Moose Jaw's fat cat slims down

Saskatchewan's most famous tubby tabby, recognized around the world for his weight loss effort, is trimmer around the waistline.

To celebrate Fat Boy's weight loss the Humane Society is running a summer contest

Fat Boy (left) weighing in at 24 pounds two years ago. Now (right) a slimmer and more agile cat, at 17 pounds. (MJHS/CBC)

Saskatchewan's most famous tubby tabby, recognized around the world for his weight loss effort, has trimmed down around the waistline.

Fat Boy was brought into the Moose Jaw Humane Society in 2006 for overeating, weighing in at an unhealthy 24 pounds. He was never adopted, so he became the shelter's resident cat.

After two years, the feline is sitting at 17 pounds, almost at his goal weight of 14 pounds.

"It is hard to get cats to lose weight," Karla Pratt the communications director at the shelter. "But we can use Fat Boy as the poster child here that it can be done, and it can be accomplished very well," she said.

But shedding pounds wasn't easy, even though staff had put him on a strict diet.

Initially he lost a few grams, but then gained them back again. That's when staff discovered Fat Boy was a crafty cat, bingeing when they weren't looking.

He found a way to sneak food from other cat pens by tipping their food bowls and scarfing down the scattered kibble.

Two years ago a vet warned Fat Boy, if he did not shed the pounds he would be at a serious risk for many health issues and his life would be shortened.

So, as Fat Boy pushed through, his struggles and successes were chronicled on the shelter's Facebook page, gaining world-wide attention.

Fat Boy Contest

To celebrate his weight loss success, and raise awareness for the importance of healthy pet weight, the shelter has launched a summer contest called "Take Fat Boy on vacation."

On their website people can find a photo of Fat Boy they can print and cut out. The contest asks Fat Boy lovers to take pictures with the cutout on their vacation.

"Maybe you're visiting somewhere more exotic, or far-flung, like Paris, France or something, you know, get a picture of Fat Boy with the Eiffel Tower," said Pratt.

Photos have to be uploaded to the Humane Society's Facebook page. At the end of the summer the best photo will be picked as the winner, and the shelter will give out a prize.