Nermal is a small gray and black stripped kitten, self-proclaimed "The world's cutest kitten." He frequently makes unannounced visits into Garfield's home, where he flaunts his cuteness and becomes the focus of Jon's attention for the entire duration of his visit. Nermal especially does this on Garfield's birthdays to remind him of how he is getting older. Although Nermal was introduced as belonging to Jon's parents, this connection was dropped from the strip.
A running gag with Nermal is Garfield's repeated attempts to ship Nermal to Abu Dhabi by putting him inside a box with holes and it for the mailman.