Sassy, cuddly and full of attitude, fat cats like Walter are beloved mascots of the Internet. But feline obesity can lead to myriad health issues, including liver damage and orthopedic problems. (Photo: Portland Humane Society)
Poor Walter! Not only did he lose his forever home and go to a shelter in Portland Oregon, but the darling kitty is struggling with obesity. Oregon’s KTVZ reports that, weighing in at 28 pounds, Walter is the biggest cat the Oregon Humane Society has ever seen.
“This cat is looking for a workout partner to help him lose weight in the new year,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS executive director.
“Obese cats are no laughing matter, and we will give a free bag of low-calorie cat food and a laser pointer for exercise to whoever adopts Walter,” said Harmon.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention claims that about 63 percent of American cats are obese. Although the roly-poly pusses are often adored and lampooned on the Internet, being a fat cat carries serious health risks. Some cats become so obese that they are unable to properly clean themselves and develop painful conditions in their perineal area. Others become too fat to stand or walk properly and suffer from serious joint problems.
Besides too many table scraps or people food, veterinarians blame much of feline obesity on dry cat food. Optimal cat weight loss diets should be high in protein, moderate in fat and low in carbs. Fifty percent protein, 23 percent fat and 7 percent carbs is a healthy wet food ratio.