'Gloriously gluttonous' cat Patches, weighing over 18kg, adopted in Virginia, US

Patches the cat, a feline weighing 18kg, being held by shelter worker and new owner
The full-figured feline has found his fur-ever home. Photo credit: Richmond Animal Care and Control / Facebook

A "gloriously gluttonous" cat that tips the scales at over 18 kilograms has been adopted in Virginia, US, with his new fur-ever mum committing to an intensive weight loss plan in a bid to shift the pounds. 

Patches, a fluffy grey-and-white feline with a heart-shaped patch on his nose, is neutered, tested, microchipped - and a staggering 40.3 pounds (18.3 kilograms).

Taking to their social media on Wednesday, the Richmond Animal Care and Control Shelter showed off Patches' roly-poly physique and announced that he was up for adoption. 

Unfortunately for Patches, the 'it's not fat, it's fur' mantra won't cut it, with the shelter assuring his fanbase that the hefty house cat has been set a special diet and exercise regime. 

"He's been regulated to a very special diet, is on an exercise plan and is very sweet," the shelter said alongside the photo of Patches, captioned with the text, "We love that belly".

"Please email with your home info and your commitment to help Patches get to a safe and healthy weight. Until then, we will marvel at his gloriously gluttoness body [sic]!"

Hours later, the shelter confirmed that Patches had found his fur-ever home, sharing a photo of his new mum beaming as she cradled the podgy pussycat. 

The shelter later uploaded a video of the full-figured feline being transported from the premises in a kennel, alongside the caption: "Patches is adopted and leaving RACC! 40lbs of LOVE right there!"

Patches and his plump proportions have delighted social media, prompting thousands to express their adoration. His fans were also elated at his adoption, with many calling for Patches' new owner to create an Instagram or Facebook tracking his weight loss journey. 

"Oh, buddy! So much sweetness, but he will really thrive when he gets to a healthy weight! That's gonna take real commitment & a lot of love! Thank you RACC for finding the perfect home to love & help him and prevent him from having medical problems related to carrying that extra floof," one commented.

"I do hope he loses weight. He must be uncomfortable. He is gorgeous! Thank you for adopting him!" said another, with a third adding: "That level of chonky just makes my heart melt! Glad he is on a diet plan, though."

Others shared their concern for Patches' health, but the shelter confirmed that despite being a porky puss, his blood work was "perfect".

Astoundingly, Patches will not be winning any awards for the fattest cat in history. According to the Guinness World Records, the heaviest cat on record was Himmy, who in 1986 weighed 46 pounds (almost 21 kilograms) and had to be transported by wheelbarrow. However, the record-keeping institution no longer keeps track of the category to avoid encouraging owners to keep their animals at unhealthy weights.

It's difficult to definitively determine what an average, healthy cat's weight should be, as it varies between breeds and sex. According to Purina, there are some criteria you can use to assess whether your fur child also needs a special diet: for example, you should be able to feel their ribs and see a waist when looking at them from above.

"It's impossible to identify a true average cat weight because no cat is average, and every breed is unique and every cat is one of a kind. Only you and your veterinarian can determine your cat's ideal body condition and develop a plan to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight," Purina states.