A huge 31.4 pound cat named Buddha is getting help to lose weight and get fit after being rescued from a shelter where he ended up after a death in his family.
The Cat Shoppe and Dog Store in Nashville Tennessee sells pet supplies and also operates the nonprofit Cat Shoppe Rescue Inc rescue and adoption program to rehome cats. They are currently helping Buddha with the assistance of Animalia Wellness, where he will have access to a treadmill through the center’s veterinarian run rehabilitative services.
Photographer Penny Adams volunteers her services with Nashville’s Metro Animal Care and Control, providing portrait photos of animals in an effort to help them find homes. Penny was stopped in her tracks when she encountered the largest cat she had ever seen while visiting the shelter on August 2.
“I volunteer my time there as a photographer,” Penny told The Tennessean. “I went there on Friday and saw him for the first time, and when I went back on Tuesday he was still there. I saw him in his little cage and I just thought, ‘You know, that’s not good for him.’
“He was an owner surrender. There had been a death in the family and they weren’t able to continue caring for him.”
Buddha was rescued by the Cat Shoppe, which sought advice from Elm Hill Veterinary Clinic on a proper weight loss regime.
“It’s just really sad because he can’t even clean himself,” said Cat Shoppe owner Chris Achord. “We’re going to be working with Animalia in Franklin with the exercise program. We want to make sure we do it right.”
“I’ve been rescuing animals for over 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.” Achord said while commenting on Buddha’s predicament. She thinks he was given human food and noted that he doesn’t like the special formula cat foods recommended for him.
The rescuers are hoping to have Buddha lose about a pound per month until he slims down to 19 or 20 pounds.
Showing familiarity with the outcomes of some other greatly obese cats, Achord said: “Sometimes these cases don’t end very well – they can even end up having heart failure. He’s six years old. We want him to have a long, happy life.”
Buddha will remain with The Cat Shoppe while he loses weight. He will be made available for adoption when he has trimmed down and is ready for rehoming.
Penny Adams and Buddha appear in this video report: