By Daily Mail Reporter
Could this massive moggie be the world's fattest cat?
The ginger tom, who tipped the scales at 33lbs, is the spitting image of out-of-shape Puss in Boots from hit film Shrek the Third.
Greedy Sponge Bob, 9, who weighs the same as a four-year-old child, is on a strict diet and fitness regime at the animal shelter where he lives.
More to love: Kendra Mara, Associate Director at Animal Haven in New York City cradles a 33lb cat named Sponge Bob
New rules: Sponge Bob is currently on a diet and exercise regime after brought to the shelter by her owner who was moving into a nursing home
Dedicated staff at Animal Haven in New York came up with clever exercises to encourage Sponge Bob to move, helping him shed 3lbs in just two months.
Hilarious video shows Sponge Bob, now 30lbs, bravely jumping out of his pen, hauling his huge belly over the doorway when it gets stuck.
But the adorable puss is still too big to wash his own body, and needs to be brushed and cleaned by hand.
Previous fattest cat Meow, from Sante Fe, New Mexico, died of pulmonary failure at 39lbs, earlier this month.
Big eater: Sponge Bob lies licking his nose and lips in hopes of a treat which are minimally used to encourage him to move
Enormous surprise: Workers at Animal Haven were left speechless when they opened the cage belonging to Sponge Bob at his arrival and saw what was inside
Kendra Mara, Animal Haven's associate director, said: 'Sponge Bob came to us when his owner went into a nursing home.
'We opened up the carrier and about 10 to 15 people stood around staring at him for quite a long time, because he's the largest cat we've ever seen.
'We don't know how he became so big. We can only guess that his owner, because he was ill, was feeding him dry food on a regular basis, maybe just leaving it out, so he was able to eat whenever he wanted.'
Suspect: The shelter's workers suspect Sponge Bob's owner had left out unlimited portions of dry cat food, allowing him to eat to his heart's content
Blood work: Blood tests on the cat revealed no sign of hyperthyroidism which would have been a possible culprit in his weight gain
She added: 'It is pretty abnormal for a cat to be able to get this big. But he has had blood work and doesn't have hyperthyroidism or anything so it appears to be just from eating.'
Sponge Bob lives in a special large pen, usually given to a whole litter of puppies, and staff encourage him to jump out of the cage for daily exercise.
He is allowed to wander around the cat lounge, to greet other moggies in their pens, and to play with toys and laser lights and roll on his back.
Little help: Suzi Anders, a volunteer, holds up the cat who's encouraged to walk outside of his cage, though needs help cleaning himself due to his sheer size
Staff use cat nip to keep Sponge Bob moving, along with occasional tiny cat treats, to make him run across the room.
'To get him to run across the room, it's worth it,' said Kendra.
Sponge Bob is fed a special protein diet food of lean chicken, fish and vegetables such as pumpkin, containing no carbohydrates.
Staff at Animal Haven hope Sponge Bob will continue losing one to two pounds per month, to reach a more healthy weight in around eight months' time.
Needs a home: The shelter's workers hope that Sponge Bob will find a good home that will help encourage his lean diet and exercise plan
He is expected to be adopted soon by a loving family, who can dedicate their time to playing with him, as well as continuing his healthy diet.
'I hope someone sees how wonderful he is and welcomes him in their home,' said Kendra.
For more information about how to adopt Sponge Bob or other cats, or to make a donation, visit AnimalHavenShelter.org
Predecessor: This 40lb cat named Meow was just two years old when he was found at this massive weight in Santa Fe
Unhealthy: Tragically for Meow, he died last month of pulmonary failure at 39lbs
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Is this the world's fattest cat? Sponge Bob tips the scales at a massive 33 POUNDS... and he's on a diet!
By Daily Mail Reporter