Is Dunedin moggy the world’s oldest?

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Wise old pussycat . . . Kevin Chave holds his cat Maxine, which he says is 31 years old. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A Dunedin man believes his cat is scratching on the door of being the world’s oldest feline.

Kevin Chave, of Brockville, is adamant his black and white long-hair Maxine is 31 years old.

In human years, Maxine would be aged more than 140.

Mr Chave (53) is Maxine’s third owner. He started caring for her about 20 years ago when she was left behind by a neighbour.

The first owner had Maxine for five years before the birth of her daughter, who was now aged 26, he said.

“There is no doubt about Maxine’s age,” Mr Chave said.

The in the United Kingdom reported the world’s oldest cat Nutmeg, of England, died of heart failure this month aged 32.

Until his death, Nutmeg was thought to be the oldest cat in the world and held the Guinness World Record, the reported.

The oldest record-holder was Creme Puff, who died in Texas in 2005, aged 38 years and three days.

Domesticated cats have an average lifespan of 15 years.

Mr Chave said Maxine had an “amazing” personality and taught the other cats in the house how to ring a bell on the door to signal she needed to go outside.

Maxine had kidney failure, and her teeth removed, but was still “nimble” and could jump over the garden fence.

“She is an extraordinary cat . . . from whoa to go she has been wonderful.”

Mr Chave now wants to prove to a Guinness World Records judge he owns one of the oldest cats on the planet.

“I want it verified.”

Maxine would celebrate her 32nd birthday in April, he said.

Guinness World Records did not respond to questions before deadline.

When The Star contacted veterinarians across Dunedin, no-one had heard of a cat in the city living to such an old age but they believed a cat could because of past world-record holders.

The staff of the clinics said they would believe Maxine’s alleged age if documents, such as vaccination records, could be produced for verification.

The oldest cats visiting clinics in Dunedin were about 21 years old, they said.