Meow (c. 2010 – May 5, 2012), also known as Meow the obese cat, was a male domestic cat who attracted international attention when an animal shelter publicized efforts to slim him down, in an attempt to have him adopted.[1][2][3] However, Meow died of lung failure two weeks after entering the animal shelter, on May 5, 2012.[4] He was the world's heaviest cat at his time of death, weighing 39.7 pounds (18.0 kilograms).[5]

Meow in April 2012, one month before his death
SpeciesFelis catus
Bornc. 2010
DiedMay 5, 2012 (aged 1–2)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
Cause of deathLung Failure
Years active2011–2012
Known forHeaviest domestic cat at time of death



Domestic cats are as large as most other members of the genus Felis, typically weighing between 4 kilograms (8.8 lb) and 5 kilograms (11 lb).[6] Meow weighed 18.0 kilograms (39.7 lb), the heaviest cat in the world—though not on record.[5] Himmy, a cat from Australia, had weighed 21.3 kilograms (46.8 pounds)[7] upon dying during his tenth year, in 1986.[8] Guinness World Records has since retired the title to discourage deliberate overfeeding.[9]

Being the world's heaviest cat, Meow occasionally appeared on U.S. television shows. In 2010 he was featured on an episode of Anderson Live, which was hosted by U.S. television personality Anderson Cooper.[10] Meow was again featured on Anderson Live on April 30, 2012, with Cooper carrying the cat.[11]

Weight loss and death


Meow was moved to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society two weeks before he died[1] because his 87-year-old owner could no longer care for him.[4] The animal shelter fed Meow a strict high-protein diet to slim him.[4] The shelter also planned to publicize Meow and his diet on their Facebook page.[12] Meow's publicity was expected to arouse interest in his adoption.

He lost two pounds (0.9 kilograms) at the animal shelter, and the shelter planned to make him lose at least eight more (3.6 kilograms) so he could be adopted.[12] However, Meow contracted breathing problems by May 2, 2012; after undergoing a battery of tests, which included X-ray and cardiac ultrasound, he was put on oxygen therapy.[3] Two days later, Meow was brought to a veterinary hospital to undergo emergency treatment: four veterinarians tried to save him, but he died on the afternoon of the following day.[4]

Meow's story brought widespread attention to the importance of pet health and responsible pet ownership. His legacy serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of addressing obesity and related health issues in pets, as well as the need for proper care and attention to ensure their well-being.

See also



  1. ^ a b Zimmerman, Neetzan (7 May 2012). "Internet Famous Fat Cat Meow Put to Sleep". Gawker. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Fat Cat 'Meow' Dies". ABC News. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Meow the fat cat dies due to obesity". Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Lynch, Rene (7 May 2012). "Fat cat's fate: Meow, the 39-pound feline, dies of lung failure". Los Angeles Times. California. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  5. ^ a b "'Meow,' 39-Pound Fat Cat, Must Lose Weight Before Adoption From Santa Fe Shelter". International Business Times. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  6. ^ Mattern, Michelle Y.; McLennan, Deborah A. (2000). "Phylogeny and Speciation of Felids". Cladistics. 16 (2): 232–253. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2000.tb00354.x. PMID 34902955. S2CID 85043293.
  7. ^ "Cat World Records: Heaviest cat". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  8. ^ "World Records: The Largest Domestic Cat". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  9. ^ "60 years on, the categories that Guinness World Records no longer monitors". Guinness World Records. 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  10. ^ Stelter, Brian (30 September 2010). "CNN's Anderson Cooper in Daytime Talk Show Deal". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 October 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  11. ^ "Co-Host Monday with Kristen Johnston / 'Private Practice' Star Kate Walsh". Anderson Live. 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  12. ^ a b "New Mexico fat cat weighs in at nearly 40 pounds". WPVI-TV. Associated Press. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.