- Rubble became oldest feline in world at 31 – the equivalent of 150 human years
- Geriatric moggy lived in Exeter, in Devon, with his owner Michele Heritage, 52
- The pet had no specific health issues but became ‘very thin’ and died of old age
- Maine Coon beat the record of 30-year-old Scooter who died in Texas in 2016
The ‘world’s oldest cat’ has died at the age of 31 as his heartbroken owner, 52, who was given him as a kitten for her 20th birthday pays tribte to her beloved Rubble.-
Michele Heritage, 52, got Rubble as a kitten on her 20th birthday and they have been inseparable ever since.
Rubble, a fluffy Maine Coon became the oldest feline in the world after reaching 31 years old – the equivalent of almost 150 in human years – in May last year.
The geriatric moggy had no specific health issues but passed away from old age, becoming very thin, and went across the road ‘but never came back’, said his owner.
But Michele, from Exeter, has revealed that sadly he died before turning 32.
She puts his incredible longevity down to the fact she never had her own children and pampered him like her child.
She said: ‘He would have been 32 in May so it was such an achievement. He was an amazing companion that I had the pleasure to live with for such a long time.
‘I got him just before my 20th birthday when he was a kitten.’
Rubble beat the oldest living cat record of Scooter, a Siamese Texas, who was named as a record breaker at the age of 30 by the Guinness Book of World Records before he died in 2016.
The oldest cat of all time according to the record books is Creme Puff who was born on August 3, 1967, and lived until August 6, 2005 – an amazing 38 years and three days.
Michele added: ‘We never went down the route of Guinness Book of Records. I didn’t want to do that given his age. The record wasn’t of interest to us.
‘He grew old very quickly towards the end, I said to my husband at Christmas that I think it would be last we spend with Rubble. He had started to stop eating and only drank water.
‘He became very thin. I went to work as usual and when I got home my husband said Rubble had gone over the road as he did every day and never came back, so we believe he went off to die as cats do.
‘He was a creature of habit, had his favourite places to sleep and liked his food so when that stopped happening, we knew.’
Michele said she remembers the exact moment that she first met Rubble and claims to be 100 per cent certain of the dates – because it was her 20th birthday.
Why do cats live longer than dogs?
Science suggests that the solitary nature of cats prevents them from catching and spreading a disease.
As dogs are more sociable, they are prone to picking up an infection, with an average lifespan of 12 years.
Cats socialise less, increasing their lifespan to 15 years.
Cats also have more natural defence against attack.
While dogs boast a fearsome set of gnashers, cats have sharp claws and ‘tremendous’ agility.
Source: University of Alabama
She added: ‘He was part of a litter cat that my sister’s friend had and I had just left home.
‘I was lonely living on my own so got him in as a kitten. It was in May 1988.
‘I have always treated him like a child – I don’t have any children and had another cat called Meg – who passed at the age of 25.
‘If you care about something, no matter what it is, it does last.’
Hall of fame: Top five record holders for world’s oldest ever cat
1. Creme Puff
After her death aged 38 years and three days, Creme Puss from Austin, Texas, remains the oldest ever cat to date.
Her owner Jake Perry, who also took care of Granpa Rexs Allen, the fourth ever oldest cat, put her old age down to a diet of dry cat food along with broccoli, turkey bacon and coffee.
She also had an eyedropper’s worth of red wine every two days.
Born in 1970 Baby, a black domestic shorthair breed from Duluth, Minnesota, passed away at 38 years old in March 2008.
Owners Al and Mary Palusky previously said they rescued him from a garbage can in 1997.
Al once told WCSH-TV: ‘He’ll tear around the house running up and down and across things.
‘His tail gets big, his back goes up and he takes off running, then he jumps in his bed and falls asleep.’
The male tabby lived in the UK and died aged 36 years and one day.
He was born in 1903 and was taken care of by Mrs T Holway in Clayhidon, Devon.
His past is not as well recorded as that of Ma, with doubt having previously been cast on the record’s reliability.
The tabby domestic shorthair in the UK passed away aged 34 years and five months in November 1957.
In March 1957, it was reported in The South Devon Journal: ‘The Guinness Book of records mentions a well authenticated case of a female tabby cat attaining 33 years in 1956, although 21 years is normally regarded as the limit for long-lived cats.
‘[Rowley] set off to make an appointment with Grandma (also known as Ma), the “well-authenticated case” who lives at Newton Barton. Newton Barton was once a farmhouse.
‘There in a straw-lined basket near a stove, he found Grandma getting ready for her 34th birthday in May. She is deaf and rather blind and her front paws have been disfigured by a rabbit trap’.
5. Granpa Rexs Allen
The male Sphynx-Devon Rex, from the US and taken care of by the same owner as Creme Puss, died aged 34 years and two months in April 1998.
Owner Mr Perry once raised 48 moggies at the same time, with an electric model train running around the house for his pets to chase.
His cats are also all neutered and Mr Perry regularly plays nature documentaries in the background.