When someone ages into their older years, they may not be able to take care of a pet (or themselves) anymore. Seniors often experience conditions that make regular activities seem a bit harder, and, as a result, can require care.
Symba, a 6-year-old marmalade kitty from Washinghton D.C, was living with his senior owner when his human started requiring care.
Symba’s owner moved into a retirement home and wasn’t able to bring the poor cat along. That’s when Simba was dropped off at The Humane Rescue Alliance‘s (HRA) Washington branch.
When the rescue’s staff took a look at Symba, they were stunned by his weight. They had seen a lot of things in their life, but a 35-POUND CAT was definitely not one of them.
At 6-years-old, Symba weighed more than a lion cub! Despite his extra chub, however, he completely stole everyone’s heart.
Symba was a happy cat, but his weight was obviously a problem. Obese cats face significant health threats, including increased risk of diabetes, urinary issues, osteoarthritis, and overall poor quality of life. In a Facebook post, the HRA staff wrote:
“HRA staff have seen a lot — but we’ve never seen a 35-pound cat!
At 6-years-old, Symba is bigger than a lion cub and we know he’d be much more comfortable if he slimmed down a bit.”
HRA staff immediately placed Symba on a supervised diet and exercise program. His food was placed in food puzzles designed to slow down eating, and employees made sure the kitty spent lots of time on his cat wheel.
“Our big guy Symba is already on his path to healthy life,” they wrote.
“The Biggest Loser: Cat Edition begins today!”
Our big guy Symba is already on his path to a healthy life. The Biggest Loser: Cat Edition begins today! pic.twitter.com/3bufTiKAbc
— Humane Rescue (@HumaneRescue) June 15, 2017
Once HRA had gotten Symba on a regimented diet and exercise plan, the next item on the docket was finding him the perfect forever home.
“This mellow fellow needs a wonderful home to cheer him up,” HRA explained.
“He is a curious and playful guy who sometimes likes to tell you what he thinks about things.”
“He is mature but with many wonderful years ahead of him.”
Symba’s new family would also have to be dedicated to helping him live the healthiest life possible.
Matt Williams, HRA spokesperson, told ABC News, “We’re certainly going to make sure the adopter understands the need to continue this program. We will give the adopter exercises to use. We give them games and puzzles to keep them active.”
Finally, the perfect family stepped up.
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!
Posted by Humane Rescue Alliance on Friday, June 16, 2017
Symba’s new mom Kiah told ABC News the tabby is “docile and sweet.”
“We love cats. My fiance and I had two cats already. I have a particular affinity for very large animals, and [Symba] obviously was a really sweet, loving guy. Very cute.”
Since being adopted, Symba has adjusted well to his new environment. Kiah and her spouse Peter are dedicated to keeping the kitty (now named Vito) healthy and fully exercised.
Most recently, Symba (AKA Vito) starred in the couple’s wedding ceremony— and the photos are incredible.
If you’d like to follow Vito’s journey into fitness, be sure to check out his Facebook page, Symba the tubby tabby, for videos, photos, updates, and more!
See his full story below!
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