Source: Yahoo!Life (Extract)
Posted: October 5, 2023

Meet Peaches the “Purrmaid.”

The hefty Edmonton cat recently went TikTok viral for his unique weight loss plan. At just over 11 kg, he’s diving into swimming lessons to shed a few extra pounds.

Peaches’ owner, Chastity Emes, told Global News he’s always been a “big boy,” mainly due to free-feeding. Pandemic walks weren’t successful, as “he just kind of flopped over and decided it wasn’t going to happen.”

Over summer 2022, Peaches became sick and lethargic, often missing his litter box – all tell-tale signs of cat illness. A veterinarian diagnosed him with diabetes, requiring insulin injections and a 2-kg weight loss.

Emes signed Peaches up for swimming lessons at Frisky Pup Canine Hydrotherapy & Fitness, a local animal hydrotherapy centre led by Kira Palechek.

The warm pool, around 32 degrees Celsius, promotes blood vessel dilation, reducing inflammation and pain, while water buoyancy eases joint pressure.

“They kind of pick him up, take him to one end and he swims to his platform,” Emes shared. “They try and do that a couple of times without a break to get his cardio up and then they’ll let him relax a little bit in between reps.”

Emes documented Peaches’ journey on TikTok, amassing 33,000 followers in two weeks. Some viewers left comments of concern about Peaches’ meows while he’s in the pool, claiming he sounds like he’s in “distress.” However, Emes assured her new fans he’s comfortable in the water and not in pain.

“If he was in pain, I think we would see him panicking and trying to get out of the water more than he is,” she explained.

Other commenters have met Emes’ videos with praise for Peaches’ hard work.

“He’s a champion!” one TikTok user commented.

“Such a brave boy,” someone else chimed in.

Another wrote: “I love your cat so much.”

“We must protect Peaches at all costs,” a fan penned.

Emes added that she’s “confident” Peaches will reach his goal weight and she’s hopeful to ween him off of insulin in the future. She also applauded Peaches’ progress so far.

“He’s at least come back down to what he was at the end of last summer. I can tell by the amount of loose skin in his armpit,” she said.