'He just grew and grew like Clifford': Fenrir named world's tallest living domestic cat

He likes treats, he helps patients relax at the doctor's office, and now he's the world's tallest living domestic cat.

Fenrir Antares Powers, a 2-two-year-old Savannah cat, measured 18.83 inches on Jan. 29, 2021. His record was published in the Guinness World Records 2023 edition.

Savannah cats like Fenrir are crosses between domestic cats and large-eared wild African cats, according to the International Cat Association. The cross gained popularity in the 1990s, and in 2001, the association accepted Savannahs as a registered breed.

Fenrir's owner is Michigan physician and HIV specialist Will Powers, the website said. Powers adopted Fenrir when Fenrir was just 12 weeks old.

"He just grew and grew like Clifford the Big Red Dog," Powers said in a video about the kitty.

And Fenrir's family is no stranger to fame. Four of Powers' cats have officially won Guinness World records.

Famous cats in the family include:

  • Altair Cygnus Powers – The Guinness World Records title holder for the longest tail on a living domestic cat. His tail measures 16.07 inches.

  • Arcturus Aldebaran Powers – The Guinness World Records title holder for the tallest cat ever, and previously held the title for the tallest living domestic cat. He died in a fire in 2017.

  • Cygnus Regulus Powers – A silver Maine Coon who held the record for the longest tail on a living domestic cat. Cygnus also died in the 2017 fire.

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Fenrir Antares Powers, the tallest living domestic cat. The cat measures 47.83 centimeters and was verified in Farmington Hills, Mich. on Jan. 29, 2021.

The family's latest record setter, Fenrir,is  a bit taller than average-size Savannah cats; they usually measure between 14 and 17 inches, the Guinness website said. He may end up taller than his late brother, Arcturus.

Fenrir, who Powers lovingly calls "Fen," is friendly and outgoing. He also loves helping out at Powers' office to calm  anxiety-ridden and stressed patients.

He's also "ravenously" hungry and has seen his diet limited because he's getting too big, Powers said in a video.

And Fenrir's height helps him do things that others can't.

"When we were trying to take some pictures of him, we had to shut some of the other cats out of the of the room, and Fenrir decided he didn't want to be in the room anymore," he recalled. "So he stood on his hind legs and opened the door."

He also snags things off the countertop if he spots them.

Fenrir Antares Powers, the tallest living domestic cat. The cat measures 47.83 centimeters and was verified in Farmington Hills, Mich. on Jan. 29, 2021.

He's still growing, and some folks mistake the feline for a small panther, a puma, or an ocelot, Powers said.

“This can actually scare people, and they back away from him in fear, but once I explain that he’s a therapy cat and very friendly, people are thrilled to walk up to him,” Powers told Guinness World Records.

The doctor admits he does everything for his cats, and even joked that his dad wants to be reincarnated as one of them because of how they're doted on.

But Powers realizes not all cats are so lucky. Because of that, he wants to use Fenrir's record to run charity events and raise money for stray and shelter cats in Detroit.

Powers, who is president of a cat shelter and has six cats in total, said the cats have helped him a lot since the fire that took two his feline friends.

"They make my life well," he said. "They've made me get well. I guess they gave me a reason to climb out of that hole."

Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY's NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at sdmartin@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fenrir named tallest living domestic cat by Guinness World Records