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West Van fat cat inspires weight-loss challenge
A hefty cat at the West Vancouver SPCA is too fat for his own good.
Nemo, a friendly six-year-old feline, needs to quickly drop half his body weight.
Weighing in at unhealthy 20 pounds, he was abandoned at the shelter last month. The “Finding Nemo’s Waistline” social media campaign launched soon after in an effort to highlight the risks of pet obesity while tracking Nemo’s weight loss.
“He was in a carrier too small for him to stand up or turn around in,” says Dragana Hajdukovic, manager for the West Van shelter. “Nemo was stone cold to the touch and covered in his own urine.”
After being cleaned up and treated for a broken tooth and fleas, the chunky cat was ready to start shedding the pounds. He has already lost a few on his new diet regimen and by playing with shelter staff and volunteers.
Nemo is up for adoption but only to someone who is committed to helping him reach a healthy weight. SPCA staff hope he will live longer now that his chances of having diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and chronic pain are decreasing.
To take part in the weight-loss pledge, Hajdukovic recommends:
-Always following the feeding instructions on the cat food label
-Providing opportunities to exercise with toys and climbing posts
-Not buying unhealthy treats. Instead use some of the regular-portioned kibble as “treats” throughout the day
Although obesity is often caused by owners overfeeding their pets, she adds, it’s best to check with a vet first to make sure the weight problem isn’t caused by another issue.
To follow Nemo’s journey and pledge to keep your pet healthy, visit West Vancouver SPCA's Facebook page.