1. ITV Report

A fat rat from Wales battles the bulge in a national pet slimming contest

'Mr T' is a fat rat from Neath Credit: PDSA

A monster rat from Neath nicknamed ‘Mr T’ has reached the finals of the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.

The two-year-old rotund rat has been selected to compete against 12 other overweight animals as part of a project run by charity PDSA.

All of the participants will follow a strict six-month diet and exercise programme overseen by vets and vet nurses.

Chloe hopes her pet rat will slim down Credit: PDSA

Mr T’s story

Weighing in at a whopping 0.975kg (2.1lb), Mr T has snacked his way to double the size he should be. He needs to lose 0.475kg (1lb) to reach his ideal weight (0.5kg/1lb).

His owner Chloe Evans owns several rats and says it’s a mystery to her why Mr T has become so obese but she has several other rats and dears he could be taking more than his fair share.

Mr T is very greedy and probably eats more than his share. He stuffs it all in his mouth. It’s quite unbelievable to watch actually.

– Chloe Evans
'Mr T' relaxing in his cage Credit: PDSA

Chloe thinks a lot of Mr T's weight gain is down to his lack of exercise, but despite making adaptations to the cage to make him work harder for his food, he hasn't lost anything.

He will now be put on a special diet and won't be able to get his teeth into his favourite foods.

Mr T's six-month Pet Fit Club diet and exercise programme will be monitored by the vets and nurses at Swansea PDSA Pet Hospital.

Pet obesity is an epidemic that is seriously impacting the lives of millions of pets across the country. As with humans, carrying excess weight has serious health implications for our four-legged friends. It can increase the chances of them suffering from life-limiting and life-threatening conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart diseases." If owners are worried about their pet's weight they should seek advice from their vet, who can also make sure pets are on the right type of diet, being fed the correct amount help increase exercise levels."

– Rhian Brice, PDSA

With a ban on tasty treats 'Mr T' may get a bit ratty but it's for his own good!