Symba has found his forever home! The Humane Rescue Alliance wrote on Facebook:
We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and well wishes for sweet Symba. We are even more thrilled that we were able to help Symba find a loving, new home today! Symba’s new adopters are dedicated to getting him healthy by continuing on his current diet and exercise plan, and most importantly giving him the love and care he deserves so he can thrive long term. We’ll be rooting for you Symba!
The animal care workers at Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C. have seen a lot over the years. But nothing could prepare them for Symba!
The orange tabby arrived last week after his owner moved to an assisted living facility that does not allow pets. Staff figured the man was exaggerating when he estimated his cat’s weight at 40 pounds – until they met the 6-year-old meatball!
Symba arrived at the HRA adoption center last week and the medical team went to work assessing his overall health. The morbidly obese cat weighed in at 35 pounds – 15 pounds above his ideal weight of 18 – 20 pounds. A blood glucose check revealed that he has miraculously avoided diabetes, but his excess weight is affecting him in other ways.
Symba can only take a few steps before getting out of breath and the extreme burden on his joints puts him at risk for spine, knee, and hip injuries, as well as arthritis. With this in mind, his new friends at HRA are focusing more on controlling his diet than initiating a stressful exercise routine.
He is fed using food puzzles to slow him down and get him working for his meals. The staff will slowly initiate more physical activity as his health allows. For now, they are training him to take a few steps on a cat wheel.
Here he is giving it a try!
Symba was likely “free-fed” at his previous home, meaning he was allowed to graze from a full food bowl all day at his leisure. HRA behavior and training specialist, Lisa Stemcosky says this is unnatural for cats and can contribute to obesity.
He has a long way to go before reaching his goal weight, but just like all journeys Symba’s road to wellness begins with a single step! Follow along on the HRA website and Facebook page to track this handsome fella’s progress!