If Frieda Ireland’s pet cat Leo were a human being he would weigh about 100 kg (220 lb) and stretch over 2.5 m (8 feet) tall. As it is, the mammoth moggie is as long as an 8-year-old child and has paws so big they can fit into a size 2 child’s shoe!
Verismo’s Leonetti Reserve Red – otherwise known as Leo – is a Maine Coon cat owned by Frieda Ireland and Carroll Damron of Chicago. Normally a large breed, Maine Coons often weigh as much as 10 kg (22 lb), but Leo weighs in at a mog-nificent 15.8 kg (35 lb) and measures a record-breaking 121.9 cm (48 in) from nose to tail.
“We have to keep our eye on him when we’re cooking,” says owner Frieda, “because he can stand up and put his paws on the kitchen counter.” But Leo’s not trying to steal food. “He enjoys sweeping things off the counter, not eating them! He’s not a fan of home-cooked food – he prefers dry cat food, green vegetables, basil, parsley and, of all things, blue cheese!”
“He’s not overweight,” stresses Leo’s veterinarian Scott Rovner, DVM. And Kim Lacey, who adjudicates all Guinness World Records animal claims, is quick to point out that it’s Leo’s length – and not weight – that makes him a record breaker. “We don’t want to be encouraging people to fatten up their pets just to become record breakers,” she said.
Click on PLAY VIDEO to see the previous record holder Snowbie in action