Cat Guy Says He's Figured Out Feline Longevity

It involves home-cooked breakfast and a movie
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2015 11:00 AM CST
Cat Guy Says He's Figured Out Feline Longevity
   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Jake Perry's cats live the good life. And they live it for a long time. One of Perry's felines—Granpa Rexs Allen, who lived to be 34—broke the Guinness World Record for oldest cat in 1998. Seven years later, his kitty Crème Puff topped that record, living to be 38. Plenty more of his cats have made it to at least 30, while, on average, cats live to be 12 to 15 years old. In a profile in Atlas Obscura, Christina Couch writes that she first met Perry when he fixed her bathtub in 2012. It was then that he shared some of his secrets for feline longevity:

  • A breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, broccoli and coffee … with cream
  • A splash of red wine to "circulate the arteries"
  • Stimulation by way of nature documentaries screened in his garage-turned-theater
  • Lots of love and attention

The regimen, says Perry's vet, "is not what they taught us in school." He speculates the diuretic effects of the caffeine may help kidney function, though Couch notes that the science behind Perry's regimen is "shaky at best." And an animal nutrition expert cautions that caffeine and alcohol can be harmful. Perry, 85, recently beat pancreatic cancer himself, and he still has a cat: Jean Claude Van Damme, age 19. These days, however, the title of the oldest living cat belongs to one named Corduroy, KTVZ reports. The 26-year-old Main coon mix lives in Sisters, Ore. "I really think the key to (Corduroy's) longevity is, I've always allowed him to be a cat," says his owner. "We've kept his claws (and) it's allowed him to go outside and defend himself and also hunt." Read more about Perry and his pets here. See a short documentary about them here. (One thing that won't help cats live longer: scaring them with cucumbers)

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