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Everyone deserves to be loved and cared for, no matter their age….or size. That’s certainly true for Seven, a 30-pound kitty plumpkin who found himself at the Jacksonville Humane Society in Florida in late May. People found him so cute, in fact, that he was adopted in less than seven hours, and now he’s on his way to a healthier life.

The shelter notes he’s “roughly the size of a barge” and “full of love,” The Miami Herald reports.

“Come meet Seven. He’s 30 lbs of love. He’s looking for a new home to help him slim down with help from a veterinarian. This beef cookie is waiting for you in Group Room 2 at JHS, 8464 Beach Blvd., where you might find another chonky cat or two,” the shelter posted to Facebook.

Seven the kitty, The Jacksonville Humane Society

Offers Flooded In For Seven

Facebook users fell in love with this “beef cookie” and offers to adopt Seven flooded in. Others shared photos of their chunky kitties who resembled Seven.

One person couldn’t help but find humor in the situation.

“Won’t need to go to the gym with that guy. Just carry him around for a bit and get your workout,” the person joked.

One rather remarkable photo posted to Twitter shows a vet tech holding Seven and her 15-pound son in side-by-side photos, and the result is definitely impressive.

“One weighs double the other,” the tweet says. “Take a guess.”

Woman holding big cat next to woman holding baby

Seven is definitely a lovable, friendly boy who got along well with his other feline buddies in the shelter’s group room. And the staff say he absolutely loved soaking up the attention. They estimate this adorable, precious kitty is around 3 years old. And one commenter, charmed by his sweet-faced appearance was tempted to take him home, but couldn’t resist asking “But, what’s like one more cat?”

“He’s more like 3 more,” was the shelter’s response.

Seven Has a Ways To Go

While Seven is definitely adorable, the problems he faces as an overweight cat definitely aren’t. And this baby’s quality of life could be seriously impacted, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center. Hopefully, his new family remains dedicated to him on the weight-loss path.

big cat, The Jacksonville Humane Society

The university reports that a cat is considered obese if its body weight is 20 percent or more above what’s considered normal weight. And the sad thing is, that obesity is the most commonly observed nutritional deficiency in housecats. The university warns that this should be seen as serious and action should be taken quickly so that more serious problems don’t show up.

big cat from Pixabay

Image by ivabalk via Pixabay

Most overweight cats are often less active and health problems can definitely arise from this. And health problems can increase exponentially with every pound a cat gains. Osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, hip dysplasia, and cardiovascular disease are just a few of the conditions an overweight cat may face. According to veterinarian Carolyn McDaniel, who’s affiliated with the hospital, nearly 50 percent of cats seen by veterinarians are overweight.

How To Help Your Beef Cookie Lose Weight

If your kitty is overweight, there are simple steps you can take to help her lose weight. As you might suspect, a change in your kitty’s diet is in order, coupled with exercise. But a trip to the vet is also in order, TheHonestKitchen reports. Each cat’s body is unique and all have different needs. This means that even the little things, like making small adjustment’s in your kitty’s diet, the amount of food she eats, and even the number of times she eats each day can have a positive — or a negative effect. Fortunately, your vet can help you work out the best diet for your baby. Most likely, your cat’s age and breed will also play a part in your vet’s decisions.

The idea of establishing a body condition score for cats is something that’s gaining traction. The photo below shows you what you need to know.

Body Condition Score, cats

Source: WSAVA

It’s also best to slowly change your kitty’s diet. Most cats don’t like change so it’s best that you do this over a period of two to three weeks. Make small changes to her feeding routine — including how often you feed her, the size of her meals, and the type of food you feed her. She’ll be less likely to object if you do this.

cat scratching a post

Image by Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay

Proper Exercise Can Also Help

But changing her diet only solves part of the problem. She also needs exercise to burn calories and fat and to rev up her energy levels. Playtime with her is, of course, an excellent way to begin. But cats also love climbing on cat trees and laser pointers are another way to get them scrambling around and having a blast. Other suggestions: 

  • Using a treat toy or feeding ball. It can be fun for a cat to work for treats. These turn mealtime into playtime and get that kitty brain working. But the best part is that these provide food slowly and that means your kitty takes more time to eat while burning calories at the same time.
  • Thirty minutes of playtime and even going for a walk (with kitty properly harnessed) can be very beneficial. Either of these activities is an excellent way to strengthen your bond with your cat and since many cats eat out of boredom, these activities can serve as a cure for that.
cat on harness

Image by avbashi via Pixabay

One More Thing You Should Know

Don’t rush things. Don’t cut her food or increase her exercise too rapidly. If you do, there’s the chance that you could actually make her sick. Cats who go without food for two days (and why would you even do this?) can develop fatty liver disease, which can go straight into liver disease. In all likelihood, your cat didn’t gain weight quickly, therefore so her weight loss should be slow. Your kitty can safely lose about 0.5 to two percent of her weight each week — that’s the guideline you should shoot for. Your vet can also help guide you in this.

It’s wonderful that adorable Seven has a loving home, and adding a plump kitty to your home can actually be fun and rewarding when you dedicate yourself to helping your beautiful new family member lose weight.

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