There have been several contenders for the oldest cat throne over the years, including 26-year-old Corduroy, Scooter the Siamese, who sadly passed away shortly after we reported on his record-breaking status, and more recently, Banjo the street cat who was discovered living on the streets by the RSPCA Southall Cattery in London.
While Banjo was thought to be the oldest cat living in Britain right up until the end of the summer, new kit on the block Nutmeg, a grumpy old gentleman who just celebrated his 31st birthday may have just usurped the title. When Nutmeg's human age is converted into cat years, he stands at a magnificent 141 years old. No wonder he's a little tired around the edges and, dare we say it, a tad cantankerous.
Nutmeg's pet parents Liz and Ian Finlay took him in as a stray in 1990. Local vets in Newcastle, England estimated the Tabby cat to be at least five years old at the time. "We celebrate his birthday in March every year so we know it was around March 1990 when we got him. I sorted [an] abscess on his neck and then we took him to the Cats Protection League to check him over. The vet there said he was an adult, around five years [old]," Ian told the Newcastle Chronicle.
When asked about the secret behind Nutmeg's extraordinary age, the Finlays were quick to note the cat's love of chicken, as well as their tendency to spoil the old feline: "He comes in every morning at 5am from his bed next door and we get up and feed him. We have no children [so] he is our baby."
The Finlays now face a battle to produce documentation that proves Nutmeg's age so that they may approach the Guinness Book of Records with their claim. Current record holder Corduroy may soon be asked to retire from the limelight, but we don't suppose that will faze him one bit – he may even be a little relieved to let someone else wear his crown.