Guinness measures world-record cat in Ferndale

Farmington Hills couple houses not one, but two record-breaking cats

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 19, 2017

 Lauren Powers holds up Cygnus, who owns the Guinness world record for longest tail on a cat at 17.5 inches long.

Lauren Powers holds up Cygnus, who owns the Guinness world record for longest tail on a cat at 17.5 inches long.

Photo by Heather Gardner

FERNDALE/FARMINGTON HILLS — The home of one Farmington Hills couple now shares the distinction of having not one, but two cats that hold Guinness world records.

Lauren and Will Powers are the cat parents to Cygnus and Arcturus, who hold the records for longest tail on a cat and tallest domestic cat, respectively, which were revealed in the 2018 Guinness Book of World Records.

Cygnus, a Silver Maine Coon, had his tail measured in September 2016 at 17.5 inches long. Arcturus, an F2 Savannah cat, was measured at 19.05 inches tall, from his feet to his shoulders, a couple of months later.

Lauren Powers said the records came about when she and her husband felt Cygnus’ tail was growing quite long.

“As he was growing and growing, the tail seemed to be growing like double the rate of his body, and we sort of thought it was a little strange,” she said.

Powers said what they did was they posted a picture on the website Reddit on its vet page asking if they should be concerned. The photo was of Will Powers holding Cygnus with his tail in the air.

The picture eventually shot to the front page of the site, according to Lauren Powers, which caught the attention of Guinness.

“Guinness contacted us through Reddit and said, ‘Hey, you really should think about measuring him for the world record,’” she said. “When we did a quick measurement just when they suggested that, we realized that he had beat it. We realized that he was a couple centimeters already past the (older) record and he was only a year old at the time. So we realized pretty quickly that he’d probably break it easily.”

Powers said Cygnus’ tail officially was measured at the Ferndale Cat Shelter, where Will is the board president, and they threw a party for the occasion. Because the record was measured in Ferndale, the record reflects that city on the plaque instead of Farmington Hills.

Both Arcturus and Cygnus make appearances at the shelter to help raise money for less fortunate cats.

FCS Executive Director Deanne Iovan said it was fun to be a part of the whole record-setting experience.

“People want to meet them and people want to hold them,” she said. “They’re really well-mannered cats. They’re very social.

“It’s really just a joy to have them around,” she added.

It was at Cygnus’ party that the Guinness officials took notice of Arcturus.

“It was actually brought to our attention when the original photographers came out from Guinness to take pictures of Cygnus, of the tail. They looked at Arcturus and said, ‘Uhh, have you measured him for the tallest?’” Powers said.

The Powerses did a measurement of Arcturus at the time to see if he was even close to the record, which he was.

“We measured him about a month later (in Ann Arbor) and resubmitted it, and then both of them were confirmed,” Lauren Powers said. “We’ve basically been waiting a year for the book to come out so that we can talk about it.”

Housing two record-breaking cats certainly was unexpected, she said, though they felt they knew Arcturus would be big, as his breed is big in general.

“Cygnus’ tail was a total surprise,” she said. “That just came out of nowhere. Maine Coons are fairly larger cats, but the tail was just completely out of left field.”

Powers said both cats are kind of nuts and run around the home like crazy, knocking stuff over, with Arcturus having broken a window not too long ago.

“They’re very rambunctious and they do require a lot of (attention),” she said. “We have to baby-proof the cabinets in our house, because (Arcturus) can get in and out of the kitchen cabinets. You know, a lot of stuff like that’s not part of a normal cat.”

But even with all the care and attention, Powers said she and her husband feel incredibly lucky to have both cats under their roof.

“It’s been awesome. They are both super affectionate animals,” she said.