Just before her 27th birthday, a British cat has been officially recognized as the oldest living cat.
Don’t let appearances fool you: Flossie might still be as beautiful and playful as a kitty, but she’s a senior lady.
At the nyan-tastic age of 26 years 316 days, roughly the feline equivalent of 120 human years, the record-breaking pet is in good health, although poorly sighted and deaf.
Flossie, a beautiful brown and black kitty with a gentle disposition and who loves cuddles and food, has seen different homes throughout her long life.
Her current owner, Vicki, says that she is still playful and curious, unbothered by her deafness and quickly adapts to new environments despite her lack of sight.
Every day, you can either find Flossie purring and napping by her owner, curled in her favourite yellow blanket, or enjoying a nice, big bowl of food.
"She never turns her nose up at the chance of a good meal," Vicki says.
Flossie’s journey to confirm her record began in August 2022, when she was handed into the care of Cats Protection, UK’s leading cat welfare charity.
"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 upon the incredible discovery.
"She's the oldest cat I've ever met - around 120 in human years" - Naomi Rosling
Recently, Flossie's future had taken an uncertain turn: in 2022 she found herself homeless, after over 26 years of happiness.
Because most cat owners prefer the idea of adopting a much younger cat, Flossie seemed destined to stay with Cats Protection, facing the serious possibility of spending the rest of her life looking for a home.
Flossie, however, was lucky.
Before too long, a match was made with a possible new mum.
This marks a happy, and perhaps unexpected, next chapter in her long life.
Flossie’s story begins in December 1995, when she was adopted by a worker at the Merseyside hospital.
At the time, she roamed free as a young stray and lived in a colony of cats close to the hospital.
Some workers took pity on the kitties, only a few months old at the time, and decided to each adopt one.
After living the first few months of her life as a feral cat, Flossie found herself surrounded by love, warm meals and toys.
She lived with her owner until they passed away, ten years later.
After that, Flossie was taken in by her previous owner’s sister.
Sadly, after 14 years of living in the new home, the kitty found herself yet again in need of a house when her second owner also passed away. She was then aged 24.
Fortunately, her previous owner’s son gave her sanctuary and decided to take care of her to the best of his ability.
For the next three years, Flossie lived with him.
However, sometimes, difficult choices need to be made.
Every pet owner has found themselves in front of a difficult situation at least once, perhaps even asking themselves: 'am I the right person to take care of this animal?'.
Flossie's owner's situation led him to make the difficult decision to entrust his cat to volunteers at Cats Protection's Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough and District Branch.
It’s always heart-breaking to say goodbye to a family pet, but he realized that he couldn’t tend to Flossie’s needs and made the responsible choice to entrust her to the care of a charity that could, truly and completely, give the kitty the care, attention and companionship she required as an elderly cat.
The decision was taken entirely in the interest of the cat, although that didn’t make it any easier.
"It wasn’t an easy decision," says Naomi Rosling at Cats Protection.
"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."
It was then that Flossie met Vicki Green.
An Executive Assistant and loving fur mum with experience caring for senior cats, Vicki had no idea she would welcome into her house a record holder.
Today, Vicki shares uplifting news on Flossie’s well-being: she is in good health and adjusted easily to her new house and her new mum.
"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."
"If I’m in such good shape when I'm her age with someone who does what’s best for me when I need it most, I shall be a very happy lady." - Vicki Green
With her new favourite yellow blanket, a warm bed and loads of love and cuddles, Flossie is now a very happy cat, and Vicki is excited to begin this new chapter of their life together.
"Our new life together already feels like home for Flossie, 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.
"She's so affectionate and playful, especially sweet when you remember how old she is. I'm immensely proud that Cats Protection matched me with such an amazing cat."
Vicki hopes that Flossie's story will also encourage future and potential cat owners to consider giving sanctuary to older cats.
All these animals want is a comfy bed and a peaceful, loving home. They can offer so much affection, but often find themselves ending their days in shelters.
Welcoming a senior or disabled animal into their home has brought many, many pet owners incredible joys, as long as one is aware of the needs of the animal. However, it's often not even considered as an option.
"I’ve always wanted to give older cats a comfortable later life," Vicki said regarding her own experience.
Vicki knew what to expect and how to cater to the needs of an elderly cat.
Her previous pet and loyal companion of a lifetime, Honeybun, lived until the age of 21 and Vicki experienced first-hand the joys of taking care of an old, sweet pet.
She understands Flossie’s needs and is prepared to help her with the little, day-by-day tasks that might prove difficult for a cat her age.
"She sometimes misses her litter box or needs help grooming herself, but I can help with all of that. We’re in this together."
"Cats Protection has a lot of mature cats in need of a home and they don’t need to be high maintenance. All they want is a cuddle and somewhere warm to sleep. I’m glad that Cats Protection matched me with Flossie; adopting her has been rewarding for us both."
Oldest pups (like our current record holder for the oldest dog living, 22-year-old Gino) have always been stars at Guinness World Records.
Creme Puff, the oldest cat who ever lived, surpasses Flossie’s age by a full decade.
Born in Texas, this amazing record breaker was born on 3 August 1967 and lived until 6 August 2005. That amounts to the grand old age of 38 years and 3 days.
The record-breaking cat lived with his owner, Jake Perry, in Austin, Texas, USA.
We wish Flossie the best, and we look forward to seeing her next adventures.
In the meantime, rest assured that this beautiful kitty is being cuddled and adored by her loving family.