At 39, Lucy is the Oldest Cat in the World

How old was the oldest cat you ever knew?  I’m willing to bet a lot younger than this one.

Lucy of Llanelli, South Wales, with no medical problems except for hearing loss, is 39-years-old, The Daily Mail reported yesterday, which makes her the oldest known cat in the world.  

The average feline life span is about 15 years, which puts Lucy at double her life expectancy.  Cat experts estimate her age to be the equivalent of 172 human years.  The only other cat who comes close to her age was Creme Puff, a Texas cat who died at 38 years and three days.

Lucy’s owner, Bill Thomas, a Llanelli town counselor, inherited her when his wife’s godmother, Maria Lewis, died in 1999.  He didn’t realize how old Lucy was until his wife’s aunt came to visit.  “She could remember Lucy scampering around Maria’s fish and chip shop when she was a kitten back in 1972,” Thomas said.  “We knew she was old – but not that old.”  

The aunt remembered Lucy from working at the shop in 1973, when Lucy was three years old.  Others have confirmed seeing her in the shop in the early seventies as well.  That puts Lucy’s estimated year of birth in 1971/1972.

And Lucy doesn’t look like she’s close to quitting.  Other than her hearing loss, she’s in good health and is extremely independent, which Thomas attributes to her age.  “She is great with the grandchildren and still likes to patrol the garden every day looking for mice,” he said.  “Most of the time she lies in her basket and has a sleep.  The kids do wake her up and play with her, but she normally wakes up when she wants to…she’s a bit stiff but she gets up for her food.”

As of right now, there is no entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s oldest cat, a spokesperson said.  Lucy may just be the first to find herself entered.

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Photo credit: sebilden via flickr


Nick N.
Nick N.4 years ago

This is to Jack R.

Dude you are so wrong, my cat is 17 and she is super healthy with no problems what so ever, and I can see her living another 5 years easy. Cats can live to 20, its not a lie, you are just misinformed.

Charlie K.
Charlie K.4 years ago

My kitty is 20 now. She's blind, deaf, fat and a huge suck. She's had kittens, some scraps with other kitties. She was born deaf btw, which isn't that rare in pure white cats and hasn't slowed her down. Only annoying thing about a pure white cat is the meowing. Once she figured out she has a voice box she let's people know everything. Going for a drink, bored, food, poop, say hello, she has her own vocabulary.

Her back hips are a little weak so she can't power jump anymore to get to her perch in the window to watch things happen so I built a kitty ramp that is disguised as a built in book shelf ( I modded some online plans to incorporate my geriatric kitty's lifestyle of doing cat things. plus it looks good having the wrap around built in bookshelf.)

Pardon for rambling, I love my cat because she's been part of my life and our family's life for a long time.

Rosanne B.
Rosanne Bono4 years ago

Jeez, Peter C, you and Jack R would make a happy couple. The pet age equation to humans is nothing new. You can research that along with all the other cats who have lived almost as long as Lucy. I personally have known a number of cats who have lived into their 20s. You sound as silly and uninformed as Jack.

Rosanne B.
Rosanne Bono4 years ago

Jack, are you always such a pessimistic party-pooping nay-sayer? You sound awfully silly and narrow-minded. Look on the internet, there are lots of cats who have lived into their 30s.

Eileen H.
Eileen H.4 years ago

Hey, Jack. You seem very certain that no cat could live to 20, let along 39. What I can tell you is that two of my own cats lived to 19 and 20; my most beloved cat, for whom I had to find another home, was still alive a few years ago at 19 or 20 - and STILL able to leap from the floor to the top of the armoire, about six feet tall, in a single bound from a stand, according to her people, which truly astonished me; and the cat of a good friend of mine, a cranky black cat named Dogfood, who was old when I first knew her, lived to be 35.

Jack R.
Jack R.4 years ago

no way a cat lives to be 20 let alone 39.fact people lie and then they cover it up with another lie.

Jack R.
Jack R.4 years ago


Bakeca I.
Bakeca I.5 years ago

Wish my cat would live this long because I really love it

Sheilia W.
Sheilia W.5 years ago

Good Luck, My cat will be 17 this year !!!!!!!!!! He still jumps on the counter to drink his water too .

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

What amazes me, is how good she looks, filled-out, not skinny and bony. Good for Lucy.