Poppy, a cat in Bournemouth, England, is 24 years old and has recently
been named the oldest cat in the world by Guinness World Records. The
tortoiseshell moggy is blind and deaf, and her fur is looking a bit
worse for wear, but she is still the grand dam of a household consisting
of four humans, four other cats, a hamster, and a rabbit.
While she attributes her long life to good diet and exercise and clean living, she also admits to a penchant for fast food such as chicken from KFC or fish and chips, or even a bit of kebab takeaway. According to Guinness, Poppy's current age is equivalent to 114 years of a human life span.
Poppy was originally named "Popsy," and is on her third set of humans. When she was five she was adopted by Marguerite Corner and her daughter Jacqui. At ten she and Jacqui moved in with Jacqui's new husband. She now also has two human brothers -- Joe, eleven, and Toby, eight.
Over the past year Poppy's age has really started to show. While the West family is happy that she is still with them, they can tell that the time for her departure is coming. They are thrilled for her being recognized for her achievement.
Life with an elderly pet can be very rewarding, as the Wests have discovered with Poppy. They become much more dependent on you for everything they need. When I had an elderly cat (Ramona) that had become blind and deaf I had to find a new way to communicate with her so that it didn't always seem I was sneaking up on her -- so I would blow on her. For another elderly cat (Angelina) I had to buy a new litter box with higher sides because her arthritic hips made it hard for her to squat low.
The oldest cat in history was a feline called Creme Puff who lived in Austin, Texas, and survived for an astonishing 38 years and three days. The average life span for a pet cat runs between 12 and 16 years of age. Female cats are more likely to live longer, much like humans. Spayed and neutered cats also have a longer life span.