A fat cat weighing twice its recommended weight has shed more than 3kg, thanks to a special diet plan.
Five-year-old Paisley weighed 10.75kg when she was brought to Cats Protection last year. After being put on a specially prescribed diet, she was adopted by James Frankland, 52, and is now less than 2kg away from her ideal weight.
More than three million pet cats are now overweight, with the problem becoming worse during the pandemic, the charity said.
In a survey of more than 2,000 cat owners, more than a quarter (28%) said they had overfed their pet since the start of the first lockdown in March.
More than a third (36%) said their cats had visited neighbours for a bonus feed and one in five (20%) had gained between one and 2.25kg in weight.
“I felt so sorry for Paisley when I first met her,” said Mr Frankland.
“She was so large she couldn’t move properly or reach around to groom herself. I have a deep love of cats and was determined to help her reach a healthy weight.
“Initially she was following a vet-prescribed diet and I later moved her to normal cat food while sticking to responsible portion sizes. Paisley begged for food most days so I usually bought her off with a catnip toy or a bit more play to help her get more exercise.”
As well as Paisley, Cats Protection has helped a number of overweight moggies shed the pounds in the last year.
Ten-year-old sisters Dixie and Trixie came into their care weighing 11kg and 7kg respectively. Both cats were placed on a prescribed diet, and Dixie has lost 2.5kg in weight.
Jinky, 14, was brought into the Glasgow Adoption Centre last February after his previous owner passed away. He had largely been fed human food and weighed 11kg. He was given specialist obesity food and a once-a-week treat of chicken, before being adopted in June.
Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services for Cats Protection, said: “This survey suggests the extra time we’ve spent indoors with our cats has led to us over-indulging them, which owners did out of love or to make their feline feel like a family member.
“Sadly we are doing them more harm than good, as overweight cats are at significant risk of diabetes, joint problems and urinary infections.
“At a time of year when many of us go on a diet, it’s advisable to ask your vet if your cat needs one.”