When I first started my practice and adoption center over 18 years ago, we admitted into the adoption center the fattest cat I had ever seen up to that point. The cat was huge and I was very concerned that no one would ever adopt the poor kitty.
A few days later, I was telling a client who had brought her cat in for an appointment about the overweight cat and to my surprise and delight, she wanted to meet her. She said she "had a thing" for fat cats. One look at the very rotund and sweet kitty and "Midnight" was on her way home with her new owner.
I have since seen many overweight cats and come to realize that many people think overweight cats are cute and cuddly. They're referred to fondly as "teddy bears", "Miss Piggy", "my big girl", "my big boy", etc.
Most of you are probably aware of the discovery this year of Princess Chunk, a 48 pound white cat wandering around Camden, New Jersey. It was later determined that the Princess was really a Prince. Anyway, the Prince received a lot of media attention and much concern and compassion from around the country, mainly because of his weight. You probably know how many lost or abandoned cats there are in this country. Why do most of them not get that type of attention and help? Obviously, Prince Chunk stood out and evoked more emotion from the public than the typical thin starving cat.
Due to his weight, the Prince was, according to reporters quoting veterinarians, tested for diabetes and hypothyroidism. And that was the extent of any publicly voiced health concerns about him. More about the fallacy of that later.
The Guiness Book of World Records until recently had a category for the "fattest cat". Thank goodness, it has been discontinued due to the very real chance that people were deliberately overfeeding their cats to try to make their cat the heaviest in the world and someone finally came to the realization that their actions were not in the healthiest interests of the cats.
To learn more about overweight cats and the health risks they face, go to Fat Cat.