Bid to have Norwich cat Henry named as world’s oldest

A picture taken in the 1990s of Henry the cat.

A picture taken in the 1990s of Henry the cat. - Credit: Archant

They say cats have nine lives, but one has been more enough for Henry.

His owner, Sally Brown, believes the ginger short-haired domestic is the world's oldest living cat, and has launched a campaign to get him into the Guinness Book of Records.

Miss Brown, from West Earlham in Norwich, said she got Henry from an animal centre in Cambridge in March, 1980 – making him 30 years old.

The 48-year-old mum-of-four said other than a few recent problems Henry had always enjoyed purr-fect health.

She said: 'His sight is starting to fail now and he's had a few teeth out, but in all that time he's never had any illnesses.'

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Miss Brown worked as a veterinary nurse for 24 years and now has 15 cats, many of which had been dumped or abandoned.

'I'm known as the mad cat lady of the area,' she said.

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'I used to work with large animals like horses and cows and Henry would come along with me and sit in the car.

'He's always been a lap cat.'

She now helps to run Facebook groups including Lost and Found Cats in Norwich and Cash For Kitties In Norwich.

Miss Brown said: I'm not going for the record because I want any personal glory, I want to raise awareness for the groups I work with and encourage people to be responsible cat owners.'

Many of her pets have lived to a ripe old age - she also has kitties aged 19 and 24. Another of the brood, Montague, is 18, and starred in a television commercial for Iams cat food in the 1990s.

The staple of her pets' diet is a Swedish cat food called Husse, and they are also treated to chicken and fish several times a week.

She said: 'I think they live so long thanks to a mixture of their diet, affection, and my experience.

'A lot of my friends also work in the veterinary industry so that helps.'

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said Miss Brown would have to provide photographic evidence of Henry's long life for it to be officially recognised.

She said: 'They will need a vet to prove the age along with pictures through the decades and video evidence where possible.'

Do you have a story about a remarkable pet? Email

Record-breaking animals

The average life expectancy for cats is 15 years.

To compare a cat's life span to a human's, the accepted method is to count the first cat's year as 15 years, its second as 10 years, and every year afterwards as four years. That makes Henry the equivalent of 137 years old.

The current holder of Guinness World Record's oldest cat title is Corduroy, from Oregon in the US, who was born in August, 1989, making him 26 years old. The oldest cat ever recorded was Creme Puff from Texas, who died in 1967 aged 38.

The longest-surviving dog on record was an Australian cattle dog called Bluey, who lived for 29 years and had a long career working on a sheep and cattle farm.

The world's oldest goldfish was Goldie, who lived to the age of 45 after his owners, from Devon, won him at a fair in 1960.

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