Meet Fenrir, the World's Tallest Living Domestic Cat

Meow-za! Fenrir "just grew and grew, like Clifford, the Big Red Dog."

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

Fenrir loves helping owner Will Powers, a doctor, calm nervous patients.

Guinness Book of World Records

Think your cat's a big chonk? Not compared with Fenrir. Furry Fenrir stands 18.83 inches (47.83 centimeters) tall, and the Guinness Book of World Records has named him the world's tallest living domestic cat.

His name, Fenrir, comes from one of the name of Saturn's moons, Guinness said, but like most cats, he has plenty of family nicknames. 

The giant kitty lives with William John Powers, a doctor in Farmington Hills, Michigan, who also calls Fenrir the Big Chungus, or the Chonk, he said in a Guinness video about the cat. "He just grew and grew, like Clifford the Big Red Dog."

Fenrir is an F2 Savannah cat. Savannah cats are a hybrid between a domestic cat and a serval, a wild cat native to Africa, and F2 refers to the fact that he's from the second generation of his distinctly different parent types. And although Savannah cats tend to be tall, averaging 14-17 inches (35-43 centimeters), he's an inch (2.5 centimeters) taller than that highest average mark. Powers says the height is measured from the cat's shoulder blades when it's standing up on all fours.


Fenrir is still growing.

Guinness Book of World Records

Fenrir's height lets him do things other cats can't. The video shows how he can simply stand on his hind legs and paw at a door handle until the door opens. And since he's a big eater, he "tends to steal things off the countertop," Powers says.

He's also still growing. Though he holds the world record for tallest living cat, his brother, Arcturus (who, sadly, died in a house fire in 2017) holds the all-time tallest cat record. Arcturus was 19.05 inches (48.4 centimeters) tall. Though the cats didn't live at the same time, they have the same parents.

Powers also lives with Altair, the cat with the world's record for longest tail on a living domestic cat, at 16.07 inches (40.82 cm). And another cat Powers lost in the 2017 fire, Cygnus, still holds the all-time longest tail record, at 17.58 inches (44.65 cm). Both Altair and Cygnus are Maine Coon cats.

Powers speaks movingly in the video about trying to save his cats from the fire, and being uncertain about adding new cats to the family, knowing his beloved pets could never be replaced.

"It was really hard because at first I almost kind of resented the cats that I got, because they weren't the same cats, they were different," Powers said. But the first cat he acquired after the fire, Hyperion, "sort of helped heal my soul," he said.

Some Twitter users shared photos of their own cats -- long or otherwise.

You can follow Fenrir and the other Powers cats on their own Instagram account.

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