Obese pets swim to lose weight in Va.

Posted at 2:59 PM, Feb 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-05 14:59:31-05

LOUDON COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) --  Cats are not usually known for their love of swimming, but one Loudon County, Virginia, feline is hitting the water instead of the gym in effort to lose weight.  

Holly is a 13-year-old cat who dislikes the outdoors and other physical activity.  As a result her weight has sky-rocketed to 20 pounds. 

But with encouragement from her owner, and weekly visits to the Old Towne Pet Resort, Holly has managed to drop one pound in six months. 

“She won’t do anything else," Dani Lawhorne, Holly's owner, said. "I’ve tried to take her outside.  She doesn’t like the outdoors… she won’t play with cat toys, she doesn’t like cat nip.  Anything normal that cats like she just doesn’t like.”

Holly is not alone.  According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53 percent of dogs and 55 percent of cats are overweight, putting them at an increased risk of arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.   

“I don’t think people appreciate the seriousness of long-term overweight body condition can be," Dr. Robert Justin, a veterinarian, said. "You really want to address that as quickly as possible.”

A dip in the pool is a great source of exercise for overweight and obese pets.