31-pound cat loves human food and is placed on a diet

Claudine Zap

Move over, Garfield.

There’s a real-life fat cat that’s straining the scales at 31.4 pounds. The kitty named Buddha is enormous, and enormously overweight.

The prescription: a serious diet and more exercise.

The 6-year-old feline was rescued from a Nashville, Tenn., shelter after its previous owner gave him up for adoption. Not only does Buddha need a new home, but the white and black bruiser also needs a new and healthy lifestyle.

Pet shop owner Chris Achord is caring for Buddha until he is down to a healthy weight of 19 or 20 poundsand can be adopted.

The biggest problem with the big cat, just as with Garfield, his cartoon counterpart, is that big Buddha hates to diet and seems to prefer people food, according to the Daily Mail. Buddha’s new owner said the picky eater gets excited around lunch time when most humans eat, especially when foods like pasta are on the menu.

“We tried to give him the gastrointestinal food, the metabolic food, but he didn’t like it,” Achord told the Tennessean. “Whoever owned him before must have been feeding him human food, and that is not good at all for a cat’s health. I’ve been rescuing animals for over 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The fat cat is in for a long road to reduce his weight. The safe goal is around one pound a month. If he loses too much, it could cause other severe health issues, like liver problems.

“It’s just really sad because he can’t even clean himself,” said Achord. “We’re going to be working with Animalia in Franklin with the exercise program. We want to make sure we do it right.”