Stewie - I have decided that this photo is in the public domain.
The internet newspapers are all awash with news of the "world's longest cat". But how accurate and true is this? Jerry Wolfe, the America's premier LaPerm cat breeder informed me about this story - thanks Jerrie.
The celebrity cat is a Maine Coon named Stewie (I love that name). It is no surprise that the cat concerned is a Maine Coon because they are known to be large - the largest purebred and pure (as opposed to wildcat hybrid) domestic cat in the world. And a lot of that size is in length!
At Oct 2010, Stewie is 5 years old. His length is 48 and one half an inch from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail bone. This is a certified Guinness World Record apparently.
He lives with Robin Hendrickson and Erik Brandsness.
The first comment that I have (and I know this is the point where some visitors leave the page....) is that the headlines should read,"World's Longest Domestic Feline is a Maine Coon Cat" or some such qualifier. That is obvious but it should be stated, I think.
Secondly how many gloriously long and large Maine Coons are there in the USA that are not put forward for this accolade? Tons of them. There is one on this website that I have called "The World's Tallest Cat". This was a spoof title as it refers to this cat standing on its hind legs in the meerkat position. So it is really about length not height. Here is a picture of the cat, also a Maine Coon unsurprisingly, that might well contend for the title of the world's longest domestic cat or feline:
He looks pretty damn tall, err...long to me. See the post about this picture: World's Tallest Domestic Cat.
Now what about MAGIC, the F1 Savannah cat that is already certified by the Guinness World Records people as the world's tallest cat from ground to shoulder. Here is a video of her stretching upwards so that you can see here full length:
Martin Stucki is feeding her a titbit in the video. Martin is over 6 feet all (say 74 inches). MAGIC has reached up to his lower chest, which is more than 2/3rds up. That puts MAGIC in the order of 50 inches tall from which a deduction of about 3 inches has to be made because her tail is not as long as her hind legs. As a rough estimate that makes MAGIC 47 inches long but her head is not stretched up so that could make her 48 plus inches long under these rules.
Which brings me nicely to the way the world's longest feline is measured: from tip of nose to tip of tail. The Savannah is designed to have a short tail to reflect the serval, while the Maine Coon has a gloriously plumed long tail. This gives the Maine Coon the edge but it is a rather artificial edge, isn't it?
And I wonder how the actual measurement is carried out. You'll have to hold the tape measure against the cat's nose, run it up the head, down the spine and up the tail....phew. A bit tricky but possible but how accurately? I don't know.
Having chewed the cud on this for a bit, don't get me wrong. Stewie is fabulous. But this is a bit of a fun record really. That's why I have had a bit of fun thinking aloud about it. Update: Stewie died of cancer in 2013 I am informed.