TODAY | June 03, 2012
>>> now we want to introduce you to a special cat with a dubious distinction. his name is spongebob . at 30 pounds, he's bigger than your average hat. and kendra is with the shelter trying to find spongebob a home. good to see you.
>> thank you.
>> he's a 9-year-old cat. his previous owner became ill. he's 30 pounds. how much was he when he came to you?
>> he came to us at 33 pounds.
>> what's the ideal weight for a cat like this?
>> between 7 and 12 pounds. so, he's a little over that.
>> how did spongebob get to be so large and in charge , shall we say?
>> i mean, it's a best guess that his owner was just free feeding him dry food it was an older gentleman who was ill, and i believe he just left out dry food all day, and sponge just kind of took it upon himself to eat all day every day.
>> you noted he's up for adoption. are people afraid of adopting a cat like this?
>> i think so. i think people are intimidated because they think he's going to need a lot of extra room or a lot of extra time . he definitely does not need a lot of extra room. right now we do have him in a large dog pen, so --
>> that's not a good sign.
>> that's humiliating for spongebob .
>> he's not a shy boy . he will need a little bit of extra time . we've worked hard to come up with a diet plan and exercise regimen for him. so, a little bit of extra time , but honestly, we've had blood work done for him. it's totally fine.
>> let's be honest, we had another cat on here that was the biggest and died shortly after of pulmonary failure.
>> so i mean, if ths this cat as healthy as can be under the circumstances?
>> definitely not. his blood work is okay, he's not diabetic now, but definitely this is not the ideal weight. you know, we're not putting him on the show and say, you know, look at the fat cat , isn't it funny?
>> this is, feline obesity is a real problem. this is not healthy weight for him. he can develop arthritis. he probably does already have some. so we're trying to get him down to a healthier weight. he's already lost weight, so his new owners will need to continue that.
>> so, no weight watchers or slimfast or anything or jenny craig ? just more of a liquid diet compared to solid foods? a lot of walking around?
>> only wet food, no dry food. low carbs.
>> most important, is he a nice kitty?
>> he's a wonderful cat. he's a very sweet boy.
>> we're not taunting you. we want to make you better and also smaller.
>> kendra mara, thank you for coming on.