A BURNLEY family trying to find out if their cat could be the oldest in the world have been left stunned after their pet appeared in national newspapers.

According to the Cowell family, of Ightenhill Park Lane, Tizzie the black and white feline is 36-years-old.

Unfortunately vet records which would have officially recorded her age have been lost, but the family has a photograph of the cat believed to have been taken in 1975 with owner Jim Cowell's mother.

Tizzie was found on a railway line close to Rosehill in 1973 by two young girls, who gave the cat to Mr Cowell’s mother Winifred. He is hoping to trace the two girls to verify the cat’s age.

Mr Cowell said he never wanted all the publicity that Tizzie has received.

“I only wanted to try and trace the two girls who found Tizzie on the railway line back in 1973”, he said. “I didn't expect Tizzie to become a national sensation.

“We are really shocked at what has happened now, we didn't expect this, or really want it. Because the vet’s records were lost when the vet moved premises we can't prove Tizzie's age, so we don't want to end up with egg on our face.”

According to Guinness World Records the oldest living cat is a Burmese called Kataleena Lady from Melbourne, Australia, which was born on March 11, 1977.

The oldest cat ever is believed to be Puss, who was born in Devon in 1903 and passed away one day after his 36th birthday.