U.K. Fat Cat Finds A 'Fur-Ever' Home After Being Returned To Shelter 4 Times Mitzi weighed 17 lbs. when she was rescued by Woodside Animal Welfare Trust shelter in 2017. "It's been ever so sad for Mitzi," shelter manager Helen Lecointe said. Mitzi goes to a new home in April.
NPR logo U.K. Fat Cat Finds A 'Fur-Ever' Home After Being Returned To Shelter 4 Times

U.K. Fat Cat Finds A 'Fur-Ever' Home After Being Returned To Shelter 4 Times

A photo of an unknown cat. Dave Young hide caption

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Dave Young

A photo of an unknown cat.

Dave Young

One of Britain's fattest cats has finally found a permanent home after returning to the same animal shelter four times.

"It's been ever so sad for Mitzi," Woodside Animal Welfare Trust shelter manager Helen Lecointe told BBC News. "There was an owner death, a change of circumstance and one owner became very ill."

Mitzi was permanently adopted this month by a family who has known her for at least a year. Mitzi's new owners are the relatives of one of her previous owners. When that owner died, the family wanted to adopt Mitzi, but couldn't due to their living situation – but now that's changed.

The owners are supposed to move into a new home in April, so until then the non-profit shelter that rescued Mitzi will continue to care for the portly pussycat.

Now 9 years old, the fluffy feline was labeled one of the country's fattest stray cats when the Woodside Animal Welfare Trust found her in May 2017. At the time she weighed 17 lbs – almost twice as much as her recommended weight. But after a hardcore diet, she's now 11 lbs.

While the employees at the shelter don't know how Mitzi grew to be oversized, they suspect the same group of individuals, possibly students, continually fed her when she was a stray.

Mitzi's story went viral after a photo was posted online by the shelter in 2017, and again recently after the shelter posted a plea on social media asking for someone else to adopt her.

Shelter manager Lecointe told the BBC News that they had adoption offers from around the world. The shelter rehoused 908 animals in 2018, including 419 cats. Would-be owners for Mitzi reached out from the United States, Sweden, and locations in the Middle East, but the shelter ultimately placed the chubby cat with the individuals who already knew her and her needs.

Caring for Mitzi is no easy task: she has a strict diet, has to be the only cat in the household, and there can't be any young children around. One time, her then-owner became pregnant and Mitzi became aggressive towards her, quite the sourpuss.

Once she is comfortable in a household, however, she has the sweetest "purrsonality."

"She will show affection on her own terms and it will take a while for her to settle down," Natalie Larratt, niece of the previous owner who died, commented on a Facebook post by the shelter in 2018. "She did end up being a lap cat for my Aunt and Mitzi stayed by her side until the end."

Lindsey Feingold is the NPR Digital Content intern.