THE Scottish SPCA today warned owners not to over-feed their pets after an obese cat - twice its ideal weight - arrived in the charity’s care.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity rescued the fat cat, weighing 11.5kg (28lbs), when he was found straying in the Balmedie area of Aberdeenshire in July.
The cat, estimated to be three years old, was taken to the Scottish SPCA’s Aberdeenshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Drumoak, where staff have named him Mr Pickles.
Assistant manager Debbie Innes said: “Mr Pickles is possibly one of the biggest cats we have ever come across. The only thing bigger than Mr Pickles is his personality. He is one of the friendliest cats anyone is likely to meet.
“He loves having his tummy tickled and will lie on his back with all four paws in the air for a good belly rub.”
She continued: “Mr Pickles will remain in our care for quite some time, undertaking a gentle weight loss and exercise regime. His ideal weigh is between 5-6 kgs. He has already lost over half a kilo so far but we have to take things slowly, otherwise this could cause serious health problems in itself and could even be fatal.”
Ms Innes added: “Once he has shed a few pounds we’ll be able to carry out the relevant tests to determine whether he has developed any underlying conditions related to his obesity.
“When Mr Pickles has reached a suitable weight, we’ll be looking to find him a loving owner who’ll be able to continue on with his diet and exercise plan.”
She stressed: “Sadly, cats diagnosed as being clinically obese can have a shorter life expectancy. “They also have an increased risk of developing diabetes, liver problems, breathing difficulties and joint stress.
“Lack of exercise along with a dry food diet is one of the main reasons cats can become obese. Dry cat food is high in carbohydrates and cats will naturally store this as fat.
“It’s very important that owners keep their cats at a healthy weight. Anyone concerned that their pet may be overweight should consult their vet.”