An underweight kitten called Rainbow was taken in by Cats Protection Adoption Centre in Bridgend as a skinny stray, weighing a teeny 460g.
But rescuers at the animal sanctuary worked to nurse the kitty back to health, building her up to a healthy weight, before finding her a new home – somewhere they thought she’d be set for life.
But the staff hadn’t seen the last of Rainbow, who was returned three years later as a ‘dangerously obese’ monster moggy.
While chunky cats can be very cute, in Rainbow’s case her new owner had almost killed the kitten with kindness by overfeeding her until she ballooned in weight to a whopping 12.7kg – three times the average size of a healthy cat.
The fat cat is now back at the adoption centre, after her huge size was said to have put her life ‘at risk’.
Manager Sue Dobbs said: ‘To be honest we were shocked when we saw Rainbow.
‘We knew her weight had been a struggle and that was why she was coming back into care, but she is one of the heaviest cats we’ve taken in.
‘To remember how she had been so tiny that we didn’t think she would survive, and then to be faced with a cat whose joints and organs were under pressure from the excessive weight, and who was so big she couldn’t play or even run from danger if she’d needed to.
‘It was terrible.’
Rainbow had become so fat she was unable to groom or clean herself properly and suffered mobility problems.
The poor kitten was also infested with fleas and had red and crusty eyes, suffered fur loss, urine burns and inflamed skin.
Sue said: ‘Rainbow was sore, itchy and unclean.
‘Not being able to express her natural behaviours such as hunting, playing, running and hiding will have left her feeling depressed and fearful.
‘We know overfeeding Rainbow wasn’t intentional and she was on a special diet when she arrived at the centre, but she was truly a victim of being slowly killed by kindness.
‘Too many treats or large portions combined with minimal exercise soon takes its toll on cats.’
Rainbow has since been following a special diet, put in place by the sanctuary, and has already lost almost 5kg, leaving her well on the road to recovery.
Dr Sarah Elliott, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer, added: ‘While most cat owners have a strong bond with their cat, they may be tempted to over-indulge them with food or treats.
‘Owners may do this out of love or to make their feline feel like a family member. ‘Sadly, we are doing them more harm than good as overweight cats are at significant risk of diabetes, joint problems and urinary infections.’
Hopefully poor Rainbow will be back to a healthy weight in no time, and find her forever home.
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