Tiny the cat’s epic weight loss journey hit an important milestone this week.
About three times the size of an average cat in December when he was dropped with a thud at the Fredericton SPCA, Tiny — once 30.2 pounds — has now dipped below 20 pounds.
LeeAnn Haggerty, the director of education and training at the Fredericton SPCA, says Tiny’s weight loss has been a lot of hard work.
"When he came to the shelter, we knew this weight was a medical emergency, really that obesity in pets can be fatal, his weight was quite a concern," she said.
So he was taken to Dr. Nicole Jewett at Valley Veterinary Hospital to create a weight-loss plan at a foster home.
"His goal weight is 15 to 17 pounds," Haggerty said.
"Most healthy adult cats should weigh about 10 pounds. Tiny is a little bit bigger, he does have a big frame."
As Tiny has lost the weight, the improvements in his quality of life have become apparent.
When he arrived, his coat and eyes were dull, and he lacked energy — often taking just a few steps before lying down, Haggerty said.
"You could tell he loved to play, he had that inner playful cat in him, but he could only take a few swats at a feather wand and then he’d have to rest," she said.
Since losing about 10.6 pounds, Tiny has become quite active.
"He runs, he plays — it’s amazing," she said.
Haggerty says though it’s easy to laugh at Tiny's story, about 40 to 60 per cent of North American pets are overweight, and in cats, it can lead to diabetes, arthritis, organ issues and even death.
Those can result in large vet bills.
She said in Tiny’s case, he began to lose weight too quickly, likely from stress.
Now, the trim Tiny has his own clothing line, thanks to a Tiny supporter in Cape Breton, N.S.
Tartan fabric was sent to the SPCA, with which they make Tiny ties and sell them on Etsy.com to raise medical funds for animals.
So far, they’ve raised about $5,700 since January through tie sales and donations.
When Tiny reaches his goal weight, the SPCA plans to throw a party.
It also looks like Tiny’s foster home will become his permanent home.
"We’re just excited that he’s going to be healthy and be in a great home and we’re looking forward to celebrating," Haggerty said.