A massive moggie from Dunbar who once stole an entire cheesecake and woke up only to eat has been named “top cat” in the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.
Chester the cat shed 17 per cent of his bodyweight in just six months. Fellow cat, Elvis, from Clydebank near Glasgow also lost an amazing 14 per cent.
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 per cent 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 per cent 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 (one stone) figure.
Chester became so fat in such a short time that his owners initially thought he must have an underlying medical condition and feared the worst.
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.”
She added: “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, who supported and advised Lisa as she guided her pet to a new, healthier lifestyle.
PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan, who helped to judge the competition, praised Chester for losing the lard.
She said: “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 affecting millions of UK pets. Around 40 per cent of dogs and cats in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese.”