According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest cat to ever live was a Texan cat called Creme Puff. Creme Puff reached the ripe old age of thirty-eight before she died on August 6, 2005.
Additionally, a British cat called Rubble reached a staggering thirty-one years before she died on July 3, 2020. And, we can’t forget about the world’s oldest living cat recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records – Flossie the cat; who will turn twenty-eight on December 29, 2023.
With these outstanding records of longevity, you’d think that cats live longer than they lead on. While the longevity of a cat’s life depends on a myriad of factors, cats typically live between ten and twenty years.
With proper nutrition, physical exercise, and regular veterinary checkups, there’s no reason why your cat couldn’t outlive the oldest living cat. Not to mention that there’s a huge difference between the lifespan of an indoor cat and that of an outdoor one.
Now, indoor cats are taken care of, pampered, and spoiled which attests to the fact that they have roughly double the life expectancy of outdoor cats. Outdoor cats, stray cats, and feral cats are left to fend for themselves which can be a tough task considering they’re exposed to illnesses, parasites, and predators.
When a cat that spent most of her time outside reaches an outstanding age, that’s a cause for celebration, for sure. Well, that’s exactly what happened to the protagonist of the story we’re bringing you today.
Meet Nutmeg, a very, very old cat that celebrated his thirty-first Christmas which makes him a hundred and forty-one years old in cat years. Nutmeg might not be an outdoor cat right now, but the poor moggy was a stray for over five years before he was rescued by Liz and Ian Finlay.
When Liz and Ian saw Nutmeg for the first time, they didn’t know he was a stray. The Finlays’ former cat, Spice, was obsessed with Nutmeg and she kept bringing the stray home even though she wasn’t allowed to do that.
The couple didn’t know what to do at first because Nutmeg wasn’t the type of cat they’d go for. He was scruffy and grubby, he didn’t smell nice because he didn’t bathe, and he wasn’t fond of humans (at least not at first).
However, Nutmeg continued hanging out with Spice and once the couple figured out that he was a stray, they decided to adopt him. The Finlays didn’t have children of their own – Spice was their only child, and they knew she’d be over the moon if Nutmeg came to live with them.
Considering that Nutmeg was a stray, the Finlays didn’t know how old he was. With a little help from Cat Protection League, UK’s leading cat welfare charity, the two were told that the friendly stray was a little over five years old – according to the condition of Nutmeg’s teeth.
When a vet took a look at Nutmeg, he determined that the kitty was happy and healthy, for the most part. Nutmeg needed to be treated for an abscess and a few health niggles along the way, but he was a strong cat and he got through treatment without batting an eye.
Liz and Ian were over the moon when Nutmeg started getting used to them, showing off the addicting purrsonality he’d been hiding from them, and bonding with them. Nutmeg made the Finlays’ lives better by being there for them through thick and thin.
Over time, Liz and Ian had to say goodbye to Spice, move to another area, and mourn the death of numerous family members.
Of course, the couple experienced an array of memorable moments, too, from birthdays and wedding anniversaries to fun trips with Nutmeg as a long-living, loyal sidekick.
The Finleys celebrated Nutmeg’s birthday every March because that was the month when Spice started bringing him home and when the two decided to keep him. The couple didn’t even think about Nutmeg’s age because he was healthier than the two of them combined.
Then one day, Nutmeg suffered a serious seizure and stroke and had to be treated by Westway Veterinary Centre in Newcastle. When Ian talked to the vets that performed surgery on Nutmeg, they were shocked at how great he was doing considering the fact he was super, super old – even at that time.
Nutmeg bounced back from the unfortunate event within the next few weeks. The Finlays, however, couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Nutmeg might be the world’s oldest living cat.
Nutmeg was older than the cat that was awarded the title at the time and the two wanted to check whether there was something that could be done about that.
When the Finlays contacted the Guinness Book of World Records, though, they were told that Nutmeg didn’t qualify for the title because the couple didn’t know the exact date of birth. Nutmeg was adopted from the streets and the Finlays couldn’t prove that he was over thirty-one years old.
Nutmeg didn’t care about the title, anyway. He had a happy and healthy life filled with affection and appreciation he received from the Finlays. He had three teeth left and he wasn’t happy about the fact that he couldn’t eat chicken anymore. He wanted to eat, sleep, and repeat because that’s what made life worth living.
The Finlays argued, “Nutmeg isn’t our cat, we are his humans and he doesn’t let us forget that.” That’s the secret to a long life, according to Nutmeg. Nutmeg, you might not be the oldest living cat to the people of the Guinness Book of World Records, but you are the oldest living cat to us!