PDSA Pet Fit Club seeks overweight animals for slimming contest

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A 1.5-stone cat who is double his ideal size is among the contenders for a pet slimming competition.

Vet charity PDSA is looking for 15 animals to take part in its annual Pet Fit Club, which aims to help animals slim down to a healthy weight.

Pets chosen for PDSA Pet Fit Club are placed on a strict six-month diet and exercise programme, individually tailored to their needs and overseen by vets and nurses at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.

Elvis the cat is one of the entrants to the PDSA Pet Fit Club slimming competition (PDSA/PA)
Elvis the cat is one of the entrants to the PDSA Pet Fit Club slimming competition (PDSA/PA)

Entrants to the competition include Elvis from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, who piled on the pounds to reach 10kg (22lbs) by snacking all day.

He is around double his ideal weight of 5kg (11lbs).

Owner Carole Sweeney, 55, said: "I never gave Elvis treats or human food, but I've since learned that his portion sizes were way out of control.

"He basically had his own all-day buffet, whenever he emptied his bowl I would fill it back up again. The fact that he's an indoor cat meant he soon piled on the weight.

"Thanks to the expert advice from the vets and nurses at PDSA, he's now being fed a special diet food and I weigh out his portions, so I know exactly how much he's eating."

Owners have until March 4 to apply for the competition and can do so online at pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub while entry forms are also available from PDSA Pet Hospitals nationwide.

Last year's winner, Alfie the Beagle, from Middlesbrough, successfully shed 34% of his body weight.

Alfie's love of junk food caused him to balloon to nearly 5 stone. He lost an incredible 1st 9lbs on our Pet Fit Club diet and his tail hasn't stopped wagging since! Does your pet need to shed some pounds? Register for #PetFitClub https://t.co/V1haF3sWYxpic.twitter.com/3tWOaGZzUa

-- PDSA (@PDSA_HQ) January 29, 2018

The charity urged people whose pets are overweight to enter them in the UK-wide competition, which is now in its 13th year.

PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman said: "Latest scientific literature shows that at least a third of dogs and a quarter of cats are clinically overweight or obese, but the true figures could be as high as 40%, making obesity one of the most common medical diseases seen by vets.

"It is a ticking time bomb that will have drastic consequences for our pets.

"Over the years PDSA Pet Fit Club has helped transform some of the UK's fattest, unhealthiest pets into fit and healthy animals.

"Prevention is definitely better than cure, but if owners are worried about their pet's weight it is never too late to do something about it."