Is the Real Star of 'My Big Fat Fabulous Life' — Henchi the Cat — Still Alive?

Kate Brierley - Author

Feb. 8 2021, Updated 3:38 p.m. ET

Without a doubt, there are plenty of big personalities on TLCs hit reality series My Big Fat Fabulous Life.

Now in its seventh season, we’ve not only fallen in love with the star of the show, Whitney Way Thore. There’s also her so-cute-it-almost-hurts parents, Glenn and Barbara “Babs” Thore, her ride-or-die friends, and yes… even her pets. 

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One very proud cat mom, Whitney’s got multiple cats — Ollie, Wanda, and Henchi. But Whitney doesn’t hesitate to confess that Henchi’s her favorite. And he’s the one that really gets people talking. I mean, just look at him!

Henchi is a longtime Thore family member and friend who is getting up there in age as the seasons roll on.

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So wait... did Henchi the cat from 'My Big Fat Fabulous Life' die?

We’re happy to report that the closest thing the world has to a Grumpy Cat these days is still kickin.' Henchi’s alive! Even after a major cancer-related health scare in December 2019.

If you watch the show, you know that Whitney is perpetually on the go, traveling between Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. She’s bouncing between homes, businesses, family, and friends in both places. This not only takes a toll on her, but also her furry friends, who often make the trips with her.

When Henchi began acting off, Whitney immediately found a vet in Charlotte who conducted a battery of tests to successfully rule out cancer. And thank goodness, he doesn’t have it!

Luckily, with a lot less travel and more recovery time, Henchi’s de-stressing and is back to his old self with a lot of life left to live.

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The 12-year-old cat actually came from Korea.

It may come as a surprise that Henchi is not from around these parts. Actually, Whitney adopted him 12 years ago when she was living in Korea and teaching English after graduating college. 

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And actually, his full name was originally Henri Kimchi (Korea’s national dish), which turned into Henry Kimchi, and eventually, just Henchi. Or Henchymane.

Whitney brought him to the U.S., where Babs promptly fell in love with him. This love affair has turned out to be a majorly heartwarming plot line on the show over the years. 

What breed is Henchi?

Whitney gets this question a lot, and Henchi’s actually a Persian cat, made evident by his long hair, round squishy face, and signature short muzzle.

His cat brothers and sisters aren’t fellow Persians, though. Wanda is a 3-year-old Himalayan, and Ollie is 2-year-old Selkirk Rex, as Whitney explained in her #InternationalCatDay post. 

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Was Henchi really in a cat show?

Yes, this is true! And actually, he nailed it. If you missed those episodes way back in Season 2, you definitely want to have a watch. Between Whitney and Babs freaking out over the whole process to Henchi wanting absolutely none of it, it’s honestly some of the best footage on the show. 

Henchi, we’d hug ya’ if we could, and we’re so glad you’re okay. 

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