World’s Oldest Cat: 140 in Human Years, But Who’s Counting?

Until he passed away at the ripe old age of 31 in July 2001, the world's oldest cat was chasing spiders without the equivalent of a feline walking cane. Spike, a British ginger and white tom, had been certified as the world's oldest living cat by the Guinness Book of Records in 1999, when the sprightly kitty was just 29.

Measured in human years, Spike was an amazing 140 years old, though many veterinarians dispute the validity of such human/cat comparisons. (Perhaps it's just jealousy; Spike retained all his original teeth and hair!) Either way, Spike beat the odds – domestic longhairs have a life span of about 15 years.

His owner, Mo Elkington, an aromatherapist from Dorset, England, purchased Spike in 1970. She fed him a steady diet of fish and cat food, with a little aloe vera mixed in to protect him against arthritis and rheumatism.

According to Guinness World Records, Spike was almost cut down in the prime of his life. At 19, he was bitten in the throat by a Rottweiler. The wound became infected, and he almost died. But Spike pulled through to become Britain's most famous living feline.

The 10-pound Spike isn't the oldest recorded cat of all time, however. That distinction goes to another British feline that died in 1957, at the age of 34.