UK’s Oldest Cat Brothers, Aged 21, Are Rehomed Together

by : Emily Brown on :
UK's Oldest Cat Brothers, Aged 21, Are Rehomed TogetherSWNS

Two black cats had their lucky day when they were rehomed together at the grand old age of 21. 

Cats have an average lifespan of about 15 years, but after both surpassing their teenage years and making it into their early twenties, Nikita and Leon are thought to be the UK’s oldest cat siblings.


The two black shorthair crossbreeds are known as ‘bonded brothers’, which means they are completely dependent on one another, and they recently found themselves in the care of the RSPCA after struggling to cope with ‘family life’.

Leon the catSWNS

The animal charity couldn’t bear the thought of splitting up the brothers after they’d spent their whole lives together, so it put out a plea on Facebook to find them both a new home.

Despite their age, both cats are in ‘fairly good health’, though Nikita has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, meaning he will be in need of blood tests to check how he is responding to medication.

Nikita the catSWNS

The RSPCA posted pictures of Leon and Nikita online and requested a ‘quiet home with no children’. Within hours, the charity was inundated with responses and offers from all over the world.

Julie Clifft, from the RSPCA Northamptonshire adoption team, commented:

It’s been pretty crazy. We have had over 100 applications for them from all over the place, from America, Cornwall and Cumbria. We wanted to keep them within the local area but some people haven’t read that bit.

They’ve been really, really popular. We expected lots of applications but not hundreds.


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Staff wanted to keep the cats together in Northamptonshire so that Nikita could be close to his vet in order to go for checks, and after sifting through the countless applications the RSPCA was finally able to find the pair a house in the county.

Clifft added:

It’s great because although they are old we never put a healthy pet down and they deserved a new home.


Both Leon and Nikita are said to be affectionate, and they share a love of ‘chin tickles and human company’.

Cat brothersSWNS

After seeing how much love Leon and Nikita received online, the RSPCA set up a ‘Senior Kittizens Fund’ in their honour to help the charity pay for vet bills and special food for its older residents.

It explained:


Each month our independent Northamptonshire branch takes in older pets that are no longer wanted and sometimes under tragic circumstances.

We support them, ensure they are on the correct diet and medication (if needed) and find them new homes that are purrfect for them. Text LEON to 70450 to donate, in honour of Leon & Nikita.

Hopefully Leon and Nikita will be able to enjoy their golden years in their new home and their adoption will prove an inspiration for those looking to help out other older felines.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNIALD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, Adoption, Cats, Now, Pets, rspca