37-Pound Cat Biscuit Finds New Home

AP Photo/St. CharlesAnimal Control via St. Louis Post DispatchBiscuit, the infamous 37-pound "tubby tabby" got his happy ending on Wednesday when he was finally adopted from the City of St. Charles Animal Control by couple Ed and Lisa Pyatt of Eureka, MO.

The oversize brown, black, and white tabby (who's believed to be about 4 years old) become an Internet sensation after his owner, who moved into a building that didn't allow cats, dropped him off at Animal Control in February and the shelter launched a search to find him a new home—no small feat with a morbidly obese cat. Over the past few years, Biscuit bounced around between two different homes and spent his days pigging out on treats. "A male cat normally weighs between 10-15 pounds so Biscuit is obviously on the extreme end of the scale," Theresa Gilley, Lead Animal Control Officer at the City of St. Charles Animal Control told Shine. "The problem is, although Biscuit is generally a laid-back cat, when he wants his food he whines nonstop. For some owners, it may be easier to feed him just to calm him down."

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In spite of Biscuit's size, there's been no shortage of people who are clamoring to adopt him. After the St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a story on Biscuit the "morbidly obese" cat, he's become somewhat of a media darling, featured on television news segments and blogs. "We've had about 100 offers to adopt Biscuit from all over the world," says Gilley. "We didn't want to ship him overseas or even across the country so we've been trying to find a local owner."

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Enter Ed and Lisa Pyatt, a couple from Eureka, MO who on Wednesday, agreed to adopt Biscuit. "Over the weekend, my wife and I were watching the news and saw a segment on Biscuit," Ed, a 43-year-old chemical sales rep told Shine. "We've always been drawn to fat cats because they're usually more relaxed animals and we already own a 20-pounder named Max. We were going to a winery near St. Charles anyway so we figured we'd drop by to meet Biscuit."

It was only when the Pyatts arrived at the shelter that they discovered what a big deal Biscuit really was. "We hadn't read all the coverage so we didn't realize he was a celebrity," says Ed. "But when we got to the shelter, many people were trying to see him." 

After spending some time playing with Biscuit, it became clear that the chemistry was right. "We fell in love and are so excited to bring him home on Tuesday," says Ed.

As for dealing with Biscuit's celebrity status, the Pyatt's are taking it in stride. "The only special treatment Biscuit will be getting is a strict diet," says Ed. "Max is already on a diet and when we bring Biscuit home, we'll enforce it even more with the help of an animal nutritionist." 

Putting a cat on a diet isn't the easiest task but it's critical to prevent cats from developing diseases like diabetes, according to Frederic Gaschen, Professor of Companion Animal Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. "A nearly 40-pound cat will not lose weight quickly so owners have to be committed and patient."

For starters, not all cats are created equal. Some sleep all day, others hop around a lot and depending on their activity level require different amounts of food. "Most cats eat once or twice per day but you could try limiting their portion size at each meal," says Gaschen.

Another idea: Feed him water-rich food. "Wet canned food contains more water than dried food and water can trick an animal into thinking he's full," says Gaschen. "You could also feed the cat prescription food under the advisement of a vet."

And finally, just like humans, getting plenty of exercise is key for weight loss. "It may be tough to motivate an overweight cat to move but engaging with him as much as possible will help get his blood flowing," says Gaschen. "There are also toys such as plastic balls you can throw around to enhance movement or shake a ball of yarn in front of the cat so he jumps up and down."

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