A huge and heartfelt social media campaign was set up in the hopes of having cat brothers, Nikita and Leon, rehomed. Due to the incredible response, the old cats have ended up finding their new home at the grand old age of 21.
The two cats, who have been inseparable for their entire lives, are thought to be the oldest living cat siblings in the United Kingdom. It is incredible that not only have they had the chance to find their forever home, where they can live out their remaining days, but that they can do it together, side by side.
The pair of black shorthair crossbreeds were taken to the RSPCA animal shelter in Northamptonshire, England. Upon their arrival the workforce immediately fell in love with the cute and cuddly brothers and vowed to get them a home as soon as they could.
Michelle Billingham from the adoption team told the BBC that the two boys came to them ‘through no fault of their own’. That is when the RSPCA launched their huge social media campaign to find the boys their perfect home. To their surprise they were absolutely inundated with offers from all over the world.
The animal charity wrote a post on their Facebook page (which has now been deleted) ‘Poor Leon and Nikita found themselves in our care at the grand age of 21. They are bonded brothers and were signed over to be rehomed as they were not coping with family life.’
Despite them both being in relatively good health on their arrival at the shelter, one of the cats (Nikita) has recently been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and is undergoing a series of tests.
According to the shelter, Nikita is going to need easy access to his vets over the next few weeks, possibly even months. This is so they can check how he is doing with his medication and give him blood tests or any further tests he may need.
The animal shelter is used to rehoming animals, but because these boys were so old, it was particularly important to them to find them somewhere asap. The workers at the shelter have said that the pair love human contact and revel in getting chin tickles. However, with them being old, they prefer adult company and therefore a quiet home without children would be the best match for them.
The shelter thought it was important for the cat brothers to be rehomed nearby, in Northamptonshire, mostly because it would be easier for Nikita to continue his treatment and tests for hyperthyroidism. However, the pair were so popular that the animal shelter were inundated with applications from all over the world, including places as far away as America. They had expected a lot of applications, but they hadn’t expected the hundreds that they ended up receiving.
Julie Clifft, from the RSPCA Northamptonshire adoption team, added: ‘It’s been pretty crazy.
We have had over 100 applications for them from all over the place, from America, Cornwall and Cumbria.’
She was thrilled that they hadn’t been forced to separate the cats and had managed to get the pair rehomed together. The RSPCA commented that the cats deserved a new home and that it is their policy to never put a healthy pet down.
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According to the Royal Veterinary College, the average life expectancy of a domestic cat in the UK is 14 years old. However, as proven by Nikita and Leon, some do live longer. The oldest cat on record is a cat from Austin, Texas, who was born in 1967 and lived to be a whopping 38 years old!