Mom Refuses To Let Her Daughter Get A Cat Because She’s ‘Too Fat’ And Needs To ‘Work On Her Own Fitness’ Before Taking On More Responsibility

"She thought I wasn't responsible enough to handle the simple task of feeding and playing with a pet."

Little girl holding a cat and smiling. Africa Studio /

We’ve heard the toxic stories of bullying in high school and even the stigma of living in a “bigger body” as an adult, but often, the root of those issues starts at home.

It’s exactly the kind of situation commenters in one young girl's “Am I The Jerk” Reddit post pointed out. “Your mom is setting you up for failure,” one wrote. The young girl shared that her relationship with her mom has always been strained, but a recent event truly emphasized the toxicity she brought to their bond.


“She told me, ‘You’re too fat to own a cat,” the girl wrote in her post. “Sure, I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds, but did she really think I was ‘too fat’ to own one?”

The girl’s mom refused to let her get a cat because she’s ‘too fat.’ 

“My mom has always been very strict about my weight and how much I eat. She thinks I'm overweight and constantly worries about my health,” she started in her post. “So, when I asked her about getting a cat, I knew she would say no. But I didn't realize just how much she didn't want me to have one.” A lot of narcissistic parents fat shame their children. These children may develop horrendous body dystrophin and awful self-esteem as a consequence, no matter how lean or overweight they are. Also, if they do get leaner, they may find themselves being anorexia-shamed. #fatshame #narcissisticparent #narcisisstsurvivor #fitness #counselorsoftiktok #therapytiktok ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

RELATED: Plus-Sized Woman Feels Shamed After 'Petite' Coworker Asks Her If She Wants To Go For A Walk At Lunch — 'You Just Don't Want To Walk'


This kind of reward/consequence treatment from parents in alignment with their children’s weight or physical appearance is what grows into a larger beast once their children grow into adolescence and adulthood. Often cultivating harmful body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and other mental health struggles, rhetoric like this mother’s — equating competency to “fatness” — will do the opposite of what she thinks it will.

Fat shaming is never an effective motivator. It only cultivates a poor sense of self and an unhealthy relationship with food.

Her mom argued that cats require a lot of physical activity and responsibility, something ‘she wasn’t capable of’ providing.

“Caring for a cat takes a lot of physical activity and responsibility,” her mom told the poster, “and you need to work on your own fitness before taking on that kind of commitment."

Not only did her reasoning feel misguided — surely being fat didn’t make her irresponsible, it was just the way she was — it made her feel guilty and embarrassed. 


Little girl looking at herself in a mirror. Alex Vog /

“I was shocked and hurt by her words... It was like she thought I wasn't responsible enough to handle the simple task of feeding and playing with a pet. She has always been a pain, but never like this.”

RELATED: Plus-Sized Traveler Starts Petition To Demand Larger Passengers Get Free Seats On Planes After Experiencing 'Disapproving Looks' & 'Hateful Comments'


Commenters urged the girl to distance herself from her ‘toxic mother,’ arguing that she was battling her own insecurities.

“I can’t believe your mom talks to you this way. I am so sorry you have to listen to such negativity,” one mother wrote. “Your weight shouldn’t matter. Her telling you negative things about your weight is abusive and insensitive…They should be caring about how you are mentally and love you no matter what size you are and no matter what you look like. You deserve to be loved.”

Commenters were especially concerned about the girl's mental health. Not only were her mom's misguided comments equating physical weight and appearance to responsibility and competency incredibly harmful to this young girl’s self-image, but they were also setting a toxic standard for the girl's future relationship with body image and food.

“She’s projecting her own issues and insecurities onto you,” another commenter asserted. “Her hyper-awareness of weight, physical appearance, and 'health' has everything to do with her and nothing to do with you… move out and get your own cat.”

At the end of the day, our culture’s misguided views and stereotypes about weight are harming whole generations of people, sparking struggles with eating habits, self-esteem, and even relationships. 


Sadly, this mother is perpetuating those ideals and setting her daughter up for the same insecurities she struggles with.

RELATED: Mother Punishes Her Teenage Daughter After She Excluded Her 'Overweight' Friend From Her Birthday Trip

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.