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17th May 2024

An obese cat who could barely stand because she tipped the scales at 12.7kg has lost more than half her body weight in two years and now enjoys running in the garden thanks to her owners’ dedication. White-and-tortoiseshell Rainbow first made headlines when she arrived at Cats Protection Bridgend Adoption Centre in March 2022 weighing slightly more than an average two-year-old child. Having just marked her first anniversary in her new home, she now weighs 6kg as a result of a strict diet and exercise.

Rainbow initially spent a year in charity care where it was uncertain whether she would survive because of the strain being put on her organs and bones by the excess weight. She needed to be treated for an eye infection, urine burns and inflamed skin because her size prevented her from toileting or grooming properly and she had fleas because a single parasite treatment did not contain enough medication to treat her.

However, once she was in better health and had reached 8kg she could safely be rehomed with a clear diet plan to Matthew and Sarah Rogers in Merthyr Tydfil. 

Matthew says: “In the year Rainbow’s been with us she’s lost 2kg which is amazing and it’s made a big difference to her day-to-day life. She can now groom herself properly and she’s much more agile and gets about the house and garden, which we have made secure for her, without any problems.” 

Sarah adds: “Rainbow now also loves to play a lot more and she’s much more energetic. She has lots of toys around the house and her current favourite is her little round robin ball which she bunny kicks and rolls around with on the floor! Rainbow loves exploring the house and cuddling up in her favourite spots She particularly loves to find the sunspots and have a little sunbathe when she can, and she loves cuddles on our laps and being fussed.”

Now just turned six years old, Rainbow is blind as a result of a condition Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which can either be inherited or caused by a lack of taurine, an amino acid essential for cats. 

Matthew explains: “When Rainbow first arrived, she immediately wanted to explore the house. She’s very adventurous and brave, and her blindness didn’t stop her exploring. It was amazing to see how she cleverly worked out her surroundings by walking around the rooms, rubbing herself against surfaces and putting her paws on the walls. She’s very intelligent and soon mapped out the whole house in her mind. She was even running up and down the stairs within days!

Sarah says: “Despite being unable to see, Rainbow loves to do this really cute thing where if you hold your hand above her head, she’ll do a little leap into the air to rub your hand and then she trots around to do it again, like an elegant little show pony doing dressage!”

Matthew and Sarah have stuck faithfully to Rainbow’s prescribed diet of 58g of food per day. They split her meals and combine interactive puzzle feeders with an auto-feeder which provides her early morning and mid-day feeds. Their top tip for helping a cat lose weight is to find a feeding routine that works for you and your cat. 

Matthew adds: “Managing her diet is fine, but we have to be strict and not give in to her cries for more food which can be tough because she’s brilliant at begging. Around feeding times Rainbow can cry a lot for more food, but she soon settles down when she knows we won’t give in. If we gave in every time Rainbow cried for more food she’d be back to 13kg!”

Sarah says: “It’s been amazing to see her journey. We’re so lucky to be a part of it and Rainbow brings so much love and joy to our lives every day.” 

The team at Cats Protection were delighted to hear the latest update on Rainbow’s health. Adoption Centre Manager Sue Ben-Saud remembered Rainbow from when she left the centre as a tiny kitten, had been shocked at her state when she returned three years later and was thrilled to hear she’d reached her 6kg milestone.  

Sue says: “Rainbow has a special place in the hearts of everyone here. No cat should ever get in such a terrible state but thankfully her original owner reached out to us when she realised she simply could not keep Rainbow’s weight in check. Matthew and Sarah have done an amazing job with Rainbow's weight and she now has the perfect home. I have been managing the centre for 26 years and I can honestly say that Rainbow has made a huge impact not just on me but team members and supporters too. Hers has been a truly remarkable journey from close to death to happily homed.” 

Anybody with concerns about their cat’s health or weight should speak to their vet who will be able to advise owners about their cat’s ideal weight. This tends to be between 3.6 and 4.5kg. Cats who are considered overweight are usually more than 10% over their ideal weight, while obese cats are usually more than 20% over their ideal weight.

Further information about helping overweight or obese cats can be found at where there is also an infographic to help owners assess their own cat’s weight. 

To find more out about the work of Cats Protection Bridgend Adoption Centre visit

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Pictures of Rainbow can be found at: 

Notes to Editors:

  1. Cats Protection, the UK's leading cat welfare charity, helps an average of 157,000 cats and kittens a year through its national network which includes around 200 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
  2. Cats Protection was founded in 1927 as the Cats Protection League. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity.
  3. Cats Protection is a registered charity 203644 (England and Wales), SC037711 (Scotland) and is listed as a Section 167 Institution by the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (06772997). Registered office National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT
  4. Visit the charity’s media centre
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