Buddha the Fat Cat Dies of Heart Ailment

VIDEO: Buddha the cats owners are trying to get him down to a healthy weight.

Buddha, the obese gray and white cat whose diet and exercise plan made him a viral sensation, has died of congestive heart failure. He was 6 years old.

See Buddha Use An Underwater Treadmill to Exercise

The feline inspired people around the world with his jaunts on an underwater treadmill, which along with a diet plan, helped him whittle down his 31.4 pound weight.

"It's our hope Buddha will not have died in vain. We hope that his story inspires owners of obese cats to help them get them on a path to a healthier weight," Nashville's Cat Shoppe, which helped care for the feline, wrote on its website.

Buddha was dropped off at Animal Control in Nashville on Aug. 2 after his owner died. Realizing the overweight cat's health was at risk, volunteers told ABC News they took Buddha to Cat Shoppe, where the feline began his weight loss journey.

Video of the fat cat working out on his special treadmill was shared around the world and made Buddha a celebrity.

However, when he was recently diagnosed with heart problems, Cat Shoppe said they took Buddha off his workout plan and placed him in a loving foster home.

Cat Shoppe is planning to honor Buddha at a celebration of his life on Dec. 14.

(Image Credit: Penny Adams Photography)

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