The staff at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., can’t believe their eyes.
In their midst is a 35-lb. cat named Symba, who is carrying around an unbelievable amount of extra weight (more than his animated namesake).
“HRA staff have seen a lot —but we’ve never seen a 35 pound cat!” says a post on the shelter’s Facebook page, introducing the feline to the public. “At 6-years-old, Symba is bigger than a lion cub and we know he’d be much more comfortable if he slimmed down a bit. If you’re up for the challenge, he’d love to go home with you and continue his weight loss journey.”
The shelter has been caring for Symba for about a week and staff there are already helping him burn calories with mild exercise (see clip below of him slowly taking steps on a treadmill).
Sadly, Symba previously had a home but lost it when his owner had to move and couldn’t take him along.
“This mellow fellow needs a wonderful new home to cheer him up,” his online bio says. “He is a curious and playful guy who sometimes likes to tell you what he thinks about things. He is mature, but with many wonderful years ahead of him.”
Despite what the photos might suggest, Symba’s big belly isn’t yearning for rubs, as “touching his tummy makes him very nervous,” his bio reads.
Symba’s next family will need to help him maintain a healthier lifestyle. “An ideal adopter for Symba would be someone who will give him the love and attention he deserves, but also will keep Symba active and will be vigilant in keeping to the prescribed weight loss program,” Matt Williams, senior director of communications for the shelter, tells PEOPLE.
If you’re interested in Symba, who is at the shelter’s New York Avenue adoption center, click here to learn how to adopt.