It is a relief to hear that a 36-pound (16kg) cat, who is so exceedingly obese he can hardly walk, has arrived in a cat shelter in Arizona where he can begin a strict weight loss regime. This news video shows him struggling to move around, but still managing to enjoy some human affection! Please don’t let your cats get fat, folks!!
Getting such a morbidly obese cat to lose weight must be done very carefully. Cats have a special liver metabolism that means if they are starved or made to lose weight too quickly, they can develop a liver condition called Hepatic Lipidosis. This is a potentially life-threatening illness that requires hospitalisation and intensive veterinary treatment. We recommend always getting advice from your vet about how to promote safe weight loss in your cat.
Many vet practices have separate cat wards, but not all provide hospitalised cats with a hiding place in their kennel. Cats have 3 ways of coping with stressful situations – escape, hide, or go ‘up high’. Since a kennel environment prevents escape, emphasis should be placed on providing a hiding place and, if possible, a corner shelf from which to observe their surroundings without fear of approach from behind. Research has shown that providing a ‘Hide and Perch’ box, as opposed to an open cat bed, improves rescue cats’ welfare and reduces their stress levels. They were also more likely to get along well together. The UK’s Cats Protection charity have developed a cat hide to mimic this in the veterinary hospital – www.cats.org.uk/cat-care