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Patches, a 42-pound 6-year-old cat, found himself at a Richmond, Virginia shelter, surrendered by his humans. They said they couldn’t care for him anymore. He was the biggest cat the shelter staff had ever seen. When they put the cat up for adoption, they dubbed him “gloriously gluttonous.” 

Unbelievably, the cat weighed over double what he should have weighed. At most, he should be around 15-20 pounds, said Robin Young from Richmond Animal Care & Control. This cat could stand to lose 50% of his body weight!

Patches the 42-pound cat rescued by Richmond Animal Care & Control and adopted by Kay Ford, weight loss journey

via Facebook/Patches’ Journey

Fortunately, bloodwork showed he was in relatively good health, without diabetes or thyroid issues. The cat’s weight was likely the result of too many treats. But with impaired mobility, the big lovable furbaby immediately needed to begin a weight loss journey. In addition, he was also neutered and chipped.

Patches sploot

Patches sploot

Patches Got Adopted in Hours

Unlike the vast majority of adult shelter cats, Patches became an immediate viral sensation and found a home in hours. 

“Did you wake up today and say, ‘Let’s adopt the largest cat anyone has ever seen?’ If so, we have the cat for you,” the shelter’s post read.

Richmond Animal Care & Control post about the big kitty.

Richmond Animal Care & Control post about the big kitty via Facebook.

This Is Your Moment!

After nationwide interest, the shelter had to narrow down the list and chose Kay Ford, an experienced shelter pet adopter. When she applied, she wrote about wanting to go on a weight loss journey with the cat. Later, Ford explained that she learned about Patches in a text from her daughter. Along with a picture of the cat, the daughter wrote, “This is your moment!”

Immediately, Ford fell in love at first sight and seized the hefty moment, carrying the cat home (with some help).

Video via Facebook/Richmond Animal Care & Control

Then, it was off to the vet in a red wagon, where Ford learned that Patches needed to lose a whopping 50% of his body weight. In time, she plans to achieve a 20-pound weight loss along with her cat. As we’ve shared before, cats must lose weight gradually. So please consult your veterinarian if you think your cat needs a weight loss regimen. Each kitty is different with unique health needs.

Video via NBC12 Richmond:

Patches Becomes a Huge Sensation

Patches’ enormous size and cute purrsonality instantly drew international media attention. Outlets in Australia and Ukraine have interviewed Ford, she shared.

Patches in his favorite spot on the kitchen floor via Facebook/Patches' Journey

Patches in his favorite spot on the kitchen floor via Facebook/Patches’ Journey

Ford appeared on local and national news outlets to talk about the pretty kitty and her commitment to helping him. She got to talk to one of her favorite “journalistic idols,” Jeanne Moos of CNN, who was stunned by the rotund feline.

Patches in the sunshine

After taking the big cat home, Ford says she feels “very lucky to be chosen” to help him. Although it will be a challenge, she has faith things are going to work out just fine.

“Sometimes you have to set aside thinking about the pros and cons of things and jump into the deep end of the pool with both feet,” she told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “And that is exactly what I did.”

Video via Richmond Times-Dispatch:

At the cat’s vet check, he had already dropped 3.2 pounds to 38.8 pounds. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg with a daily exercise plan and closely monitored diet carefully designed by the shelter’s on-site veterinarian.

Big kitty sleeping in the sunshine

Patches’ Journey Inspires Worldwide Attention

With the cat becoming a sudden worldwide star, everyone wants to see what happens next. 

“I never realized that I was going to be accountable to tens of thousands of people,” Ford said. “But if that’s one way to do it, that’s one way to do it, and darn it, I’m going to do it!” she said. “If he can do it, I can do it.”

Kay Ford holding Patches after adopting him.

Recently, the cat has begun to sit, an important new milestone. The story has inspired others to start their own weight-loss plans. Plus, the story became a lesson plan for a 2nd grade classroom in Washington State.

Now, thousands of fans are supporting “Patches’ Journey” from “lovable honkin’ chonk to fit and fabulous feline” on Facebook. The now-famous chonk lives with 2-year-old Wellesley, his “little brother” who looks just like Patches (except Wellesley has no heart spot on his nose). They share the home with cute sister Bella the 13-year-old Yorkie. 

Not long after he arrived, Patches and Wellesley have become play buddies after gradually warming up to each other. So Patches’ mini-me will help him to keep moving as he makes progress.

Patches and Wellesley nose bonk via Facebook/Patches' Journey

Patches and Wellesley nose bonk for the first time.

Wonderfully, Patches’ story has drawn attention to the Richmond shelter where many other cats and pets need homes today.

Video by NBC12 Richmond:

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