"Obesity is the unreported cruelty," states Dr. E. J. Finocchio, as "obese cats are predisposed to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and other medical issues. You should always consult your veterinarian to get the proper diet for your cat."
Take the case of Alice, who was surrendered to the RISPCA weighing in at 26 LBS. Her mobility is so limited due to her size, that her breathing is affected - she pants quite a bit. She normally walks a few steps and then needs to rest. She cannot jump in and out of her cage and needs to be picked up for this. In addition, she is unable to clean herself, and this is really tough for a feline.
And that's not all - some visitors to the shelter were overhead laughing and making fun of Alice. Which prompted a staff member to post a note that said, "Yes, I'm fat...but its NOT funny." For any of us who have tried to lose a few extra pounds, you can sympathize with a animal who needs to lose half of her body weight. One child was moved by Alice's plight and sent a get well card to her.
She was given a bath the other day by staff and we let her sit in a sunny windowsill ( with someone who could stand next to her) while she warmed up. She actually started to groom her paws a bit. Alice is now on veterinary weight management food and we are hoping that she can get down to at least 13 LBS.
Her weight as of 3/24/08 is 22 LBS 13 oz.