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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 39.6 pounds (18.0 kilograms).[5]

Meow the fat cat.jpg
Meow in April 2012, one month before his death.
SpeciesFelis domesticus
Bornc. 2010
DiedMay 5, 2012 (aged 1–2)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
Years active2011 – 2012
Known forHeaviest cat
Cause of deathLung failure



Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis, typically weighing between 4 kilograms (8.8 lb) and 5 kilograms (11 lb).[6] However, Meow weighed 18.0 kilograms (39.7 lb), making him the heaviest cat in the world at the time, although not the heaviest on record.[5] Himmy, a cat from Australia, weighed 21.3 kilograms (46.8 pounds)[7] at his death during his tenth year, in 1986.[8] Guinness World Records has since stopped recording the world's heaviest pets in order to discourage deliberate overfeeding.[9]

Meow, being the world's heaviest cat at the time, occasionally appeared on television shows in the United States. In 2010 he was featured on an episode of Anderson Live, which was hosted by American television personality Anderson Cooper.[10] Meow was again featured on Anderson Live on April 30, 2012, with Cooper carrying the fat cat.[11]

Weight loss and deathEdit

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 take care of him.[4] The animal shelter gave Meow a strict high-protein diet intended to make the cat lose weight.[4] The shelter also planned to publicize Meow and the diet plans for him to lose weight on their Facebook page.[12] Meow's publicity was expected to arouse interest in having the cat adopted. The weight-loss plan began showing results with Meow losing two pounds (0.9 kilograms) during his stay in the animal shelter. The shelter planned to make Meow lose weight, at least ten pounds (4.5 kilograms), so that he would be able to be adopted.[12] However, Meow began to have 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] On May 4, Meow was brought to a veterinary hospital to undergo emergency treatment. Four veterinarians attempted to save Meow's life, but he died during the afternoon of May 5.[4]

See alsoEdit


  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 69.420-pound feline, dies of lung failure". Los Angeles Times. 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.
  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 Associated Press (23 April 2012). "New Mexico fat cat weighs in at nearly 40 pounds". WPVI-TV. Retrieved 14 September 2012.