If you're a pet owner, you probably know just how easy it is to spoil your four-legged friends: buying them new toys, comfy beds and even stylish collars. But when it comes to the food our dogs and cats eat, offering an excess of treats or too much food could be doing your pet more harm than good.
For example, Casper, a tabby cat from Edinburgh, grew to nearly twice his healthy weight after indulging in snacks and being pampered with treats like chicken and roast potatoes, reports the Daily Mail.
At his heaviest, the oversized moggy tipped the scales at 10.2 kilograms. He couldn't jump and he was unable to turn his head to clean himself properly, so owner Christine Collins had to give him regular baths.
"He couldn't jump on the sofa and he used to waddle when he walked," explained Christine, adding that the greedy moggy even stole food from her Jack Russell, Timmi. "He was so heavy I couldn't even pick him up. He was massive," she said.
Casper was rescued when he was just four months old. He was living in a house over-run with cats and weighed just a pound. Christine says he was so small, he could fit in the palm of her hand, and she nursed him back to health. "It only took me a month to get him back to a normal weight but then things went too far and over the years he just became greedy."
Before his diet, Casper ate 150 grams of food a day, along with too many treats and stolen food. But after seeking advice from a veterinarian, Christine reduced Casper's caloric intake to a much healthier daily allowance of dry cat food. And after six months, he had lost more than half a stone.
Christine adds that Casper's new healthy diet has led to a transformation, even though he could do with shedding a few more pounds.
"His coat is beautiful and he's so much happier - he's a completely new cat," she explained.
Meanwhile, veterinarian Andrew Hogg has praised Casper's progress. "Weight loss in cats has to be achieved very slowly and under close veterinary supervision as too rapid a weight-loss can be dangerous to their health. Christine and Casper have done incredibly well," he says.
Written by: Hannah Dyball