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24-year old Poppy is crowned world's oldest living cat

Bournemouth, England is home to the world's oldest living cat, according to a May 19, 2014 article on Live Science. Poppy, a beautiful tortoiseshell, is currently 24 years old. The owners says she is blind and deaf now, but still very feisty and ruler of the house. Her age makes her 114 years old in human years.

Cats can live an astonishing number of years, depending on the care they receive and several other factors.
Eve-Angeline Mitchell

The Live Science article mentions the previous record-holder was Pinky, a cat from Kansas, at age 23. However, Pinky passed away last year, and Poppy is roughly the same age. If Pinky was still alive, it would come down to birth month, or even possibly, estimated birth dates.

Neither Poppy nor Pinky holds the record for oldest domestic cat ever, though. That title belongs to Creme Puff, who lived an astonishing 38 years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records' website. Even for an indoor-only cat, that's incredible.

WebMD says that indoor-only cats have an average lifespan of 15 years, though it's not unheard of for them to reach 20. Feral cats and outdoor cats tend to have a lifespan of only six years, but that's because they face a lot of danger that indoor-only cats don't face. According to WebMD, the biggest contributor to the lifespan of a cat is the care he receives throughout his life.

If you'd like to see if your cat can reach 24 or 25, there are several things you can do. The first is to make sure he's getting his regular checkups. Cats under the age of 12 should be seen once a year, and over the age of 12, every six months. These checkups can make it so your vet notices potential problems early. To help your vet out, pay close attention to how your cat is eating, how much he's sleeping, whether his litter box behavior has changed, and so forth.

You can also change his diet; dry food is hard on cats' kidneys because of the low moisture content. While dry food is not guaranteed to cause kidney problems later in life, there is a definite link. To reduce his chances of kidney disease, switch him over to a canned diet now. This will also make it easier to notice if his appetite changes, since you'll be able to observe him at mealtimes. This will also make it so you can better manage his weight, since weight problems also contribute to health problems.

Make sure he's getting lots of play time for exercise, and be sure to take him to the vet if you notice that his play seems to be slowing down. "Slowing down" when it comes to activity, can be an early indicator of degenerative joint disease, or other problems, according to Cornell University's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Poppy's owners say they aren't sure why she's held on so long, though they do believe that her diet and exercise are part of it. She eats both canned and dried food and even gets junk food treats. Perhaps Poppy is just a very tenacious cat, and doesn't intend to leave her family until she's good and ready.

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