His name is Symba the big kitty.
When Symba came to the Humane Rescue Alliance last week after his previous owner moved to a nursing home, they were surprised to find out just how enormous the ginger boy was.
"He reported over the phone that sweet Symba weighed nearly 40 pounds—which our staff was surprised to hear and thought surely he must be overestimating. When Symba arrived at our New York Avenue adoption center he weighed in at 35 pounds," the rescue said.
The HRA medical team began to check on Symba's overall health including a blood glucose test for diabetes due to his obesity. The result came back normal.
The friendly 6-year-old ginger boy is very mellow and sweet to everyone around him, but he has a long way to go until he gets back down to a healthy weight.
"At 15 pounds heavier than his 'goal weight' of 18 to 20 pounds, Symba is at an increased risk of health complications," the rescue said. "Once he was able to relax at the shelter, HRA animal care staff began his weight loss journey."
Walking is still a challenging task as Symba tries to find his footing. His caregivers are working on improving his diet and slowly getting him back on physical activities.
Symba has learned to walk on a cat wheel with help from the staff.
He is taking a few steps at a time.
The ginger cat currently receives 2/3 cup of food every 12 hours and they use a food puzzle feeder to help slow down his eating.
"Behavior and training specialist, Lisa Stemcosky, says allowing cats to 'free feed' by keeping their bowl full throughout the day is unnatural for cats." The availability of food allows the cat to eat throughout the day, contributing to obesity.
"Symba is bigger than a lion cub and we know he'd be much more comfortable if he slimmed down a bit.
"If you're up for the challenge, he'd love to go home with you and continue his weight loss journey. This handsome fellow is sweet, mellow, and waiting for a new home where he can thrive. Meet him at our New York Avenue adoption center."