Cat-Astrophy Avoided: Aquatic Therapy Trims Fat Feline

photo of cat in life vest
Dr. Katy J. Nelson / The Pet Show

The cat's out of the bag: swimming boasts scores of benefits to our health, which explains why aquatic therapy is surging in popularity. And as it turns out, the trend extends to our four-legged friends as well. 

Meet Holly the cat. At 13 years old, she weighs 18 pounds — but she's not taking it lying down. According to an article on, the cat has taken to the pool since May 2012 to engage in some aquatic therapy as a weight loss aid. The pool, located at the Olde Towne Pet Resort in Dulles, Va., typically caters to canine clients, but Holly — decked out in a kitty-sized life jacket — shows it's not just for the dogs. 

"It's the only physical activity this cat has,'' Olde Towne publicist Mayra Ruiz-McPherson said. "Otherwise, she is a one thousand percent couch potato.'' 

Holly's owner, Dani Lawhorne, hopes the aquatic therapy will help Holly lose six or seven pounds thanks to her bi-weekly visits. After all, swimming is the cat's only form of exercise. When not swimming, Holly enjoys laying around all day and watching television, Lawhorne says. 

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