Jan 31, 2014 12:40 PM
PHOENIX - At 36 pounds, Meatball is a lot of kitty to love.
The tubby tabby was surrendered to the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control's East Valley Animal Care Center in Mesa, Ariz.
Meatball is "the biggest cat I have ever seen," the MCACC’s Melissa Gable told CBS affiliate KPHO.
MCACC staff said Meatball had apparently been shuffled from home to home before being brought to the shelter.
Despite his girth, Meatball is able to walk. The shelter's veterinary team said it is watching his health closely.
Meatball is so large, he can't comfortably fit in the shelter's regular cat kennels and is living in one of the administrative offices at MCACC's West Valley Animal Care Center in Phoenix, KPHO said.
Although Meatball is affectionate, he is not available for general adoption. MCACC staff said they are trying to find a spot with a rescue organization that specializes in overweight cats because of his risk for severe health issues, the need for constant monitoring and because he needs a special prescribed diet.
© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved