The cat though to be the oldest in the world has recently died at the age of 32. Nutmeg the Tabby did not feature in the Guinness Book of World Records because his precise age could not be verified but he was found as a stray when already an adult cat in 1990.
Adopting a Stray
Liz and Ian Finlay adopted Nutmeg in 1990 when their other cat, Spice, kept bringing him into the house. Nutmeg had a nasty abscess on his neck so the Finlays took the stray to Cats Protection who said that it was okay for the couple to adopt him as he had clearly been abandoned. The charity felt that the cat was at least 5 years old at the time due to the condition of his teeth.
The Record Breaker
The Finlays were later to regret not retaining evidence of their visit to Cats Protection as this would have provided evidence of Nutmeg’s heroic age. When they realised that the cat might be a record breaker they searched in vain for proof of their visit.
Nutmeg clearly knew when he was on to a good thing as he was happy to stay with the Finlays. He remained with the couple for 27 years and they were unaware that they might own the world’s oldest cat until chatting with a vet at the local supermarket.
Scooter, a Siamese from Mansfield, Texas, had been named as a record breaker at the age of 30 by the Guinness Book of World Records but Scooter died in May this year. Unfortunately, Nutmeg could not replace him as the official champion as Guinness require evidence of the record holder’s date of birth. However, it is safe to say that Nutmeg was impressively old by feline standards as domestic cats in the UK live, on average, for 15 years.
Brush with Death
The battling feline had a brush with death in 2015 when he underwent lifesaving treatment at Westway’s veterinary hospital in Newcastle following a stroke. But already aged 30, his days were always going to be numbered.
Nutmeg had been doing very well considering his age and stroke, despite a distinct lack of teeth. But he then started to go downhill and to get really thin. He became seriously ill quite quickly and the Finlay’s realised that his next trip to the vet would be his last. Nutmeg died 29 August of catastrophic heart failure. The couple have been left heartbroken by their loss and do not wish to take on another cat as they couldn’t face the upset of losing another treasured pet.