A NEILSTON grandmother has laid claim to having the world’s oldest cat.

Last November, a 26-year-old tortoiseshell named Flossie, from Orpington, London, was given that crown by the Guinness Book of Records.

However, retired district nurse Irene Moore has evidence that her ginger tom Barney is 29 and due to celebrate his 30th birthday in a few weeks’ time.

Irene took ownership of the moggy on February 4, 2005, shortly after moving from Paisley to Neilston.

She was given a certificate at the time stating Barney was 11 years, 10 months and eight days old, which means he is due to celebrate his 30th later this month.

Normally, cats live for around 15 years but Barney is the equivalent of 120 in human years.

Barrhead News: This tag shows Barney was 11 years and 10 months old when Irene got him way back in 2005This tag shows Barney was 11 years and 10 months old when Irene got him way back in 2005 (Image: Newsquest)

Irene said she gave him a home to help her deal with a mice infestation.

“Barney was a rescue cat,” said Irene, who contacted the Barrhead News after reading about Flossie.

“Despite his age, he is still very active and goes out into the back garden at least once a day to have a wander.

“Like most old age pensioners, he likes to have a sleep during the day.

“In his day, he was a good mouser. When I moved in, there was a lot of mice and I was terrified but Barney did a great job getting rid of them.”

Barrhead News: Irene Moore with pet cat BarneyIrene Moore with pet cat Barney (Image: Newsquest)

Irene says Barney still has a healthy appetite and loves Kitekat and Whiskas.

She also takes him to the vet once a year for a check-up.

Irene added: “I have always had cats but Barney is certainly the oldest. He is just a normal family pet and is good with children.

“The only people he doesn’t seem to like are workmen.”

Irene brought up her five children herself following the death of her husband 40 years ago.

She is now hoping the Guinness Book of Records will recognise Barney as the oldest cat on the planet.

“Barney has been a loyal companion over the years and very protective,” she said. “He follows me about the house just like a dog.

“He has never wandered off or stayed away a single night.”

The oldest cat ever, according to the record books, is Creme Puff, from Austin, Texas, who died on August 6, 2005, at the age of 38 years and three days.

A spokesperson for the Guinness Book of Records told the Barrhead News: “We would encourage Irene to make an application for Barney via the Guinness World Records website for us to review.”