"We've set up a little habitat for him," Animal Care Centers marketing and communications director Katy Hansen told New York Daily News. "People have been spending a lot of time with him."
Hansen added that the cat is “really sweet.”
“He’s clearly uncomfortable and doesn’t like to be lifted, as you can imagine,” she said. “That, combined with the new environment, would make anyone cranky, but he’s not cranky at all. The longer humans have interacted with him, the easier it has become to care for him.”
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Although the post joked that Barsik could set a Guinness World Record, the organization stopped tracking overweight cats in 1998 to discourage people from overfeeding pets just to get into the record books. The heaviest cat recorded by Guinness is Himmy. The Australian cat weighed 46 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces when he died at 10 years and 4 months in March 1986.
Barsik has since been taken in by Anjellicle Cats Rescue, Inc., where he and another cat, Sukie, who is 13 pounds, are in a foster home.
Barsik is not yet up for adoption, but his weight loss journey can be followed on Instagram at bigbarsik.