In human vernacular, "fat cat" is a wealthy and privileged individual, according to Merriam-Webster.
In the feline world, it means Meatball, a 36-pound cat surrendered to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's East Valley Animal Care Center (MCACC) in Mesa.
Meatball is "the biggest cat I have ever seen," said Melissa Gable of the MCACC.
Despite his size, the affectionate Meatball can walk, but the shelter's veterinary team said it has been watching his health closely.
On Friday, Meatball is leaving MCACC for the Companion Pet Clinic in Gold Canyon, AZ. Gable said the Companion Pet specializes in caring for pets with a risk for severe health issues.
MCACC took in a 28-pound cat in August, and the largest cat on record was from Cairns, Queensland, which weighed in at 46 pounds, according to Guinness World Records.
In November, Companion Pet took in a 26-pound cat from MCACC and he is now down to 19 pounds.
MCACC staff said Meatball had apparently been shuffled from home to home before being brought to the shelter.
Meatball is so large, he couldn't comfortably fit in the shelter's regular cat kennels and was living in one of the administrative offices at MCACC's West Valley Animal Care Center in Phoenix until Friday.
Gable said once the staff at Companion Pet feel Meatball has lost enough weight, he'll be up for adoption.
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