Right before his last birthday, Corduroy the tabby cat got some good news.
The 26-year-old rescue feline from Oregon was named the World’s Oldest Living Cat last July by Guinness World Records. Media attention followed and so did lots of fans who keep up with Corduroy on social media. Twenty-six is a lot of years for a cat, so you might be wondering — what’s his secret?
Owner Ashley Reed Okura has a lot to do with it. She and her husband, Aaron, live on a ranch where Corduroy explores the great outdoors (with their eyes on him, of course) and indoors, and carries on as if he were a youngster.
“Corduroy still jumps onto our bed, nightly, and down all by himself,” she told Petcha.com. “He will jump on top of the billiard table — it’s one of his favorite lounging spaces. He also glides up the stairs and down, meowing as an announcement before he takes off.”
His feeding routine has only changed recently. Okura offers him a vet-recommended diet and vitamins, and has finessed his food delivery a bit, by placing a cat tree where he could climb to his dining area.
“Corduroy was less excited about jumping up on our bar height counter where I have always kept his food,” Ashley said. “It is a long way to jump.”
Other adjustments include leaving out glasses of water that are designated just for Corduroy.
“We keep a glass of water on our coffee table and on my nightstand,” Ashley said. “Water seems to taste better out of a glass I would typically drink from.”
He gets regular exercise with outdoor excursions. And he stays safe with spotters. “Aaron and I like to supervise Corduroy’s walks when he goes outside,” Ashley said. She’s kept an eye on him for a long time, in fact, having adopted him as a tiny kitten when she was very young herself — only 7 years old. “When I chose Corduroy from the litter of kittens, my main criteria was that I chose a kitten that was fluffy,” she told us. Her selection process was simple at first but went a little deeper. She remembers being with the kittens for a long time trying to decide. “Certainly, when choosing from a litter it is about the connection one has with the animal above everything else,” she said.
“Life is really generous to those who pursue their Personal Legend.” – Paulo Coelho ???? Jodi Schneider McNamee @guinnessworldrecords #philosophyofcorduroy #oldestlivingcat #sircorduroy #catlove #cat #petme #meow #bestmeow #instacat_meows #instacat #catsofinstagram #pawproject #stopdeclawing #catlife #oldman A photo posted by Corduroy (@oldestlivingcat) on
She chose the name Corduroy after a bear in her favorite book. Her brother also picked a cat from the litter and named him Batman after, well, Batman (he had markings similar to Batman’s mask). The two littermates grew up as brothers in the same house.
“Corduroy and Batman were good companions and would play, hunt outside and snuggle with each other,” Ashley said. “Corduroy and Batman both would sit under the dining room table while we ate dinner as a family, nightly. I was guilty of giving Corduroy pinches of my food, which I still do today.”
Batman passed away at 19, sadly, but Corduroy has lived on long into his silver years (and still sits under the table at dinnertime).
Ashley said she is touched by the response people have to hearing about Corduroy’s health and longevity. “I am honored people care about Corduroy,” she said. “He is incredibly special to me and it is truly amazing to share his life with the world.” She pointed out that he has been awarded Guinness World Records’ Oldest Living Cat title twice; the first time occurred in June 2014 before an older cat from California, Tiffany Two, stepped up to the plate. Tiffany Two passed away last year at the age of 27.
The diet, hydration and exercise all seem essential to Corduroy’s long healthy life, but Ashley strongly believes that the real key to his longevity has been the fact that she never had him declawed. Keeping cats’ paws intact indeed can lead to a foundation for good health.
“We want to do everything we can to keep Corduroy healthy, pain free and happy for as long as possible,” she said.