'Adventurous' 30 Pound Cat Who Needs Help Losing Weight Looking for Home

An animal shelter is looking for someone to adopt and care for an obese cat that needs help losing weight.

Sterling, an eight-year-old male domestic shorthair, was taken into the care of the Humane Society of Huron Valley animal shelter in Michigan on February 1.

The large cat is described as "adventurous, confident, loving, and playful," but he's being hindered by his 30lb weight.

The shelter said in a Facebook post: "He's so lively and playful, but can't chase after toys. He's curious about the world, but can't jump up to look out the window. He's so affectionate, but can't comfortably snuggle with his people."

The cat is also keen to keep himself clean, but his size means that self-grooming is a struggle.

Due to these issues the person to adopt Sterling must help the cat lose weight in order for him to live a more comfortable life. This will include discussing a diet plan with a vet and providing large litter boxes in easily accessible areas until Sterling's mobility improves, the shelter said.

"If Sterling is already so adventurous, confident, loving and playful, imagine what a joy he'll be once he's comfortable and healthy," the shelter added. "It will truly turn his life around, and we know there's a hero out there who can help him!"

Feline obesity is generally viewed as body weight that is 20 percent or more above normal levels. It's the most frequently observed nutritional disorder among domestic cats, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The issue of feline obesity is a serious one, and the condition can have harmful health implications. In January this year, the U.K.'s Royal Veterinary College at the University of London stated that an estimated 45 percent of cats in the country were obese with the proportion expected to increase.

Diabetes in Cats

It added that obesity is a strong contributing factor to diabetes and that an estimated 54,500 cats suffer from diabetes mellitus in the U.K. alone.

Meanwhile Carolyn McDaniel, a lecturer in clinical sciences at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, says on the college's website: "Probably 50 percent of cats seen at veterinary clinics these days are overweight, if not obese.

"We should be feeding meals to our cats—not allowing them to eat whenever they want to," she advises. "There should be a distinct meal time, and the owner should be in control of it."

Yet the health condition has become something of an internet meme, with groups such as the Facebook community "This Cat Is Chonky" existing to post photos exclusively of large-sized cats. The group's rules state that "chonk-shaming" or medical advice are not allowed. It has over 900,000 members.

Similarly popular social media groups include the non-cat-specific Round Boys account on Instagram.

Eating cat
A file photo shows a cat—not the one mentioned in the article—eating from a food bowl. Obesity can impact on pets' quality of life. Astrid860/Getty