FAT CAT ‘Big Bertha’ who weighed almost 2st when she was brought into Frankley’s RSPCA Birmingham Animal Centre is fighting fit after shedding a third of her body weight.
The overweight rescued moggy has been transformed by her weightloss journey.
Big Bertha arrived in October after being found abandoned in Calthorpe Park in south Birmingham by a member of the public.
The two-year-old, named because of her size, was extremely matted as well as overweight.
Cattery supervisor Emma Finnimore said: “When she arrived she was 11.800kg!
“This is the largest cat I have seen in my 22 years working for the RSPCA.
“A vet carefully clipped away her matting but she still weighed 11.500kg and was too large to live in a cat pod as she wouldn’t have been able to use the cat flap so we had to adapt a cat run for her until she went to a foster home.”
Better diet, exercise and weight-loss regime
Bertha underwent a strict diet and exercise regime with weekly weigh-ins and regular vet checks to ensure her weight loss was carefully monitored.
Foster carer Emma Cureton, currently looking after Bertha in her home, said: “The weight has gradually come off and she’s already lost an amazing 3.82kg – which is a third of her body weight.
“She’s still got a little way to go but she’ll get there and will soon be ready to find a new home.
“She was in such a sorry state when she arrived at the rescue centre with her matting pulling on her skin.
“We don’t know how she got so large as she is only a young cat. We think maybe someone had been constantly feeding her as she was so large she was left unable to groom herself.”
Tips for pet owners
The charity hopes Bertha’s story will remind pet owners that them being overweight can lead to serious health issues, including joint problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and problems with the liver, skin and heat tolerance.
Tips for ensuring cats and dogs do not get overweight include consulting vets if owners feel there is a danger of that happening and people should be able to see and feel the outline of their pet’s ribs without excess fat covering.
Owners should also be able to see and feel their pet’s waist and it should be clearly visible from above.
And cats’ and dogs’ bellies should be tucked up when viewed from the side. People should get their pets weighed regularly if they are concerned.
If people give their pets treats, for example if they are training them, this should be incorporated into their daily food allowance – playful interaction with a special toy can be used instead and owners should ensure their pets get plenty of exercise.
The RSPCA has helpful advice for owners with obese pets on its website.
The help is out there
The RSPCA is working hard to keep much-loved pets in their homes by providing support to owners who are struggling and urges people who need help to get in touch.
The charity has also launched a cost-of-living hub and there is help with vet bills and pet foodbanks available. Click here for more.
Click here if you can help by donating to the RSPCA.