat so many fans. Videos of Maru getting stuck in various places and containers, or just taking life easy, have been watched 340,280,203 times.