Friday 9 June 2023

How many domestic cats are aged over 30?

Rosie, a tortoiseshell cat living in the UK, is 32 years of age.  Her birthday was on June 1st this year. She beats the current listing on Guiness World Records by 5 years as Flossie is 27 years old. Why isn't she in the record book? Maybe she will be soon.

I have a page on Rosie which you can see by clicking on this link.

Rosie is aged 32 and almost unique in the world as at June 2023. Image: SWNS.

I am going to try and answer the question in the title. No one but me tries to do this sort of thing. It is likely (that's about as sure as I can be) that there are no more than a handful of domestic cats on the planet that are over 30 years of age.

There may only be one: Rosie! 😃 And in some future years, there may be none. The age of 30 is almost unique in the domestic cat world.

It is not an age that the domestic cat is evolutionarily designed to live to.  The domestic cat's wild cat ancestor, the African wildcat has reportedly lived to 15 years of age in captivity. That's about as long a life as this wild cat can live and it is half the age of Rosie!

Good genes are the reason. Some cats and some people have 'good genes' as they say. It is pure chance as I see it. 

It is also pure chance that we get to know about Rosie. This is the weakness of the Guinness World Records listings. It is reliant upon cat owners taking the time and bother to report their cat's long life to the editors of that well known book.

A lot don't bother. And a lot of cat owners may be living with a very old cat without knowing it because the date of birth is unknown.

The date of birth of domestic cats is not always recorded. These are the reasons why we can't answer the question in the title with clarity but what we can say with some certainty is that there can't be more than a handful, if that, of domestic cats over 30 in the world.

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