What is the fattest cat in the world?
Rotund tabbies are some of the sweetest and funniest creatures in the world, capable of big hugs and equally big meals. Who took home the ticket for fattest cat in the world, though?
It's a tale as old as time, and a cliché nearly as tiresome – the kitty-cat "a little wide for its height," the "big boned" boy, the "overly-fluffy" tabby.
Garfield wasn't the first fat cat, nor was he the last, but appreciation for lasagna-loving fluff balls has been lacking of late, making us often wonder when could the fat cat be back?
Who holds the animal world record, though, for being the fattest cat in history?
What's the heaviest kitty in the castle, the roundest mouser in the room?
Let's find out!
Fattest cat in the world
The fattest cat in the world was an enormous tabby named Himmy, who managed to get himself a Guinness World Record in 1986 for being the heaviest kitty ever recorded. Himmy, who only lived to about ten years of age on account of his enormous weight and the health conditions that came with it, was so huge that he had to be carried around in a wheelbarrow. Due to his size, mobility was a huge problem and Himmy had trouble even walking.
This wheelbarrow-bound feline was raised and owned by Australian Thomas Vyse and was born in 1975. Sadly, Himmy didn't survive long after the record was collected in 1986, dying in March of that same year.
Himmy hasn't been the only fat cat in town over the decades since, though! While not officially recognized by Guinness World Records (we'll get into why not later), a report by Truly back in 2012 revealed Garfield, a cat who weighed 38 pounds. There are many conflicting reports on whether this appropriately-named feline was the heaviest since Himmy, but no one can deny that his wide girth was impressive to behold.
Both Himmy and Garfield struggled with their weight, and both had a plethora of health issues because of how fat they were – the moral of the story: Don't let your cat get this fat!
How heavy is the fattest cat in the world?
When Himmy was weighed and awarded the world record for fattest cat, he was a whopping 47 pounds. This made him profoundly difficult to carry and unable to move himself the way he should. As we previously mentioned, this meant that his last few years were spent being pushed around in a wheelbarrow.
Another close contender for the fattest cat is a guy named Patches who was advertised for adoption by Richmond Animal Care and Control in April 2023. In a statement and photo posted on Facebook, the company said that "we have the cat for you."
They went on to introduce this mighty beast: "Meet Patches; all 40.3 pounds of him! He's been regulated to a very special diet, is on an exercise plan and is very sweet. He's neutered, tested, chipped, and ready to go today!"
Whether the fattest cat in the world right now is Patches or some other kitty is unknown and will likely never be known for sure.
Don't let your cat get this fat!
You might have noticed that we haven't quoted a more recent Guinness World Records winner in this article, and there's a genuine reason for this. Back in 2015 they explained why they don't talk about fat cats anymore, expressing that they no longer talk about "Heaviest pets." The reason for this? It's inhumane.
Overfeeding cats is a cruel and dangerous thing to do. Sure, fat cats are some of the cutest and fluffiest creatures in the world, but their excessive weight risks significant health issues, joint pain, and discomfort. An overweight cat will live a shorter life than an average-sized one and, as a result, it makes sense for Guinness World Records to make the decision not to hand out awards for such a thing.
"The heaviest cat of all, for example, was Himmy," explained Guinness World Records in a statement. "Himmy – who had to be transported in a wheelbarrow – was thankfully unchallenged until 1998."
"Editors and record managers decided to discontinue the category to deter people from over-feeding their pets just to appear in the book. Today, we still monitor animal weight and size by breed... but not individual specimens."
Cover photo: Unsplash/Kabo