Weight-loss Project Aims to Help Cat Fight Obesity

An exercise and feeding plan will help Alice, a 26-pound cat, lose weight.

By Soraya Gutierrez | Posted: April 24, 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Weight-loss Project Aims to Help Cat Fight Obesity
Alice, a 26-pound cat surrendered to the Rhode Island SPCA, is following a program designed to help her reach a healthy weight.
A cat that grew to a point where she was unable to groom herself might help veterinarians spread the word about the risks of overfeeding and obesity in pets. Alice, an 8-year-old spayed domestic shorthair cat weighing 26 pounds, was surrendered to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Lab tests show that the cat is in good health, however, her size makes it extremely difficult for her to move, said Amy Karls, DVM, a practice development veterinarian at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Karls helped the shelter staff to implement a new feeding program for Alice to help the cat reach a healthy weight and better quality of life.

The cat exercises by taking short walks to the extent that she can walk without causing breathing problems, Karls said. The goal is for Alice to drop to 15 pounds.

Weight-loss Project Aims to Help Cat Fight Obesity
Alice the cat's size makes it difficult for her to move around comfortably.
To get there, Karls designed specific feeding instructions, which include detailed portion sizes and weekly weigh-ins for the cat. She plans to work with the shelter during the next four to six months to oversee the weight loss program for Alice. “She currently requires some extra grooming maintenance, as she cannot reach many areas to clean herself,” Karls said.

The goal is to see Alice the cat drop to a comfortable size, Karls said, so that she then can be adopted to a loving family that will properly take care of her. The weight-loss program is in the early stages, and Karls said it will be some time before measurable changes are available to report. The cat’s food is being donated by Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

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Reader Comments

Kathryn and elizabeth    knoxville, TN

7/31/2011 11:04:47 AM

It is now 2011 and Pumpkin just turned 16 years old is still holding his weight at 14 pounds with a total weight loss of 16 pounds. He is in good health and very happy!

Kathryn    Knoxville, TN

3/23/2009 5:19:29 AM

My cat Pumpkin just won first prize for the most weight lost in the biggest loser contest. He lost 16lbs and we hope it added some more years to his life since he is almost 14. I highly recommend the Purina brand OM for weight loss, that is what Pumpkin ate for 2 years and it controlled his bowels and apparently tasted cat friendly. Some of the other weight loss foods we tried constipated him horribly. Good luck with weight loss, it is so rewarding for cat and mom!!

Amy Karls, DVM    Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., MA

4/25/2008 2:58:19 PM

The true heroes of this story are the wonderful staff and volunteers at the RISPCA. Thank you to Dr. Finocchio, Jacqueline, Cathy, Renee and all the special people at this shelter for giving Hill's the opportunity to be a part of Alice's recovery and for allowing us to share her story. We plan to update Alice's progress through CatChannel.com, and you can also visit the RISPCA website. On behalf of Alice - thank you all for your support!

Sally    Fort Worth, TX

4/25/2008 2:23:21 PM

Hi Catchannel.com. Great site for us cat lovers. Is there a way you could keep us up to date on Alice's progress? This is a great story and will be even greater should Alice reach her goal and get adopted.Her misfortune in life will actually save her. A book needs to be written about this tail. Thanks to Hill's, the RISPCA and the veterinarian who is monitoring her diet. Kudo's to all...........

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