Poppy the moggy is feline her age after being officially recognised as the world’s oldest cat at 24 – equivalent to 114 in human years.
The tortoiseshell was born in February 1990, the same month Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
She has lived through five British Prime Ministers but is now a frail old lady and spends most of her time indoors relaxing.
Poppy, who has been recognised by Guinness World Records, is one year younger than Misao Okawa of Japan, the oldest person in the world.
She has picked up the title following the death of Pinky, a cat from Kansas who passed away at the age of 23 last year.
Poppy, who lives in Bournemouth, Dorset, was originally called Popsy and had two owners in her early days.
At the age of five she was adopted by Marguerite Corner and her daughter Jacqui.
When she was ten she Jacqui after she moved in with future husband Andy West.
The couple now have two sons – Joe, 11 and Toby, eight – and Poppy shares their home with four other cats, two rabbits and a hamster.
She is deaf and blind but despite her age and frailty she is still the boss of the house and if the other cats try their luck with her they are swiftly dealt with.
Jacqui, 43, said: “People always ask what we put Poppy’s longevity down to and I guess she has a good diet and lots of exercise.
“She keeps herself fit by walking around and she eats a lot. She has biscuits in the morning and tinned food later on. She’s never been a big cat though.
“She is partial to the odd takeaway. We sometimes give her a bit of KFC chicken, fish and chips and even the odd bit of kebab meat.”
Jacqui, an accountant, wrote to Guinness World Records in February after Poppy turned 24, submitting her into the category of “Oldest Cat Currently Living”.
They investigated their claim and have now confirmed Poppy as the world’s oldest living cat.
Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with claims for the ‘oldest living cat’, with owners from across the globe making applications on behalf of their cats.
“Today, though, I’m pleased to confirm that we’re recognising Poppy from Bournemouth in the UK as the world’s oldest living cat, at the age of 24 years.
“If anyone thinks their cat beats this, and can prove it, then we’d encourage them to get in touch with us.”
The oldest cat in history was a feline called Creme Puff who lived in Austin, Texas and who survived for an astonishing 38 years and three days.
Jacqui added: “Poppy is definitely the top cat and she is still quite feisty. If one of the other cats tries to eat her food she will bite them on the ear.
“She’s deaf and blind and meows for everything. We call her stroppy Poppy sometimes.
“She can get up the stairs but we won’t let her walk down. Over the last year her health has gone down and we know the end is near.
“We knew she was old but to be officially recognised is just great. We are all chuffed for her. I think all old cats deserve recognition of their achievement.
“As a family, we are so pleased that she is still with us as well.
“There have been times in this last year when her health has declined and I’ve thought it was the end on several occasions but then she recovers and carries on.
“Poppy does seem to be out-living all our other pets too. We unfortunately had a hamster and bunny die on us last year.
“Each time we tell the grandparents we’ve lost an animal, they all assume it’s Poppy. I’ve said goodbye to her a few times but she keeps on going.
“It brought a big smile to my face when I was told that Poppy was officially the world’s oldest cat.
“I would like to mention and thank our wonderful vets and staff at Companion Care Vets of Moordown, Bournemouth too, please.
“Tom and Rachel and their team have been brilliant over the years. We can’t thank them enough.”