Fat Boy before and after (Photos: Moose Jaw Humane Society/CBC)
A couple of years ago Fat Boy, a large tabby who lives in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, got pretty famous online after the humane society where he lived posted a story about his weight loss plans.
In 2006, Fat Boy's owners brought him to the Moose Jaw Humane Society because he was overeating. Back then, the cat weighed in at 24 pounds. When nobody adopted him, Fat Boy became the shelter's resident cat.
Starting in July 2011, staff at the shelter put Fat Boy on a diet, following a vet's warning that he would be at serious risk for many health issues if he didn't drop some pounds.
"It is hard to get cats to lose weight," Karla Pratt, communications director at the shelter, told CBC News. "But we can use Fat Boy as the poster child here that it can be done, and it can be accomplished very well."
The cat is certainly doing better nowadays: at 17 pounds, he's still a big guy, but he's much healthier than he was.
Still, it was a real challenge to get him down to his new weight, mainly because he's crafty.
Apparently when they started his weight loss regimen, he was on a reduced calorie diet, but he somehow kept putting the pounds back on.
Eventually staff figured out that Fat Boy had figured out a way to sneak food out of other cats' pens, by flipping over their food bowls and eating the scattered kibble.
Once they solved that problem, the weight loss started to take hold. Fans of the big guy have followed his progress on the Humane Society's Facebook page.
The shelter is celebrating Fat Boy's new physique (and raising awareness about the importance of keeping your pet in shape) with a contest: they're asking people to take a picture of Fat Boy (pre-weight loss) with them on vacation.
On their website, you can print out a shot of Fat Boy, take it with you while you're away, snap a shot, and send in your entry. At the end of the summer, they'll pick their favourite shot and hand out a prize.
Of course, Fat Boy's story isn't the only tale of a pet losing weight out there. In May of this year, Obie, an obese sausage dog, made the news when he got a tummy tuck after losing about 40 pounds.
The operation he underwent wasn't to reduce his weight - he had already done that through a combination of a better diet, a more active lifestyle, and even a bowl that made it a little harder for him to eat.
Instead, it was to remove excess skin that was still dragging on the ground after his dieting success.
CNN has a report on Obie and his operation below: