East Lothian big puss Chester, the cat who once ate an entire cheesecake, will battle heavy hounds and a rotund rat to win a year’s supply of free pet food and a holiday.
Vet charity PDSA’s Pet Fit Club is running the pet slimming competition to help the heaviest pets in the UK get down to a healthy weight.
Chester, who lives with his owners in Dunbar, is among the three Scottish moggies in the UK-wide competition.
There’s also Benji – who is too big for his cat flap – and Elvis, who is used to being fed an all-day buffet.
Chester the cat has munched and snoozed his way to a huge weight of 1st 3lb and needs to lose 6lb to reach his ideal weight.
Chester’s owner, Lisa Gilmour, said her pet has an insatiable appetite.
She said: “We realised everyone in the house was feeding him without knowing he’d already been fed, so he was getting fed by all four of us every day!
“We’ve tried to help him lose weight, even putting a collar on him that says, ‘Do not feed me!’ for the neighbours, but that hasn’t worked.
“He eats whatever he can find; including crisps left on the floor by the kids.
“He even stole my dad’s cheesecake that was on the kitchen counter! Another time my son woke up to the sound of rattling and he was trying to claw his way into a box of chocolates – luckily he didn’t get in though, I know how dangerous chocolate can be.”
“He’s getting older now and his weight will play on his joints if we don’t do something to help him.
“He can’t be comfortable carrying around all that weight and we want him to be happier and healthier as he ages,” his owner added.
Chester’s Pet Fit Club diet and exercise programme will be specially tailored by Edinburgh PDSA Pet Hospital, on Hutchison Crossway.
Chester will be given exercise through games and chasing as well as puzzles to find food.
Pet Fit Club participants receive free Dechra diet pet food for the six months of the competition and the overall winner, crowned at the end of 2018, will receive a year’s supply of free pet food, a pet friendly holiday with Sykes Cottages and a pet hamper.
Together the line-up of porky pets, which includes seven dogs, five cats and a fat rat, weigh a staggering 31st 7lb – more than the World’s Strongest Man (and Game of Thrones’ “The Mountain”) Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.
According to PDSA there are 5.7 million UK pets who are fed treats every day and owners have confessed to feeding cats, dogs and rabbits crisps, cakes, cheese, chips and takeaways.
PDSA Vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, said: “Pet obesity is an epidemic that is seriously impacting the lives of millions of pets across the country. As with humans, carrying excess weight has serious health implications for our four-legged friends. It increases the chances of life-limiting and life-threatening conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart diseases. With the help of PDSA and Pet Fit Club, these pets and their owners are making the necessary diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to get down to healthier weights.
“We will support them every step of the way.”
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