World's favourite fat cat dies of obesity

A CAT that got international attention for tipping the scales at almost 18 kilograms has died.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society said that the orange and white tabby named Meow died over the weekend, likely from complications from his morbid obesity.

Meow, who was two-years-old, was taken to the shelter last month after his 87-year-old owner could no longer take care of him. The shelter put Meow on a diet and posted all his weigh-ins on a Facebook page that got national attention. Meow had lost some weight and was doing well when he began having breathing problems last Wednesday.

Despite constant attention, and medical testing and treatment, Meow died on Saturday. Shelter Director Mary Martin says the entire staff is devastated, adding: 'We were in a race against time to get the weight off Meow before he developed complications from his obesity, and we lost.

But we hope his fight will encourage other people to help their pets maintain the best health possible. Obesity is not something to be ignored.' When he was alive, Meow was not the fattest cat out there. That record belongs to Himmy, a tabby from Australia that weighed almost 21kg.

The shelter said Guinness World Records has since stopped accepting applications for the record over concerns it would encourage people to overfeed their animals. Shelter veterinarian Jennifer Steketee said the idea is for Meow was to gradually lose weight by eating a special diet.

Steketee said the dangers of feline obesity are not much different than they are for humans - extra pressure on the heart and joints. She told the Today show after his death: 'When we first heard Meow wheezing, we attributed it to possible allergies or the fact that he was moving around more in his foster home.' The cat' symptoms worsened and he died she said.

'His extreme obesity may have set off a string of events that ultimately ended his life.'  (AP)


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