St. Pete woman adopts Sarasota fat cat

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UPDATE: Tiger was adopted by a lady from St. Pete who saw him on the news. She came with her daughter and grandchildren because she wanted to help a special needs cat.

SARASOTA, FL. - A 35-pound cat brought to a local animal shelter is up for adoption.

Tiger the cat was wheeled into Cat Depot and relinquished by its owner who had to move into an assisted living facility.

"He was literally wheeled into Cat Depot in a wheelchair," said Lynn Rasys, with Cat depot.

After a medical exam, the veterinary staff weighed the cat who tipped the scale at a whopping 35 pounds. Tiger was immediately placed on a carefully monitored diet program with a goal of losing one pound per month. Although he has no health issues, the cat has difficulty walking due to his tremendous size and can only take a few steps at a time.

"This is definitely an obese kitty, "said veterinarian Dr. Ronni Tudin with Bee Ridge Animal Clinic. "Most average cats are 8-10 pounds depending if they are male or female."

Doctor Tudin believes the cat was a free feeder, meaning food was always made available to him.

"Cats are carnivores and they should have a mostly protein and fat diet, opposed to carbohydrate diets. A lot of the commercial cat foods have mostly carbs, "said Tudin.

Tiger is available for adoption and ready for visitors in Cat Depot’s chubby cat suite. Tiger is the biggest cat the animal adoption agency has ever taken in, and may be one of the heaviest, living cats in the world. According to the website,, the world's most obese cat was from Russia and weighed 50 lbs.

“Tiger may be close to breaking a world record for biggest cat, but this is no laughing matter,” said Shelley Thayer, executive director, Cat Depot. “Health risks of obesity are real. It contributes to medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, and high blood pressure.”

A 2011 study by APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) found that over 50 percent of cats were either obese or overweight. Most domestic cats should weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. Cats are typically overfed their cat food, as well as “over-treated.” An average lazy 10-pound house cat usually needs only 180 and 200 calories each day.

Tips if you think your cat is overweight:

• Talk to your vet and get your cat a full medical checkup. Find out what their ideal body weight is and how many calories they should eat each day, including treats.

• Exercise your cat! Play laser tag—something to get your cat moving for at least 20 minutes each day.

• Monitor your cat’s progress and stay on track.

If you'd like to adopt Tiger, contact Cat Depot at (941) 366-2404.