Meet Big Bertha, the two-year-old cat who was found matted and abandoned in a sports bag.
Poor Bertha was found in Calthorpe Park in Birmingham by a member of the public back in October.
She was extremely matted and overweight, weighing in at 11.5kg even after she had a trim to get rid of all the excess fur.
She was so large that she couldn’t even groom herself.
Named Big Bertha by her rescuers at the RSPCA, the kitty has already lost a third of her body weight with their help.
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.’
Bertha was put on a strict diet and exercise regime when she was taken in by the charity.
She needs weekly weigh-ins and regular vet checks to make sure she’s still on the right track. ,
Foster carer Emma Cureton, who is 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.’
The RSPCA’s top tips for keeping your pet at a healthy weight
- If you think your pet might be overweight, always consult your vet in the first instance.
- As a guide, you should be able to see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs without excess fat covering.
- You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist, and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
- Your pet’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.
- Get your pet weighed at the vets regularly if you are concerned.
- If your pet is used to treats, give them as part of their daily ration of low-calorie foods. It is advisable to set a daily ration of food, weigh it out at the beginning of the day and stick to it.
- If you want to give your pet treats, for example, if you are training them, you should incorporate this into their daily food allowance and reduce it accordingly.
- You could use playful interaction with your pet or a special toy as a reward instead.
- Always make sure your pet is getting plenty of exercise.
‘She was in such a sorry state when she arrived at the rescue centre with her matting pulling on her skin,’ Emma added. ‘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.’
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