Fat Cat Goes On A Diet
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Meow at Sante Fe Animal Shelter
"Meow" is a 39 pound cat recently turned into an animal shelter in Sante Fe, New Mexico by his 87 year old elderly owner. She could no longer care for him. No one is sure what Meow's owner had been feeding him to cause him to gain so much weight. This is equivalent to a 500+ pound human.
Veterinarians in Sante Fe are working on a diet to help what could be one of the fattest cats in the world. (For the record, an Aussie cat named Himmy weighs 47 pounds. Guiness no longer does heaviest cat competition as they feel it sets a bad example to cat owners).They hope to help Meow slowly lose the weight and now have him on a high protein/low carbohydrate diet. So far, Meow has lost a few pounds. I guess now we have Atkins Diet For Cats. It's called the Catkins diet. Seriously. Google it if you don't believe me!
Their goal is for Meow to lose at least ten pounds so he can be adopted into a loving family.
Cats may become overweight for a variety of reasons. They may be on a junk food cat diet, meaning the commercial cat food is of poor quality. Cats need meat, not carbs and sugar.
Was meow being fed inappropriate foods? If his owner fed him things like cookies and cake, he could easily have become overweight.
I read awhile back that on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being skinny and 10 being fat, 4 is the idea number for a cat. I'm fortunate that all of my cats are self regulating with their food intake. They have food available at all hours, but they know when they're full. If only I could follow their example.
Most of our cats are at a 4-6 on the scale. Misty, who's declawed, is underweight and we have to work hard keeping weight on her. Our new addition Ginger, also declawed, is also too thin.
The concept of a seriously, life threateningly overweight cat is new to me. I was surprised to learn Meow is barely two years old. Do the math. He had to have been doing some serious eating to have gained that much weight in only a few years.
Meow wants to be like other cats. Right now he can't be. Because of his weight problems, he has to have assistance being pulled around. His body can't play for more than a few minutes before he's tired. This weight is bad for every system in his body. Not to mention his mental outlook. Poor kitty probably wonders why he doesn't have the energy to play like other cats.
Let's all wish Meow a good weekly weigh in on his way to becoming an average weight cat. He has many years left once the weight's gone. I'm not sure how long he would live as an obese cat.
Does anyone know the figures on obese animals and death? I know with dogs, the weight goes into consideration along with the age of an animal. It probably works the same with cats.
Michael wrote a page about this cat too: Fat Cat Picture 39lbs.