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.
Now 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.”
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:
Further tips for helping overweight or obese cats can be found at https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/diet/cat-obesity.
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: https://www.justgiving.com/team/TeamCPDownham30
For more information, contact Cats Protection Media Office:
Media.Office@Cats.org.uk / 01825 741 911
Notes to editors