A fat cat named Buddha is slimming down by hitting an underwater treadmill.
“One might think that a cat in water is cruel, how could you do that? But it really has made a huge difference in his health. It's been fantastic,” said volunteer Penny Adams.
When the hefty black and while feline turned up at the Metro Animal Control last month he could barely get around. He tipped the scale at just over 31-pounds, more than double the size of an average cat.
It's believed he got so fat because his former owner fed him people food, including lots of pasta and rice.
Buddha's size shocked Adams, a volunteer photographer who happened to be taking pictures at the shelter at the time.
“I've never seen a cat that large before,” Adams told Nashville's News 2.
Adams knew she had to do something so she brought Buddha to The Cat Shoppe in Berry Hill to get his weight under control.
The six-year-old massive cat is now on a strict diet and exercises three days a week at Stonewater Animal Rehabilitation in Franklin.
“It's very rare. We don't have too many cats that come here. It's a matter of acclimation. They're not naturally inclined to swim in water although tigers do and we just get them used to it over a period of time,” said Dr. Lisa Martin.
The water holds up the cat's weight and is easier on his joints.
Buddha has built up his endurance and can now walk on the underwater treadmill for 12 minutes at a time
“He's gone from 31.4 pounds down to 26.8. He's made incredible progress and he doesn't give up. It's been an inspiration to folks all over the world,” said Adams.
Buddha's goal weight is 20 pounds. Once he reaches it, the hope is to find him a good home.
The Cat Shoppe has a fundraiser planned Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The public is invited to come see Buddha in person and have pictures taken with him.
For more information on Buddha, visit his Facebook page.
- August 9, 2013: 31 pound cat ordered to hit treadmill to extend life