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Overweight cat named finalist in U.K. pet weight loss competition

By Daniel Uria
Overweight cat named finalist in U.K. pet weight loss competition
An overweight UK cat is competing with 12 other animals in the PDSA's Pet Fit Club competition. The cat named Puff has weighed as much as 17 pounds and her owner Marie Clair claims she has been known to sneak food from the fish bowl. Screen capture/PDSA/YouTube

SHEFFIELD, England, June 16 (UPI) -- An overweight U.K. cat named Puff has been named one of 12 finalists in a weight loss competition for pets, meant to encourage animal health.

Puff's owner Marie Clair entered the nearly 17-pound cat in the People's Dispensary for Sick Animal's Pet Fit Club competition in hopes of helping her overcome the damage she said was done by Puff's previous owners.

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"Puff is the biggest cat I've ever seen," Clair said. "I know she was quite stressed while living with her previous owner, which may have led to her over-eating or not getting enough exercise. She was even too big for the cat carrier so we had to use a dog cage to bring her home."

Clair said she has tried to place Puff on a healthier diet for the past year, which has helped her lose about 5 pounds, but told The Dodo that she is still very determined in trying to sneak extra food.

"I'm strict with what she eats but she's determined — I've caught her eating the fish food from the fish tank before," she said.

Puff is competing with four other cats, six dogs and a rabbit in Pet Fit Club, a six-month diet and exercise program that awards a winner based on the amount of progress the mates make over that period of time.

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"Each year we select a number of overweight dogs, cats and rabbits from across the U.K. to participate," Jessica Wassell of the PDSA said. "They are put on a diet and exercise program at their local PDSA pet hospital and attend monthly weigh-ins to track their weight loss."

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