Meow in March 2012
|Other appellation(s)||Meow the fat cat|
|Died||May 5, 2012 (aged 1–2)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
|Years active||2011 – 2012|
|Known for||Heaviest cat|
Meow (c. 2010 – May 5, 2012), also known as Meow the fat cat, was a male domestic cat who attracted international attention due to the effort to slim him down. He was the heaviest cat at his time of death, weighing 39.6 pounds (18.0 kilograms). He died of lung failure on May 5, 2012.
Meow was moved to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society two weeks before he died because his 87-year-old owner could no longer take care of him. The animal shelter gave Meow a strict high-protein diet intended to make the cat lose weight. The shelter also planned to publicize Meow and the diet plans for him to lose weight on their Facebook page. Meow's publicity was expected to arouse interest on having the cat adopted. The weight loss plan began showing results with Meow losing two pounds (0.9 kilograms) during his stay in the animal shelter. The shelter planned to make Meow lose weight, at least ten pounds (4.5 kilograms), so that he would be able to be adopted. However, Meow began to have breathing problems by May 2, 2012. After undergoing a battery of tests, which included X-ray and cardiac ultrasound, he was put on oxygen therapy. On May 4, Meow was brought to a veterinary hospital to undergo emergency treatment. Four veterinarians attempted to save Meow's life, but the cat died during the afternoon of May 5. Some critics condemned the shelter for attempting to profit from Meow's condition.
Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis, typically weighing between 8.8 pounds (4.0 kg) and 11 pounds (5.0 kg). However, Meow weighed 39.6 pounds (18.0 kilograms), making him the heaviest cat in the world at the time, but not the heaviest on record. Himmy, a cat from Australia, weighed 46.8 pounds (21.3 kilograms) at his death during his tenth year, in 1986. Guinness World Records stopped recording heaviest pets to discourage deliberate overfeeding. Meow, being the heaviest cat of his time, also appeared on television shows in the United States. One was Anderson Live, which was hosted by American television personality Anderson Cooper. Meow was featured in an episode of Anderson Live on April 30, 2012, with Cooper carrying the fat cat. His record as the heaviest cat was held by a New York City cat named SpongeBob after SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob weighed 33 pounds (15 kilograms) as of June 1, 2012. He died a few months later.
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