International Cat Day is the purr-fect occasion to celebrate the amazing records achieved by cats around the globe. From the shortest cat to the moggy with the longest fur, these claw-some creatures prove why cats are one of the most popular animals in the world...
1. Loudest purr
Merlin, a rescue kitty from Torquay, Devon (UK) has plenty to make a noise since earning the Guinness World Records title for the loudest purr by a domestic cat at the age of 13.
He was crowned king of the purrs during filming of the Channel 5 TV show, ‘Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud 2’ in 2015, after registering a purr measuring 67.8 decibels.
2. Shortest cat living
A nine-year-old female Munchkin cat named Lilieput measured 5.25 in (13.3 cm) from the floor to the shoulders on 19 Jul 2013. She is owned by Christel Young (USA) of Napa in California. She is just 1.1 cm taller than a Coca-Cola can.
3. Largest living cat
Hercules is an adult male liger (a feline hybrid from a lion and tigress) housed at Myrtle Beach Safari, a wildlife reserve in South Carolina, USA. He is 333 cm (10 ft 11 in) in length, stands 125 cm (4 ft 1 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 418.2 kg (922 lb). Hercules eats around 12 kg (25 lb) of meat – about the same weight as a two-year-old child – every day, washed down with several litres of water.
4. Tallest domestic cat (ever)
Guinness World Records was sad to hear of the death on 15 August 2012 of Savannah Islands Trouble, who was 48.3 cm (19 in) tall. Owned by Debby Maraspini (USA), Trouble was measured in Reno, Nevada, USA, on 30 October 2011 and remains the tallest domestic cat ever recorded.
5. Longest jump by a cat
Flying feline Alley cat-apulted himself to a record with a 1.82-m (6-ft) leap on 27 Oct 2013. Alley, a rescue cat owned by Samantha Martin (USA), is part of the Amazing Acro-Cats touring show.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Longest fur on a cat
A black-and-white cat called Sophie Smith, owned by Jami Smith (USA), has luxurious fur that measured 10.11 in (25.68 cm) in Oceanside, California, USA, on 9 Nov 2013.
Gone but not fur-gotten is Colonel Meow, the characterful cat who previously held the record for the longest fur, but sadly passed away on 30 Jan 2014. His fur measured 22.87 cm (9 in) and his owner was Anne Marie Avey (USA).
10. Fastest cat breed
The fastest breed of domestic cat is the Egyptian mau, which can attain speeds of up to 48 km/h and has been referred to as a feline greyhound. It is also extremely proficient at leaping, thanks to its very powerful, muscular hind legs.