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I had a similar issue -- nemo eating CPU, not much RAM though. But the .cache wasn't the issue. What magically fixed it was: clean up my Desktop by moving every file except .jpg, .png, folders and .desktop shortcuts out of my Desktop/ folder. (also I manually killed nemo, launced natilus to try it out, then killed nautilus and re-launched nemo, but that probably didn't influence the actual fixing)

I got that problem after force-copying a backup of my home dir (all of it, even hidden .something folders and files ... silly me) onto the homedir of a freshly installed ubuntu.