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Press Office

12th August 2009

Fat Cats; The Rich, the Cute and the Furry

Only the most prosperous pets make the 2009 Pet Posh List from Petplan

Dining out on rare white truffles, buying Madonna's mansion and starring in a world famous TV series sounds like the type of thing that only happens to the Hollywood A-list. But for the richest pets on the planet, it's all in a day's work.

Today, Petplan, the UK's largest pet insurance provider, launches the definitive 2009 Pet Posh List and unveils the top 50 entrants on the National Petrait Gallery*(www.petraitgallery.co.uk) in a specially designed VIP area.

The recession-proof pets include a property mogul Alsatian who only eats steak and caviar, a Chimpanzee with a bank balance to rival Alan Sugar and a once homeless cat that certainly got the cream.

In a bid to secure a comfortable life for their beloved pet, many of the animals on the list inherited their fortune after their owner passed away. However, a select few are self made millionaires, including long-time canine actor Moose who played Eddie in the TV series Fraiser. The talented mutt rakes in £6,000 per episode and doesn't even have to learn any lines.

Dogs and cats are the most successful pets in the inheritance stakes, but reptiles and more exotic animals also feature on Petplan's Posh List.

Alison Andrew, Petplan's Marketing Top Dog says: "We know that pets play a very special role in their owner's lives and the 2009 Pet Posh List highlights the lengths that some owners go to provide for their furry friends. We even have self-made millionaires among the most wealthy and well cared for animals on our list. Regardless of wealth, Petplan is committed to making sure that every owner can keep their pet healthy and happy, without breaking the bank."

To find out more about the affluent pets and read their tales of the Rich and Furry, visit the VIP area on the National Petrait Galley website(www.petraitgallery.co.uk). The photo gallery website also includes top tips on how everyone can make their pet feel like a millionaire, without breaking the bank.

Petplan's Pet Posh List

1. Gunther IV the dog - £224.6million

Record breaking Gunther IV tops Petplan's list with an estimated fortune of over £224million. Affluent Alsatian Gunther IV's bank balance was left to him by his father Gunther III in 2000, a lucky dog having himself inherited his fortune from his infamous owner, Countess Karlotta Libenstein. Property tycoon Gunther IV is the proud owner of several residences, not least Madonna's mansion in Miami and a villa in the Bahamas and has his own butler. Gunther IV dines daily on caviar and steak and was also the winning bidder for a rare white truffle in 2001, snapping it up for a mere £1,050.

2. Kalu the chimpanzee - £53million

Kalu inherited Patricia O'Neill's fortune after she separated from her husband, famous swimmer Frank O'Neill. Kalu now resides in his Cape Town estate in Africa.

3. Toby Rimes the dog - £30 million

Ella Wendel originally left her pet poodle Toby £15million in 1931. Since then there have been a succession of pampered pooches, with the current heir being Toby Rimes.

4. Oprah Winfrey's dogs - £30million

Oprah Winfrey is famous for her love of pets and her dogs are set to inherit £30million from their famous owner.

5. Keiko the Killer Whale - £22.6million

Keiko's starring role in the Free Willy blockbuster trilogy left the lucky orca £22million better off. Keiko, meaning Lucky One in Japanese, was plucked from obscurity from a theme park in 1992 before becoming internationally famous.

6. Gigoo the Hen - £10million

Publishing mogul Miles Blackwell left his feathered friend £10million in 2000 following the death of his wife Briony the year before.

7. Blackie the cat - £9million

Blackie's share of Ben Rea's inheritance set this feline first in the aristocat line with £9million in the bank. Rea was a well known recluse and left his entire fortune to Blackie and various cat charities.

8. Trouble the dog - £7.2million

Trouble the Maltese Terrier lived up to his name when in 2007 he inherited £7million from his socialite owner, Leona Hemsley. Outrage that the inheritance had not gone to Hemsley's relatives led to a judge cutting Trouble's inheritance down by £5million. Trouble continues to live in doggy luxury in New York.

9. Flossie the dog - £3.6millionthe

Actress Drew Barrymore was so grateful to her beloved Labrador Retriever for saving her life when her house was on fire that she has pledged her house to Flossie in her will.

10-12. Frankie the dog, Ani the cat and Pepe le Pew the cat - £3million each

An unnamed benefactor left her dog and two cats in the care of lucky neighbour Lenise Patrick with £9million. They live happily together in a £10million home in San Diego and receive an annual trust fund of £100,000. Lenise lives next door to make sure that they have everything they need.

13-14. Hellcat and Brownie the cats - £2million each

Dr William Grier originally left his favourite felines £415,000 each in his will; their descendents of the same name still hold the majority of the estate in San Diego.

15. Moose the dog - £1.8million

Better known as Eddie to his fans, Moose has been the canine star of TV show Fraiser for its ten series. As a self made millionaire, Moose netted around £6,000 per episode and tops his earnings up with lucrative endorsement deals.

16. Red the cat - £664K

Canadian millionaire David Harper left his cat Red $1.1million when he died. Red is now cared for by the United Church of Canada.

17-20. Snoopy, Linus, Dennis and LuLu the dogs - £500K each

Glamorous Australian socialite Rose Porteous left her four pooches their share of £2million when she died.

21. Zeus the cat - £400K

Beautiful Bengal cat Zeus is one of the world's rarest breeds, being 90% Asian Leopard and 10% domestic cat, but this doesn't mean he has the appetite of a wild cat. Zeus, resident of the UK, enjoys regular tinned cat food rather than hunting for himself.

22-23. Tina and Kate the dogs - £225K each

When Nora Hardwell died she made sure that pampered collie crosses Tine and Kate were provided for with a mouth watering £225K each as well as her home to live in for the rest of their days.

24-28. Hamish, Boon, Eileen, Coco and Tuffnel, cats - £217,328 each

Actress Beryl Reid obviously loved her cats, so much in fact that the eccentric star of TV shows such as Bergerac and Dr Who left her furry friends her home worth £1million.

29. Tinker the cat - £136K

Tinker the cat certainly needed his 9 lives; after surviving as a stray for his youth he found his way into the home and heart of Widow Margaret Layne who subsequently left him a trust fund that would set him up for life.

30. Nell the dog - £100KNell

Nell the fox terrier became his own hound when owner, the Mayor Win Frankland died in 2008. Nell is now cared for by former attendant Jayne Carmody who will look after the pooch for the rest of his lucky life.

31. Rodeo the dog - £100K

Heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke left her Shar-pei Rodeo £100K in 1993.

32. Silverstone the tortoise - £100K

Silverstone tops our list for the richest reptile in the world when flush Christina Foyle left her shelled friend £100K in 1999.

33. Fluffy the cat - £90K

Fluffy inherited his fortune in 1996 from Mary Burton who specified that his carers should make sure that "Fluffy should have a home in the sun and a diet of fresh pilchards, steamed cod, tail ends, no bones, best lean roast beef and vegetables."

34. Ruby the elephant - £60K

Patty Shenker spent her life donating money towards the care of animals but it surprised everyone when she pledged £60K for Ruby's retirement fund in Los Angeles.

35. Csoki the parrot - £50K

Rescued from a bazaar in Africa, Csoki went on to inherit £50K from his adoptive owner Victoria Brown. Csoki now lives in Ms Brown's Greenwich mansion in London.

36. Big Tibby the tortoise - £50K

Big Tibby is the second richest reptile in the world after inheriting £50K from owner Donald Moss.

37. Japhia Lilac Moonshadown the cat - £30K

Another recipient of Christina Foyle's infamous will, Japhia Lilac Moonshadow inherited his £30K share of her will in 1999.

38-39. Jasper and Jason the dogs - £25K each

Brewery heiress Diana Myburgh left her rescue dogs Jasper and Jason 25 k in 1995. Jason has since passed away but left his fortune to his best friend, Jasper.

40. Cleo the cat - £24K

Cleo the Balinese got her share of £24K in Christina Foyle's will.

41. 48 Aberdeen Angus cattle and 100 Cheviot sheep - £20K each

It's not just eccentric aristocrats and actors that mention their favourite animals in their wills, our own royal family have a pencant for the natural world, not least the late Queen Mother. Upon her death in 2002, the Queen Mother left a trust fund to 48 Aberdeen Angus cattle and 100 Cheviot sheep that caught her eye totalling £3million.

42-45. Porgy, Pride, Joy and Ronald the cats - £17.5K each

Yet more beneficiaries of Christina Foyle's will, Porgy, Pride, Joy and Ronald each received £17.5K of their owner's fortune.

46-47. Topcat and Matilda the cats - £10K each

Topcat and Matilda inherited £10K each in 2004 after their librarian owner passed away. Although their owner lived frugally, refusing central heating and travelling only by public bus service, she made sure that her cats would have only the best for their futures.

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-cat-insurance.asp

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-dog-insurance.asp