When the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) in Washington, D.C., got a call from someone who wanted to give up their 40-pound cat, the staff taking the call thought the owner must be exaggerating the cat’s weight.
At that size, the cat would be bigger than a lion cub.
When they weighed the tabby, named Symba, however, he was just five pounds shy of the owner’s estimate.
“HRA staff have seen a lot—but we’ve never seen a 35-pound cat!” the Alliance tweeted.
Symba managed to pass his physical exam, but the Alliance said that for him to maintain his health, he needs to lose about 15 pounds.
They put him on a strict diet of a three-quarters of a cup of food every 12 hours, and made him work for his gruel. Instead of just putting his food out in a bowl, they put it in food puzzle to slow down his eating.
Symba gets winded easily while walking, so they also put him on a cat wheel (think of a cross between a hamster wheel or treadmill for cats).
Symba’s easygoing and loving personality soon made him a favorite among the staff at the Alliance. But they still wanted to find him a good home where his weight-loss journey would continue.
On June 16, the Alliance tweeted pictures of Symba in the arms of his new family.
“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Symba. We’re even more thrilled this sweet kitty found a loving, new home today!” the Alliance wrote.
Symba’s former owner, who couldn’t take him when he moved to an assisted living facility, obviously took Symba to the right place.