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Thursday, March 29, 2012

I have to lose a few me-ounces! Maverick the 22-POUND moggy goes on a diet

Obese feline battles podgy pets in The Biggest Loser-style competition By SIMON TOMLINSON It's taken a while, but Maverick the morbidly obese moggy has finally decided to tackle his weight problem - by taking part in the pet version of The Biggest Loser. The long-haired cat from Edinburgh tips the scales at 22.5lb (10.5kg) - more than twice his ideal weight - but is now fighting the flab in a dieting contest. He faces heavy competition from 9.3kg feline Fifi Bottomley, a roast dinner-loving Labrador from Staffordshire, who was too heavy to have an X-ray, a border collie from the Wirral whose excess pounds exacerbate his arthritis and a Wakefield rabbit named Samantha who weighs more than an average cat. Fat fighter: PDSA vet nurse Amanda Shearsby with Maverick, the 22lb moggy who is taking part in the charity's Pet Fit Club in the hope of shedding the weight and winning, perhaps unhelpfully, a year's supply of food The flabby felines and portly puppies are among the finalists in this year's Pet Fit Club, a competition run by animal charity PDSA. Specialist vets will be guiding the owners of each of these super-sized pets on their journey to good health by providing a balanced diet and tailored exercise plan. The competition will run for six months with the winner announced in September. The winning owner will receive a year's worth of free pet food for their animal and a pet-friendly holiday worth £500 with the Four Seasons hotel in Perthshire. The contestants - 11 dogs, five cats and two rabbits - are carrying a combined excess weight of more than 24 stone, the equivalent of 380 tins of dog food, 35 average-sized cats or 50 Yorkshire Terriers. What a lump! A vet nurse struggles with hefty hound Cavalier Jack, who weighed 22kg before starting his diet in the contest Always gorging herself: Fifi Bottomley will have to curb her extreme eating habits if she is to drop from 9.3kg to her ideal weight Cat versus food: Fifi was starving to death as a kitten when she was found her new owners, which accounts for her desire to steal grub at any opportunity Sean Wensley, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said: 'Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy. 'But the good news is that it's never too late to make positive changes to a pet's diet and lifestyle.' Fifi's owner, Monica Bottomley, said her son Daniel had found her starving to death as a kitten. 'Probably as a result of her hard start in life, Fifi tends to gorge herself at any opportunity and steals food right from people's plates given the slightest opportunity,' she said. Can't wait for Sundays: Deco the Labrador's love of roast dinners has seen him balloon to 55kg, more than 50 per cent over his healthy weight Feline tendencies: At a morbidly obese 4.3kg, Samantha the rabbit weighs as much as a cat 'Daniel even had to build a special 'feeding box' for his other cat, with a hole that Fifi couldn't fit through to stop her stealing his food, but even then she often found a way in. 'Despite her extra weight, she can still be quite mobile if there is a chance of extra food!' She added: 'We entered Fifi into Pet Fit Club as we've tried everything and we don't know what else to do. Ouch! Bailey the border collie from Glasgow shocks vet nurse Kirsty McDougall with his reading on the scales Pear-shaped: Mini Moo from Basildon ballooned after her owner became seriously ill and she kept her company on the sofa 'We're desperate to get her to a healthier weight, but we know it must be done slowly as it can be dangerous for cats to lose weight too quickly.' The PDSA believes that there are around 2.9 million dogs and three million cats in the UK losing the battle of the bulge. However, 84 per cent of owners are content that their pets are in perfect physical condition, while 90 per cent admit to feeding their charges with cheese, crisps, cakes, biscuits, toast and takeaways. source:dailymail


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