When you see pictures of this massive cat, you may be forgiven for thinking that the images have been photoshopped. At 33 pounds, Bronson is more than double the weight of the average cat, he looks like a real life version of Garfield, but there’s nothing funny about it.
Bronson’s size shocked everyone when he was dropped off at the West Michigan Humane Society, after his original owner had died. How had he gotten so big? Staff at the humane society believe that he was fed high-carb kibble multiple times throughout the day, for a long period of time.
Photo: Bronson the Cat/Instagram
Bronson was lucky enough to be adopted by Mike Wilson, 35, and Megan Hanneman, 29. The pair was appalled when they first encountered the cat: “When we first saw Bronson we were shocked because we had never seen a cat his size. He was huge. He really needed help,” said Mike.
Bronson’s new owners think that his previous guardian — who may have been an elderly person who wasn’t very mobile themselves — had fed him kibble as often as once every few hours! Initially, the shelter suspected that Bronson may have had some underlying health issue, leading to his impressive weight gain; however, all of his blood tests came back completely clean.
His new owners design furniture for cats, but in Bronson’s case, they knew they needed to design him a new diet plan. Under the supervision of a vet, the pair has cut Bronson’s caloric intake to just 375 calories a day. The cat is being forced to break his dangerous kibble addiction; he now eats only a wet, grain-free, low-fat cat food. He has also been doing hydrotherapy to help shed his excess weight.
It is especially important that Bronson loses weight quickly since he has a broken tooth that needs to be removed. However, his extreme weight means that it is not possible to anesthetize him for the procedure; the anesthetic would simply have little to no effect on him, making removing the tooth impossible.
Bronson has adjusted to his new diet, but still craves more. “He likes the food fine, but you can tell he just wants more,” says Mike. “He wakes us up in the middle of the night meowing for a snack.”
Despite his objections, Bronson has already lost one and a half pounds and is on track to make a full recovery. At his current weight loss trajectory, Bronson will be able to have his broken tooth removed in a couple of months’ time.
Cats like Bronson show us that our pets often have no concept whatsoever of “too much” food. Their instincts help them to survive when food is scarce, but when it is plentiful, it can lead to overeating and a lot of health problems. Make sure you are a responsible pet owner and don’t overfeed your pets. Just because your pet is begging for food, doesn’t mean they are hungry.