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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Now THAT'S a fat cat! Puss named after lazy comic strip feline Garfield is biggest in the world at nearly 40lbs

He is now on low-calorie diet and is being encouraged to get active

By Emma Reynolds

Just days ago, a ginger Tom named Sponge Bob was labelled the world fattest cat, weighing in at an unbelievable 33lb.

Now another overweight puss has claimed the dubious honour, with New York-dwelling Garfield tipping the scales at nearly 40lbs.

Garfield loves nothing better than lying around and eating whatever food he can find - exactly like his lazy cartoon character namesake.

Podgy pet: Animal rescue centre worker Janet Ciminelli strains to lift chubby Garfield, who weighs almost 40llbs

Ball of fluff: The cat is still relatively healthy, but struggles to move and is at risk of devloping serious health problems in the future

The full-figured feline was brought into North Shore Animal League of America in Port Washington, Long Island, after his owner died.

Staff put him on a low-calorie diet, cutting out all dry food in an effort to emulate Sponge Bob's success in losing 3lbs just a few months.

They hope Garfield can lose around 2lbs a month, and are looking for a new owner who is committed to helping him become healthy and active.

North Shore veterinarian Gerard Leheney said: 'This is the fattest cat I have ever seen. My first reaction was astonishment.'

Garfield is relatively healthy but finds it difficult to move because his weight is putting strain on his hips.

Weight-watchers: Staff at the North Shore Animal League have put Garfield on a strict low-calorie diet and are trying to get him active

Cat camp: Shelter workers hope Garfield can shed 15 to 20lbs to improve his health

Time for change: Garfield has taken the title of world's fattest cat from 33lb Sponge Bob, who recently succeeded in losing 3lb

The shelter has warned that obesity in cats is extremely risky and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, joint, bone and ligament damage, high blood pressure and intolerance to heat.

Staff are trying to make 39.75lb Garfield more active by encouraging him to play with toys and a ball, and by picking him up and putting him down somewhere else, so he has to walk back to his original spot.

Garfield will soon be given over to a foster carer, while staff attempt to trace any next of kin to his former owner.

If no-one is found, he will be put up for adoption and given to a loving family who can spend time playing with him in their home, and keeping him on a low-calorie diet.



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