'Dangerously obese' cat looking for new home after a year-long diet at Bridgend Adoption Centre

Rainbow lost 4.6kg after a "strict diet" and "gentle exercise". Credit: Cats Protection

A "dangerously obese" cat that went on a year-long diet is now healthy enough to be re-homed.

Rainbow, aged four, originally weighed 12.7kg - which is around the same as an average car tyre - when she arrived at Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre in March 2022.

But the tortoiseshell and white coloured feline has since lost 4.6kg after a "strict diet" and "gentle exercise".

Rainbow had previously been overfed and was barely able to walk, groom or clean herself because of her weight. She had red, crusty eyes and was covered in fleas given that most treatments did not contain enough medicine to treat a cat of her size.

Her legs were covered in urine burns as a result of her inability to clean, which led to total fur loss and inflamed sore skin around her rear-end and legs which required shaving and bathing before treatment.

Rainbow was barely able to walk, groom or clean herself because of her weight. Credit: Cats Protection

Now weighing 8.1kg, Rainbow is already on the road to recovery and on the hunt for a new home where she can continue on her weight loss journey.

Jenna Butcher, Deputy Manager at the adoption centre, explained: “When Rainbow was first brought to the centre she had very little mobility and couldn’t show any natural cat behaviours like grooming, moving or playing, which was very distressing and uncomfortable for Rainbow and also upsetting for us to see.

“Her owner had not intended to do her harm, but had mistakenly tried to show Rainbow affection through food which ultimately almost killed her. Rainbow was put onto a strict diet under vet supervision and was given lots of love and care, firstly from the staff at the centre then from her fosterer in her foster home.

“Rapid weight loss can be dangerous to cats, but Rainbow’s organs and joints were also under pressure, so we had to play a balancing act to keep her as safe and healthy as possible while ensuring she lost the weight gradually.”

Given she is still twice the size of an average cat, Rainbow has a significant amount of weight to lose and her new owners are urged to keep up with the calorie-controlled diet to safeguard her against future obesity given she would be unlikely to survive another period of serious weight gain.

The adoption centre said Rainbow would be best-suited as an indoor cat with access to an enclosed garden. Credit: Cats Protection

Marie Morley, Rainbow’s fosterer, said: “Despite Rainbow’s tough start in life she is the sweetest, gentlest girl. When she first came to me she could barely walk before having to stop and rest, now she can jump up onto the settee without any effort, she has become inquisitive and even plays with toys when she wants to!

“Rainbow’s eyesight is limited but this hasn’t stopped her from revealing her ‘inner cat’ in a way that seemed impossible when she first arrived at the centre. Rainbow loves attention, a head rub and a tickle are among her favourites. She can also be intelligently determined, particularly when it comes to tracking down food! I returned home one day to find that she had broken into a sealed bag of food and shredded it to pieces to get at the biscuits, needless to say her weight loss didn’t go well that week!

“Rainbow is adored by everyone who meets her and now needs to find a new home with owners who will continue to support her on her weight loss journey and will lavish her with the love she deserves.”

The adoption centre added that Rainbow would be best-suited to a home where she can mainly be an indoor cat due to her restricted eyesight, but ideally somewhere with an enclosed garden for supervised time outdoors too. In addition, it said Rainbow would be best-suited to a home with no other pets or children due to her strict diet and need for plenty of encouragement and interaction.