There is an obesity epidemic among us felines. Many of us are way too big. More than half of us felines are overweight or obese. I have written about Hill’s Metabolic Diet and how it helps overweight cats lose weight. I consider overweight cats to be special needs cats because they have a medical condition that must be treated. And Little Dude’s story shows us why.
Little Dude arrived at the WAGS Pet Adoption facility in Westminster, outside of Los Angeles, in August. He was so large that he did not fit in normal cages. That is no surprise, since this feline was 36 pounds! My furiends, I am a large feline, and I weigh 18 pounds. Little Dude, according to the humans in white coats, should have weighed about 12 pounds!
Little Dude was considered a special needs cat by the shelter, because his size was a risk to his health. Immediately, he was put on a diet to help him lose weight. But because of the stress of being in a new place, Little Dude lost weight more quickly than the humans in white coats thought was healthy. That meant that he had to have a feeding tube inserted so that he could lose weight at a slower rate.
Partially because of the obesity that made him a special needs cat, Little Dude was a very mellow and low key cat who loved to hang out and be brushed.
It looked like progress was being made, and Little Dude went to a foster home. He was down to 33 pounds, and while lots of work was going to be required before he got to a healthy weight, it looked like he was making progress.
Unfortunately, Little Dude got sick. He came down with pneumonia. Furiends, being as obese as Little Dude puts a tremendous amount of stress on our feline bodies. An illness that a cat at a healthy weight can fight off can be very dangerous for an overweight cat.
And that is what happened to Little Dude. The pneumonia took him away from us. As his foster human said, the 12 pound cat who was inside of him could not handle the strain of keeping a 33 pound body alive and fighting pneumonia.
I am sad that my fellow special needs cat Little Dude has left us. Let’s use his story as one to remind others that feline obesity can be a life threatening condition.