Methuselah the Cat – The Oldest Feline to Ever Walk the Earth

Introducing the Topic

The goal of this article is to uncover details about the oldest cat on record. We will look at age verification methods and examine remarkable stories of long-lived cats. Understanding what enables cats to reach such advanced ages can provide insights for pet owners seeking to maximize their cats’ lifespans.

Oldest Verified Cat

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest verified cat lived to 38 years old. The cat’s name was Creme Puff and she lived in Austin, Texas.

Creme Puff was born on August 3, 1967. She lived with her owner, Jake Perry, who was a renowned cat enthusiast. Perry cared for a total of 38 cats during his life, with many of them living into their 30s.

Creme Puff was verified as the oldest cat by Guinness World Records in 1998 at the age of 31. She went on to live another 7 years after that, passing away peacefully in Austin in 2005 at 38 years and 3 days old.

According to Jake Perry, the secret behind Creme Puff’s longevity was a diet of dry cat food supplemented with broccoli, eggs, turkey bacon, coffee with heavy cream, and other people food. Perry also kept his cats active by making them work puzzles and play chase games.

Verification Methods

To verify a cat’s age, veterinarians use a combination of methods. This includes a full physical examination to check the cat’s teeth, eyes, coat, muscle tone, joints, and internal organs. Veterinarians can estimate age based on the degree of wear on the teeth and buildup of tartar, as well as eye clarity and muscle mass. They may request dental x-rays to check the degree of tooth resorption, which correlates with age.

However, the most definitive way to verify age is through early documentation, such as registration papers from a breeder, vaccine records from a veterinarian, or adoption paperwork from an animal shelter. For extremely old cats in the record books, this documentation proves essential.

It can be challenging to definitively prove and track extremely old cats. Record holders often come from owners who adopted or acquired the cat as an adult, making birth dates impossible to determine. In some cases, publicity over a supposedly old cat has led to multiple people disputing ownership and the cat’s actual age. Documentation helps cut through conflicting claims.

Facts About Creme Puff

Creme Puff was born on August 3, 1967 and lived an astounding 38 years and 3 days before passing away on August 6, 2005 [1]. She was born in Austin, Texas and was owned by Jake Perry, who bred and cared for many long-lived cats.

Perry attributed Creme Puff’s longevity to a diet of dry cat food supplemented with broccoli, eggs, turkey bacon, asparagus, and coffee with heavy cream. Creme Puff was said to have a feisty personality and enjoyed playing with toy mice until just a few years before her death at the incredible age of 38.

At the time of her death in 2005, Creme Puff was certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest cat ever. She far surpassed the previous feline longevity record of 34 years, set by another one of Perry’s cats named Granpa Rexs Allen.

Secrets Behind Long Life

There are several factors that contribute to cats living exceptionally long lives of 20+ years. Diet and nutrition play a key role. Cats that are fed high-quality food with proper nutrients and calories tend to outlive cats on cheap or improper diets. Regular exercise also helps cats remain active and healthy into old age. Breeds like Siamese and Persian tend to live longer than average, suggesting genetics affect longevity. The home environment is also important – indoor cats in stable, loving homes often outlive outdoor and feral cats exposed to disease and hazards. Regular veterinary care helps maintain health and treat issues early. Mental stimulation through play and interaction also benefits senior cats. While no one factor guarantees extreme longevity, attending to diet, exercise, medical care, genetics, and environment gives cats the best chance at reaching 20 years and beyond.

Near Record Holders

While Creme Puff holds the record for the oldest cat ever at 38 years and 3 days, there have been several other cats that have come close to reaching that record age.

According to Guinness World Records, the second oldest cat was a Texas tabby named Granpa Rex Allen who lived to be 34 years and 2 months old. Granpa was born in Paris, Texas in 1964 and lived with his owner Jake Perry, who had over 50 cats living on his farm throughout his life. Perry claimed the key to Granpa’s longevity was a diet of bacon, eggs, and broccoli.

Another long-lived cat was Tabi, a Maine Coon who lived in Oregon with his owner. Tabi was born in 1974 and lived to the age of 34 years and 2 days before passing away in 2009. According to Tabi’s veterinarian, his longevity was attributed to being kept indoors and his loving relationship with his owner.

Puss, an orange tabby owned by the same Jake Perry who owned Granpa, was verified to have lived from 1926 to 1939, making him 36 years and 1 day old at the time of his passing. However, since his exact birth date was unknown, Guinness does not consider Puss as the verified oldest cat.

While Creme Puff maintains the undisputed record, cats like Granpa, Tabi, and Puss demonstrate that with attentive care and a bit of luck, cats can live well into their 30s and beyond.

Qualities of Long-Lived Cats

Long-lived cats often share certain traits and habits that seem to contribute to their longevity. These include:

  • Good appetite and healthy diet – Long-lived cats tend to have excellent appetites and eat well their whole lives.
  • Relaxed, easygoing attitude – These cats handle change and stress well, with an easygoing, relaxed attitude.
  • Moderately active – While active, long-lived cats are not hyper and seem to conserve their energy.
  • Indoor living – By living indoors, cats avoid disease, trauma and other hazards of outdoor life.
  • Close human bond – Long-lived cats often have a very close bond with their human caretakers.
  • Genetics – Some cats likely inherit genes from long-lived ancestors that promote longevity.

While no specific traits guarantee longevity, certain qualities like a healthy appetite, calm temperament, safe environment and human companionship seem to contribute to cats living exceptionally long lives.

Impacts on Owners

Caring for a cat into advanced age can have profound emotional impacts on owners. Elderly cats require more care, attention, and often medication or dietary adjustments. This level of caretaking responsibility strengthens the bond between owner and pet. According to, owners report feeling needed and finding purpose in caring for their aging felines.

As cats become more frail, owners must make difficult decisions about quality of life versus longevity. This teaches difficult but valuable lessons about mortality, dignity, and letting go with love. Owners report that the loss of an elderly companion cat leaves an especially large hole, given the many years of shared experiences and memories. However, the deep fulfillment of accompanying a beloved pet into advanced age promotes appreciation for the time spent together.

Advances in Feline Care

How have veterinary care, nutrition, and knowledge advanced to increase cat longevity? Veterinary medicine for cats has advanced significantly in recent decades. Vaccines for dangerous illnesses like feline leukemia and FIV are now routinely given (1). Surgical techniques, diagnostics, anesthetics and pain management have also progressed to benefit cats (2). New treatments for chronic conditions like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, dental disease and kidney disease help extend life (3). Nutrition is another key area. Commercial cat foods are now formulated to meet feline nutritional needs at various life stages. Increased knowledge about diet has led to prescription diets for health issues. Environmental enrichment through toys, scratching posts and cat furniture promotes activity and reduces boredom and related diseases. Behavioral knowledge also leads to less stress. Understanding normal aging changes helps distinguish them from illness. With more informed owners and better care, cats are living longer, healthier lives.





The oldest verified cat on record is Crème Puff, who lived to the incredible age of 38 years and 3 days. She lived with her owner Jake Perry in Austin, Texas and was part of a study on longevity in cats by researchers at the University of Texas. Crème Puff far exceeded the average lifespan for domestic cats, which is typically 12-18 years.

For cat owners hoping their felines also enjoy long lifespans, some key learnings are to keep cats indoors, feed them high-quality food, bring them to the vet regularly, enrich their environment, and show them lots of love and care. While genetics plays a role, proper diet, exercise, mental stimulation, veterinary care, and a stress-free home can help cats live long and healthy lives. With dedication from owners, more cats may join the ranks of supercentenarians like Crème Puff in the future.

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