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Nermal is a major character in the Garfield franchise.

Physical appearance

Nermal is a grey tabby kitten with two small grey colored ears, two huge eyes with white sclera and black pupils, as well as visible eyelashes. He has a grey muzzle with a small pink nose, and he has black stripes on his cheeks, on his back, and on his tail. He also has a plump body, similar to that of Garfield, as well as big feet with three toes. His tail is long and marked with black stripes.

In Garfield: The Movie, Nermal is depicted as a Siamese cat who has bright blue eyes, a dark face mask, a light colored body with white fur, as well as large, pointed ears, a slender body, long legs and black paws. He also has a long and fuzzy black tail.


He first appeared in the comic strip on September 3, 1979, and his latest appearance was on June 19, 2024. He has also appeared in the television shows Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show, as well as in the straight-to-DVD movies Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest, and Garfield's Pet Force. He also had an appearance in Garfield: The Movie, although he looked completely different from the kitten in the comic strip. Nermal is known as Garfield's main nemesis in the Garfield franchise. Garfield always tries to send Nermal to Abu Dhabi.


Some fans have mistaken Nermal for a female kitten due to his eyelashes, his seemingly feminine personality, and the feminine-sounding tone of his voice on Garfield and Friends. Jim Davis often gives younger characters eyelashes, including Garfield himself in the "Garfield" segment of Garfield: His 9 Lives and Orson at the beginning of the U.S. Acres comic strip.

In Garfield and Friends, Nermal's voice was provided by Desirée Goyette. Starting with Garfield Gets Real, he is voiced by Jason Marsden, thereby breaking the confusion. He was also voiced by David Eigenberg in Garfield: The Movie.

The Latin American dub of Garfield and Friends had Nermal renamed Telma, and his gender changed to female. After season one, "Telma" was changed back to Nermal. Despite this, Nermal's gender only changed back to male near the end of the series. In the Italian dub of Garfield and Friends, Nermal's gender is changed to female.

In Garfield's Defense and Garfield's Defense 2, Nermal is referred to as female.


Nermal is generally described as a cute grey tabby cat whom Garfield is jealous of. Although he can be nice on occasion, Nermal regularly and often intentionally annoys Garfield and sometimes Odie, which usually results in Garfield trying to ship him to Abu Dhabi. Nermal often comes in unannounced (and usually on Garfield's birthday), much to Garfield's dismay. Nermal acts as a smart-aleck towards Garfield (much like Arlene). Nermal can be almost as arrogant as Garfield, sometimes even more so.

When he first appeared, it was stated that he was owned by Jon's parents, which was never mentioned again (nor is he shown on Jon's parents' farm). When he appears, it is usually because Jon has to babysit him. According to "Change of Mind", Nermal's owners leave him at Jon's house "every so often."

Nermal revels in his cuteness and proudly proclaims himself as the cutest kitten in the world. Nermal can be quite devious at times like when he tricked Garfield into thinking there was a shark in his water bowl by swimming in it with a shark fin. Nermal also takes great pleasure in irritating Garfield in spite of Garfield being bigger and stronger than him (Garfield told the audience that Nermal might not live to see his next birthday on one such occasion). Nermal is shown to secretly look up to Garfield and sees him as his best friend, despite Garfield mistreating him.

In The Garfield Show, Nermal often acts smug to Garfield and sometimes blackmails him into being nice to him, playing with him or punishing him and Odie when they are mean to him. Differently than the other incarnations, he occasionally wins against Garfield. In "Out on a Limb" while normally calm, he can go into uncontrollable fits of rage if anyone calls him mangy.

In Garfield Originals, Nermal is the mean one between him and Garfield and he is more mischievous, selfish and obnoxious. This time he is the main antagonist as he is shown constantly trying to annoy or harass Garfield in many ways, including putting a bomb behind him. All of Nermal's attempts fail by Garfield's awareness, and he ends up getting hurt or humiliated in the end.

Garfield: The Movie

Nermal plays a major role in Garfield: The Movie, being depicted as a casual friend to Garfield. He was among those disapproving of Garfield letting Odie run away. In the movie he is portrayed as an adult Siamese Cat.

The Garfield Movie

Nermal makes a cameo near the end of the film and is shown trying to get a piece of cake from Garfield at his party.

Alter egos


Abnermal is the superhero version of Nermal. Unlike the rest of the team, Abnermal quickly takes to his superpowers and is overjoyed to be a hero. Abnermal's abilities include his Pester Power, the ability to create force fields, and a body temperature of absolute zero that allows him to freeze anything he touches and project ice blasts. In the movie, he is given super speed.


Ramone is an alter-ego disguise made by Nermal to win the Fun Fest by dancing with Arlene. Garfield eventually exposes his identity while fighting over who gets to dance with Arlene, resulting in a disqualification.

In "The Superhero Apprentice", he, along with Hercules, become supervillains in order to get revenge on The Caped Avenger.

Several other kittens that greatly resemble Nermal are shown at the end of "The Art of Being Uncute", all of them having won their local cutest cat competitions and winning trips to Greenland, and all of them seemed to want to annoy Garfield.


  • Nermal has appeared 149 times in the comics as of the 11th of October 2017, the 13th most.
  • Herman Post once informed Jon about a box with a cat inside (Nermal) with insufficient postage and an address in Abu Dhabi. Jon then immediately suspected it was Garfield's doing.
  • On February 29, 2020, Nermal told Garfield that he was cute, and that Garfield was just Garfield. Confused, Garfield did not know whether to take that remark as a compliment or as an insult.
  • In Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show (alongside the strip for March 13, 1988), Garfield disposes of him by mailing him to Abu Dhabi. There is also a running gag in the strip (beginning in the late 1990s) where Garfield throws Nermal through the door in response to his taunts. In The Garfield Show, Garfield ties Nermal to a rocket and blasts him into empty space several times.
  • In Garfield's Cyber Safety Adventures, Nermal attends Kittyhawk Elementary School.
  • In The Garfield Show, Nermal often gives his name as "Nermal Cat". In Garfield's Pet Force, his full name is given as "Nermal C. Kitten".
  • In Garfield: His 9 Lives, at the end of the Garfield segment, one of the kittens who is listening to Garfield resembles Nermal.

Television appearances

Garfield and Friends

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

The Garfield Show

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Appearances in comics