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17th May 2021

A personal training plan of healthy eating and exercise has been prescribed for Colin, a podgy puss who piled on the pounds during lockdown.

Chunky Colin tipped the scales at a weighty 8.8kg when he came into care at Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre, last month; nearly twice the average weight of an adult cat. His owners moved and were unable to take him with them.
Cats Protection volunteer holding Colin the black catNow nine-year-old Colin has been placed on a special portion-controlled diet and exercise programme using toys and supervised play in a bid to help him slim down to a more reasonable 6.5kg as a starting point for further managed loss.

Not only will this cut the risk of Colin developing health issues such as diabetes, joint problems and heart failure, it will also mean he can undergo dental work requiring anaesthetic, which cannot be done safely until he has lost weight.

Once staff at the West Norfolk centre are happy with his weight loss, Colin will be looking for a new owner who can help him stick to his healthy living programme and keep the weight off.

Becky Piggott, Senior Cat Care Assistant, said: “We’re looking for someone can take on the role of personal trainer to help Colin maintain his weight and fitness goals. He’s adorable but he’s a lazy boy who isn’t a fan of exercise. We’re not talking boot camp but Colin will need encouragement to do any exercise at all so we’re looking for an owner with time to commit.

“Colin’s previous owner said that he has always been a big cat, but I suspect that being at home more during lockdown meant that they were giving him extra treats. Colin loves his food a bit too much so he wasn’t going to say no. But if Colin can lose some weight and keep it off, he’ll lead a happier, healthier life.” Cats Protection Colin the black and white cat sitting in cat carrier looking up

At least 3.2 million owned cats in the UK are overweight, according to Cats Protection’s CATS (Cats And Their Stats) survey of over 6,300 cat owners, carried out in 2020. 

Sarah Elliott, Central Veterinary Officer for Cats Protection, said: “Our survey suggests that while most cat owners have a strong bond with their cat, they may be tempted to over-indulge their cat with food or treats.

“Owners may do this 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.”

Cats Protection recommends owners to:

  • Weigh out cat food daily, not to overfill bowls, and if giving your cats treats, reduce the overall amount of food you provide them.
  • Avoid giving your cat human treats such as milk or cheese as many cats cannot digest cow’s milk products.
  • Ask neighbours to help by not feeding them. This is especially important if your cat is on a special diet or medication. Consider affixing a simple paper collar to your cat stating that your cat is on a diet and politely requesting neighbours to avoid putting out food.
  • Talk to your vet about your cat’s weight and body condition.

Further tips for helping overweight or obese cats can be found at

Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre has helped over 20,000 cats in the past 30 years. The charity’s 30th birthday wish is to remain #HereForTheCats for many years to come. Donations to support the work of the Adoption Centre can be made at:


For more information, contact Cats Protection Media Office: / 01825 741 911

Notes to editors

  1. The CATS (Cats And Their Stats) survey of over 6,300 cat owners conducted by Basis Research between 28 February and 5 April 2020.
  2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline charity, founded in 1927 as the Cats Protection League. Please use Cats Protection when referring to the charity.
  3. Cats Protection is a national network of around 230 volunteer-run branches and 37 centres, helping around 200,000 cats and kittens every year.
  4. Registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).
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