A 40 Pound Cat, Patches, Down 15 Pounds One Year After Adoption

Nevena Nacic
by Nevena Nacic
Sasha Chornyi/Shutterstock

Patches first grabbed media attention a year ago, when he arrived at Richmond Animal Care and Control weighing an astounding 40.3 pounds. The shelter’s largest feline resident was quickly adopted and has been on a weight loss journey ever since. 

Once a chubby feline, Patches has lost 15 pounds since his adoption and is enjoying the perks of having more mobility each and every day.

Once the Richmond Animal Care and Control posted a photo of Patches on their Facebook page, the news of a fat cat spread like wildfire, reaching Kay Ford, who was thinking about adopting an overweight pet. When her daughter sent her a photo of Patches, Ford immediately contacted the shelter to submit an adoption application. 

I let them know that a special diet was nothing new to me. I had a Yorkie that was on chemo for three years and had a good quality of life,” Ford told PEOPLE. The shelter determined Ford would be able to meet the cat's needs and chose her as the adopter. 

Since his adoption, Patches has been living with Ford, her other cat Wellesley, and her senior Yorkie, Bella. Ford has even started a Facebook page for Patches shortly after his adoption, to keep others updated about his health. Little did she know that the page Patches’ Journey would have over 10,000 followers in a few days. Today, the page has nearly 50,000 followers who are eagerly expecting “Weigh-in Wednesdays.” 

Weigh-in Wednesdays are the day Ford weighs Patches on a scale and shares the results. On April 17, two days before his first adoption anniversary Patches weighed 25.4 pounds. That’s over 15 pounds less than he weighed when he arrived at Richmond Animal Care and Control. 

Ford celebrates her cat’s success daily, encouraging him as he accomplishes his weight loss goals. “He’s doing great. He really is. He is just a normal pet,” said Ford. 

Although Patches still can’t jump on the bed or fully groom himself, he has cleared almost all other obstacles thanks to the increased mobility he has gained after losing weight. 

I couldn’t control my emotions the first time he jumped up on the radiator cover. It was a couple of days before Christmas, and I remember saying, ‘It’s a Christmas miracle,’” said Ford. 

Patches now jumps on the radiator cover regularly and uses the window perch to enjoy the views. Once the weight started to come off, Patches became more energetic and started to play with toys and his feline friend, Wellesley. 

“It just happened the way it was supposed to happen. He was able to achieve almost every milestone that he needed to achieve to become a real cat, not Macy’s Day Parade balloon,” Ford said. 

Patches made great progress thanks to his owner’s commitment to his diet. To owners who want to help their pets lose weight, Ford advises “patience, commitment, and diligence.”

This would never have happened if I had given in to whining,” she added. “The hardest thing is not giving into the begging. What I say to people is ‘Get it in your head that instead of asking you for food, they’re asking you for attention and to help them become a healthier cat or dog.”

This duo is looking forward to another year of sharing Patches’ weight loss journey with his fans. The Facebook page took off more than Ford hoped for and the online community has been extremely supportive of Patches’ efforts to lose weight.

“We have been 100% positive from day one,” said Ford   

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Nevena Nacic
Nevena Nacic

Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!

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