The domestic shorthair cat has a typically tiny frame and should weigh between 11lb and 13lb. Sprinkles, however, isn’t quite so slight. In fact, she may be one of the world’s fattest cats – tipping the scales at an enormous 32lb.
Happily, she is now on the road to recovery after being placed on a strict diet and exercise regime by staff at SOS Sea Isle City Cats in New Jersey, USA.
Sprinkles’ primary caregiver, Stacy Olandt, says: ‘This is an obscenely overweight cat, she could not walk when we got her and she is still unable to roll over.
‘This isn’t just a pudgy cat – this is a medical issue, overweight cat. Our vet has been in practice for more than 40 years and he has never seen such a fat cat.’
Fat cat Sprinkles was found in an empty house before she was taken to New Jersey animal shelter who sent her to SOS.
‘We didn’t know anything about her owners,’ adds Stacy, 71. ‘I think it’s pretty clear that they didn’t know how to properly take care of a cat.’
‘She is constantly craving attention and is so overweight that we would surmise that she was left alone to feed and eat too much.’
Sprinkles’ massive weight has led to other health complications for the 4-year-old feline.
‘When we first got her she had fleas and ear mites,’ recalls Stacy. ‘Her little backside was covered in urine burns because she couldn’t reach around to take care of herself.
‘She has the typical problems of a very overweight human, her joints are compromised, her heart is being stressed and she is simply not very mobile.’
Sprinkles was uninterested in cat food when she arrived at the rescue centre – leading staff to believe that she was being fed human food from the table by her previous owners.
‘Our vet has developed a specialist science diet food which we will be switching her to,’ says Stacy. ‘That will be very carefully measured so she loses weight carefully over the next year and a half.’
Along with a specialist diet, the feline will soon be looking fabulous after going under the knife.
‘Her vet will do a tummy tuck because she will probably have skin hanging on the floor,’ adds Stacy.
‘We’re now hoping that she’ll get adopted into a home where she can become the centre of attention.’
Sprinkles may be losing weight but many of the older ladies who volunteer at the centre still struggle to manoeuvre her.
‘She is difficult to lift because she is quite heavy. We’ve had to get a dog crate instead of a cat carrier to move her around in,’ explains Stacy.
Despite her difficult start, staff are confident that Sprinkles will go on to have a happy life.
‘We think that Sprinkles has a very bright future, she is only 4 and is extremely social and friendly,’ says Stacy. ‘With proper weight control she could have a bright future ahead of her.
‘Many cats live well into their 20s so she is very much at the beginning of her journey.’