Gigantic cat reaches final of national pet slimming contest

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A greedy-guts moggy who is nearly 65% overweight, has reached the finals of the UK’s largest pet slimming competition - PDSA Pet Fit Club.

Jumbo Jack, hoping to lead the way for millions of overweight pets across Britain, has been selected to compete against 12 other fat pets – including dogs, cats and even a rabbit.

Tipping the scales at 1st 1lbs (7kg), the curvy cat, who lives in Gateshead, should weigh closer to 9lb (4.3kg).

Six-year-old Jack’s weight-gain started when owner June Smith moved house three years ago. When settling into his new street, Jack started visiting the neighbours and skilfully extorting treats from them.

On closer inspection, June found that no less than four of her neighbours were regularly succumbing to Jack’s charms and feeding him meals and scraps.

June said: “Jack’s always had an insatiable appetite – I have to feed him and my dog Tilly separately, because he will try and steal her food. He has a beautiful face and is very personable, so it’s no wonder he manages to charm people into giving him scraps of ham and sachets of cat food.”

Jack’s gluttonous days are numbered though, as he has been selected to take part in PDSA’s Pet Fit Club 2016. Jack will be placed on a six-month diet and fitness programme and the staff at the charity’s Gateshead PDSA Pet Hospital will be helping June to curb his calorie-collecting neighbourhood visits!

Cheryl Nash, PDSA Veterinary Nurse who will be helping to oversee Jack’s diet, said: “Pet obesity is a serious issue that affects millions of UK pets. Like humans, pets carrying excess weight are at risk from developing serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It can even shorten their lives.

“With the help of PDSA Pet Fit Club, June is making the necessary lifestyle changes to help get Jack down to a healthier weight. We will support her every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.”

“If owners are unsure what to feed their pets, or are concerned about their weight, they should always seek advice from their vet.”

Jack will be competing against seven dogs, four cats and a rabbit, including Cilla, a crumpet-loving American Bulldog from Liverpool who tips the scales at a hefty 8st 8lb(54.4kg). Also taking on the six-month weight loss challenge are podgy puss Puff, from Sheffield, who weighs 1st 3lb (7.5kg) and rotund rabbit, Pebbles, from Blackpool.

PDSA Pet Fit Club was launched in 2005 and has already helped 74 dogs, 32 cats and six rabbits lose a total 63 stone 11lb - equivalent to over 400 bags of sugar, 6,500 tins of tuna, 7,000 sausages or four heavyweight boxers.

To help them with their weight loss plan, Pet Fit Club participants will receive free diet pet food for the duration of the competition, courtesy of Dechra. The overall Pet Fit Club Champ, who will be crowned at the end of 2016, will win a year’s free supply of Dechra pet food and a pet friendly holiday courtesy of cottages.com.

For more information about this year’s pet finalists and to follow their progress visit www.petfitclub.org.uk