Is this expat cat the world's oldest?

The Local Germany
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Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Elfie relaxing at home. Photo: Submitted

Two British expats in Germany hope to claim the title of having the world’s oldest cat following the death of the previous holder, 24-year-old Poppy. They believe their pet has one important advantage over other contenders.


Competition is hotting up for the Guinness Book of World Records title sparked by the death of Poppy from Bournemouth, England, in June.

But Ian and Pauline Lisney, who are originally also from Bournemouth but now live in Wunstorf near Hanover, believe their 23-year-old pet, Elfie, has a good chance of being crowned the world’s oldest cat.

Elfie moved to Germany with her owners when she was 20 and Ian said her date of birth is recorded in her pet passport, giving her an advantage over the competition.  

There are other contenders though. Claire Willis from Yorkshire says her cat Snowy is 27 years old, the York Press reported in June. But unlike Elfie his age is not officially recognized in a pet passport.

“Elfie is very fit despite suffering from diabetes, asthma and old age,” Ian said of his pet, who in human terms is around 109 years old. “She looks half her age and has all her faculties, which she demonstrates by being fluent in both English and German.

“She is also a football expert, as she didn’t look in the least bit surprised when Germany beat Brazil 7:1.”

Ian, 59, moved to Germany four years ago to work for Bosch and the couple have had Elfie since she was a kitten.

Ian added: “Elfie never ceases to amaze us. She is very clever and patient, despite all the medical attention that she needs.”

Pauline and Ian chose the name Elfie because she was “elfin-like” and they liked the German name Elvi.

Pauline said: “When we came over to Germany, Elfie was already an old lady and had not been well and we didn’t know how she would be affected.

“She coped with the journey well and delighted in exploring a hotel room, a temporary apartment and our new home.

“She has really blossomed and likes being the only cat and is definitely the boss.”

Her favourite food is Waitrose sardine and mackerel, which has to be imported specially from the UK.

She also likes cleaning plates that have had spicy food on them, Ian and Pauline said.

Ian added: “Elfie is very proud to represent Germany and Britain, a truly European cat and a serious title contender.”



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