A colossal cat from East Lothian, who once stole an entire cheesecake, has been named ‘top cat’ in the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.
Chester the cat shed 17% of his bodyweight in just six months. Fellow cat, Elvis, from Clydebank, also lost an amazing 14%.
Every year, vet charity PDSA helps the UK’s fattest pets battle the bulge in a six-month diet and exercise challenge, specially tailored and overseen by its vets and nurses.
This year’s joint Pet Fit Club Champs are Borris the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Deal, Kent and Sadie the Labrador from Basildon, Essex. Both lost an incredible 25% of their bodyweight during the competition.
Overall, this year’s Pet Fit Club finalists lost 28.5kg (4st 7lb).
Chester, who just missed the top spot in the national competition, weighed-in at a whopping 7.6kg (1st 3lb) – 52% over his ideal weight (5kg/11lb). He’s now lost a fifth of his bodyweight, wowing Pet Fit Club judges with his trimmer 6.3kg (1st) figure.
Chester became so fat in such a short time that his owners initially thought he must have an underlying medical condition. But when tests came back negative, it was clear too much food and a lack of exercise were at the root of the problem.
Before Pet Fit Club, Chester enjoyed multiple servings of food throughout the day from different family members, plus leftovers from his fellow house cat.
However, six months on a strict diet and exercise programme has completely changed his life.
Chester’s owner, Lisa Gilmour, said: ‘It’s been brilliant to be part of Pet Fit Club because it’s made such a big difference to Chester – he’s a completely different cat!
‘Before, he would sleep all the time and do his best to avoid us. But now he joins in and shows much more interest – he greets us at the door and comes to us for cuddles!
‘He is much happier and no longer looks miserable. He runs rather than plods – it’s done him the world of good!’
Chester’s weight-loss has been supervised by Kathryn Marshall, Veterinary Care Assistant at Edinburgh PDSA Pet Hospital.
Chester shares his ‘top cat’ crown with fellow cat Pepsi-Cola from Blackpool, who also lost 17% of his bodyweight.
Former heavyweight cat Elvis has ‘returned to slender’ after shedding 14% of his bodyweight in six months.
At the start of the competition, the Burmese cat, named after Elvis Presley, weighed-in at a whopping 8.68kg (1st 5lb) – 58% over his ideal weight 5.5kg (12lb). At his heaviest back in January he weighed even more – tipping the scales at 10kg (1st 8lb).
After PDSA vets warned that he was at serious risk of leaving the stage early, his owners began cutting back on the excess food. He now boasts a 7.5kg (1st 2lb) figure – although she still has a few inches to shed.
Just like his famous namesake, flabby feline Elvis added more than a roll of puppy fat as he got older.
His owner, Carole Sweeney (55), says she didn’t realise how big her boy had become until being stung by comments from family and friends.
He’s been on a diet since January and was making good progress, but continued to shed the pounds after being selected as a participant for Pet Fit Club.
Carole said: ‘It’s been absolutely fantastic! PDSA gave us the wake-up call we needed because he was far too overweight and I know it’s not good for him.
‘I honestly believe that if we hadn’t take part in this competition and got his weight right down, that we wouldn’t have him now. He was dangerously overweight. We will never allow him to get like that again – that’s it now and we’re going to keep going until he’s down to his ideal weight.’
Carole said they’ve noticed a big difference in his health already since the weight loss.
She said: “Before we used to hear him breathing from another room – that’s how huge he was and his lungs would have been squashed.
But now he’s smaller he’s as quiet as a mouse. That’s got to be so much better for his health. Even things like his coat – no matter what we did his fur would be so dull and matted. But it’s totally different now and so shiny and soft.”
Elvis’ weight-loss has been supervised by Amanda Stewart, Vet Nurse at Glasgow Shamrock Street PDSA Pet Hospital.
PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan, who helped to judge the competition, added: ‘It has been hugely rewarding to see Chester and Elvis’s weight decrease over the last six months thanks to their new diet and fitness regime. Their success is testament to the hard work of their owners and our PDSA veterinary teams.
‘Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. Around 40% of dogs and cats in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese.’