Nutmeg’s owners claim he’s just an ordinary Geordie cat from the UK, albeit a bit cantankerous with age now. But he is also one of the contenders for the world’s oldest living cat. When Liz and Ian Finlay found him in their garden in 1990, the Cat Protection League estimated he was at least 5 years old. They have given him his forever home ever since. In 2016, he celebrated his 31st birthday. That’s 141 in cat years.
Nutmeg had led a hard life before ending up under the Finlays’ wheelbarrow. They nursed him back to health and he became a fixture in their household. They insist that they don’t own him. He owns them.
Nutmeg is not officially the oldest cat in the world, since there is no documentation of his real age. However, the oldest official cat Scooter, a Siamese from Mansfield, TX, passed away at the age of 30 in May 2016 and the next-oldest Corduroy, a 26-year-old Maine Coon cat, went missing in Oregon and was presumed dead in December.
If the Finlays can prove the date of Nutmeg’s adoption, that would make him the world’s oldest cat living, though not the oldest known cat. That was Creme Puff, a tabby cat from Austin, TX who died in 2005 at the age of 38.
Nutmeg nearly didn’t make it to 31. He had a stroke in 2015, but was saved by Dr Gillis and her team at Westway Veterinary Group in Newcastle on Tyne. The Finlays hope they will have him for a few years more.