Shelter Fat Cat Spotlight: When Food Is Not Love

Feline obesity rates in the U.S.are at an all time high of 55%, which means: there are over 40 million fat cats. Fat cats may seem funny or cute but fat doesn’t equal happy or healthy. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re reminded of how food and love go hand in hand. Advertisers target humans to buy chocolate buy the truckload and pet companies are enticing pet parents to buy treats. Food is love but excess food can kill, but how can we resist when cats swirl around our ankles, blinking with imploring eyes please feed me, and so we do, thinking the quickest way to a cat’s heart is through their stomach. Just as your hips will thank-you for not devouring a whole box of chocolates, your cats will thank-you for not overfeeding. Obese cats are at risk for all the same diseases as obese humans especially heart disease and diabetes. Remember it’s Cat LOVE Month.

The last time I was at the shelter I couldn’t believe my eyes. I peeked at the new arrival, a sweet spotted tabby, as yet unnamed, gazed up at me with marble green eyes.

Obese shelter cat-
I’m only fat from the neck down

Oh dear, this one needs exercise and I opened the cage door. A small head and dainty paws were in sharp relief to an enormous torso. I was so fixated on playing, brushing and cuddling with the biggest love bug, I didn’t check for gender. The name Slim Jim came to me. Maybe one day the name won’t be ironic.

Obese shelter cat-cat love month

Obese shelter cat-all you need is love

What concerned me as much as the excess weight was the heavy dandruff, dirty ears and mangled tail. This affectionate cat had clearly known love but was not a well cared for. It’s not uncommon for the elderly to dote on a pet, overfeed and underexercise their cats. Sadly when the person goes into assisted living, their cats are often surrendered to a shelter. I don’t know why this loving cat was surrendered at age five but I know someone overfed him. Was he a glutton who begged for treats? Allowed to graze all day? All I know is he showed no interest in treats and when dinner arrived he preferred being brushed. I’ll report back on his diet and progress. Hey maybe even a new name and gender. Any ideas?

The New Rochelle Humane Society is having an online fundraising auction with prices starting at $1.00 for some really fun items. Check it out on their Facebook page. It’s only on until Friday.

There are some adorable younger arrivals and yes, kittens. There are far less at this time of year but it won’t be long before kitten season begins again. I’m pushing for our foster girl’s siblings/cage mates like PABLO. Please share. They’ve been in a cage their entire short life.


19 thoughts on “Shelter Fat Cat Spotlight: When Food Is Not Love”

  1. Awww…poor guy. I will be praying for you as the two of you begin your journey towards a healthier kitty. Even his joints will be healthier once they are not under the strain of the extra weight.

  2. I get concerned when I hear younger people saying that they think fat cats are cute. Like you said, many of these cats are loved, but the owners are misinformed about how they should actually be showing that love.

  3. We hope the new kitty at the shelter can safely lose those extra pounds. The last time the head peep was at the Pet Alliance here, the community cat room had several alarmingly obese cats. They have a program to prearrange guaranteeing shelter and placement for pets for the elderly, so she wondered if that was where they had come from, too. It’s sad to see cats so overweight, and we hope that the word gets out that a healthy weight makes happy cats!

  4. Sadly I saw this several times when I worked at the animal clinic. The poor things cannot even clean themselves. This is just as sad and to me cruel as starving one. We hope this lovely kitty can lose the weight, find a wonderful home and live a long truly happy life.
    We dread kitten season. It is the saddest time for us.
    We purr and pray that all find their truly purrfect furever homes.
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  5. I think Slim Jim is great name and I hope the kitty will be really slim Jim in the future.
    It’s really hard to say no when kitties ask treats with pretty eyes, but excess food is never love.

  6. best fishes to de newcomers & de seesoned rezodents…we hope ewe all find yur for evers by hearts day oh love ♥♥♥♥…N dood…best fishes on yur weight loss plan…we noe it can bee ruff ♥

  7. That poor kitty! My human is very careful with how much she feeds us and I get weighed regularly since I’m a growing kitten. She wants us to be healthy, which means we need to be in the proper weight range.

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