Sox, a lazy nine-year-old cat from Gateshead who once got wedged in a baby gate, will be undergoing a six-month PDSA weight-loss programme.
Chronicle Live reports that a corpulent Tyneside cat whose excess waistline once caused her to get stuck in a child’s safety gate has been chosen for the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.
Sox, a nine-year-old podgy puss from Gateshead, has been selected to compete against eight other fat cats and dogs from across the UK in the PDSA Pet Fit Club competition.
Together these ponderous pets weigh 197 kg (31 stone) and need to lose nearly 80 kg (12 st 7 lb). Weighing in at a whopping 6.5 kg (one stone), Sox has eaten and snoozed her way to become 63% overweight.
Owner Steffi Jackson, 22, is at a loss to understand her cat’s weight gain.
She said: “I don’t know why Sox has piled on so much weight. I don’t give her scraps or leftovers, although she does love cat treats and meat sticks in between meals, and is very lazy.
“Her weight means her balance is off so she’s regularly falling off things. She’s always falling off the bed, window ledge and chairs.
“She thinks of herself as much smaller than she is and will try and fit through small spaces and get stuck. She’s been known to get stuck between the bars of the baby gate at home as her belly is so big.
“I also want her to have more energy as she gets older. She sleeps all the time and I’d love it if she’d play more. I’m excited to see the transformation after the six-month diet.”
Sox’s six-month Pet Fit Club diet and exercise programme will be specially tailored and overseen by the vets and nurses at Gateshead PDSA Pet Hospital, located on Stoneygate Lane.
Lauren Walton, the PDSA vet nurse who will be helping to oversee Sox’s diet, said: “Pet obesity is an epidemic that is impacting the lives of millions of pets across the country. As with humans, being overweight can lead to a higher risk of suffering from serious life-limiting and life-threatening conditions such as arthritis, certain types of cancer and heart disease.
“It is estimated that up to 40% of UK cats and dogs are overweight or obese. But with the help of PDSA and Pet Fit Club, Sox and Steffi are making the necessary diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to help get Sox down to a healthier weight. We will support them every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.
“Pet Fit Club has been helping pets lose weight for 14 years, and is a great example of what can be achieved if owners are dedicated and determined to help their pets live a healthier lifestyle.
“If owners are worried about their pet’s weight they should seek advice from their vet or vet nurse, who can also make sure pets are on the right type of diet, are being fed the correct amount, and recommend ways to increase exercise levels.”
Pet Fit Club is a six-month diet and exercise programme. Participating pets are placed on individually-tailored regime, designed for their specific needs and overseen by the vet team at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.
The national competition has been running since 2005 and is the biggest of its kind in the UK. It has helped 85 dogs, 42 cats, eight rabbits and two rats lose over 75 stone (476 kg).
Sox will be competing against five other dogs and three cats, including Sparkx the cat from Manchester, who is double her ideal weight, Percy the Pug from Glasgow whose super-sized waistline has left him struggling to breathe, and Missi the Bulldog from Walsall, who loves Mr Whippy ice cream cones.
To help them with their weight loss, Pet Fit Club participants will receive free weight management pet food from the SPECIFIC™ range for the duration of the competition.
The overall Pet Fit Club champ, crowned at the end of 2019, will win a year’s supply of SPECIFIC™ and a pet friendly holiday, courtesy of Sykes Cottages (www.sykescottages.co.uk/pdsa).
For more information about this year’s pet finalists and to follow their progress, visit: www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub
(Story source: Chronicle Live)