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Penge fat cat to compete in national pet slimming competition

PUBLISHED: 13:18 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:18 28 April 2016

Mikey, who is going on a diet, with owner Stephanie

Mikey, who is going on a diet, with owner Stephanie

Archant

Owner's fears for the health of her beloved moggy Mikey

Mikey, who is going on a dietMikey, who is going on a diet

The greed of city fat cats is never far from the front pages but normally its their morals that are in danger rather than their health.

But that’s no the case for Mikey, from Penge, who wants it all and that includes Doritos, popcorn and cornflakes.

This flabby feline has reached the finals of the UK’s largest pet slimming competition – the PDSA Pet Fit Club - and will compete against 12 other fat pets including dogs, cats and even a rabbit.

Not content with waiting for his breakfast, Mikey will wake his owner Stephanie Briggs with a bite to the arm if his meal’s not on time.

The 33-year-old actress describes her beloved cat as a ’big friendly giant’ but says his lazy attitude to life and greedy appetite can also make him a monster - tipping the scales at 1st 5Ib (8.45kg), he is around 70 per cent above his ideal weight.

“He eats just about anything,” said Stephanie, whose father Johnny played Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street for more than 30 years.

“The other day I caught him eating Doritos. He’s also partial to cornflakes, he’s been known to eat water chestnut and he loves curry, if he can get his paws on it.

“I used to feed him a tin of food a day plus biscuits but I’ve cut that down now and stopped the treats altogether. I’ve tried everything to try and get him more active.

“I bought a cat-nip plant for the garden to try and entice him to exercise but he hasn’t shown any interest.”

Stephanie says that although people find his cuddly appearance endearing she worries about his size.

She said: “The fact he’s overweight is a big worry. I think he’ll always be a big boy but if I could get his weight down with Pet Fit Club I would be really happy because I do worry about his heart and other long-term health problems.”

As part of Pet Fit Club, Mikey will embark on a strict six-month diet and exercise programme, specially tailored by the vets and nurses at Croydon PDSA Pet Hospital in Hurst Road.

Rachel Beedle, PDSA vet nurse who will be helping to oversee Mikey’s diet, said: “Pet obesity is a serious issue that affects millions of UK pets. Like humans, pets carrying excess weight are at risk from developing serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It can even shorten their lives.

“With the help of PDSA Pet Fit Club, Stephanie is making the necessary lifestyle changes to help get Mikey down to a healthier weight. We will support her every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.

“If owners are unsure what to feed their pets, or are concerned about their weight, they should always seek advice from their vet.”

Mikey will be competing against seven dogs, four cats and a rabbit, including Cilla, a crumpet-loving American Bulldog from Liverpool who tips the scales at 8st 8lb (54.4kg). Also taking on the six-month weight loss challenge is Pebbles the rabbit from Blackpool.

PDSA Pet Fit Club was launched in 2005 and has already helped 74 dogs, 32 cats and six rabbits lose a total 63 stone 11lb - equivalent to more than 400 bags of sugar, 6,500 tins of tuna, 7,000 sausages or four heavyweight boxers.

For more information about this year’s pet finalists and to follow their progress. visit www.petfitclub.org.uk

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