Beloved DC fat cat adopted: Symba the tabby has a new family

WASHINGTON — A very overweight tabby who quickly became a local sensation has a new home.

The Humane Rescue Alliance announced Friday that Symba, a 6-year-old D.C. fat cat, has a new forever home.

The little morsel, weighing in at 35 pounds, moved in to the facility last week after his previous owner had to move into an assisted-living facility.

Being as much as 15 pounds overweight brings increased risk of health complications, so the alliance got him started on a diet and exercise regime (see video above).

Now weighing 35 pounds, Symba the cat hopes to get down to around 20. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Now weighing 35 pounds, Symba the cat hopes to get down to around 20. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)

(Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba “is probably the biggest cat” the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)

Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba “is probably the biggest cat” the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)

Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba “is probably the biggest cat” the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)

Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba “is probably the biggest cat” the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)

(1/7)
Now weighing 35 pounds, Symba the cat hopes to get down to around 20. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)
Symba "is probably the biggest cat" the Humane Rescue Alliance has ever worked with. (Courtesy Humane Rescue Alliance)

The alliance has helped obese animals drop pounds before, said Matt Williams, its communications director. But Symba is in another league, and it’s especially difficult to get cats to drop weight.

“Cats are more difficult than dogs, because you can’t simply take the cat for a nice long walks,” he said in an email. “Games, puzzles, etc. keep cats active. A strict, vet-prescribed diet is also crucial.”

The new family will, of course, need to keep him on the prescribed program. And believe it or not, Symba seems to be cool with forgoing that daily Meow Mix buffet.

“Symba is a good-natured cat and is very sweet,” Williams said.

How long will it take for him to lose the weight? Ideally, Williams said, it will be a slow process.

“We want him to lose the weight slowly — just like people. It’s all about keeping the pet exercising and eating the prescribed diet.”

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up