Garfield, an adorable chubby cat -- touted as the world's fattest -- is being prepared to enter his new foster home, acording to his shelter's Facebook page.
The 40-pound tabby cat was brought into the North Shore Animal League America shelter in May, after his owner passed away. The staff immediately became smitten with the cat, but concerns have been growing about his weight -- a factor that became a major consideration in the adoption process.
"Garfield spent the day in his new playpen enjoying all his new toys under the watchful eye of our staff. He had his photo taken by the press and happily roamed around his pen. Garfield is going straight into his new foster home tomorrow and will also have a brief appearance on a local morning show Good Day New York (Fox 5) at 9:15am. Stayed tuned for updates on his progress," the shelter wrote on its Facebook page.
The shelter was reluctant to give the cat up for adoption before ensuring the owner would keep him on a strict diet.
"People often think that an obese animal is not in physical danger, but nothing could be further from the truth," said Mark Verdino, vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America, headquartered in Port Washington, N.Y. "Just like with humans, too much weight can cause serious health problems. It leads to diabetes, heart disease, joint, bone and ligament damage, high blood pressure, intolerance to heat, and more."
North Shore's medical experts have provided Garfield with all the care and attention he needs. Since being in the care of the shelter, Garfield has lost 1 pound, but he is still having difficulty moving around because of his size.
Verdino explained that cats only eat what they are given and therefore it is imperative that the new owners reduce his kibble intake. Decreasing his snack size, and making sure he gets exercise, is key to the weight-loss process, doctors said.
Prior to Garfield, a cat from Santa Fe, N.M., called Meow was recognized as the world's fattest cat at 39 pounds. He died of pulmonary failure at 30 pounds, the Daily Telegraph reported. Sponge Bob, a 33-pound ginger Tom cat is also recognized as one of the world's fattest cats.
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