HuffPost Weird News David Moye First Posted: 04/05/12 07:38 PM ET Updated: 04/06/12 11:59 AM ET
Humans aren't the only ones who suffer from morbid obesity.
Not all fat cats are captains of industry. Some are just pudgy pussies.
But one British charity is taking a weight-and-see approach to pet obesity by holding a contest for some of the country's most overweight animals.
The Pet Fit Club, which is being organized by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), will use a Biggest Loser-like competition between 18 lard-bottomed animals, including 11 plump pooches, five corpulent cats and two rotund rabbits, according to FoxNews.com.
Together, the heavyweight housepets weigh a whopping 335 pounds, the equivalent of 380 cans of dog food. These overweight overachievers included Fifi the cat, who tips the scales at 20.5 pounds, and Merlin the Border Collie, who weighs a whopping 93 pounds.
As part of the contest, PDSA vets will advise the pets' owners on how to get their four-legged fat friends back on track with specially tailored diets and exercise programs.
One owner, Dee Doyle, admitted that it wasn't until recently that she realized that the extra weight that was being carried by her cat, Maverick, was affecting him.
"Maverick's extra weight is really affecting his well-being," Doyle told MSNBC.com. "He has trouble breathing and spends most of his time sleeping. I was really shocked when the vet said he is the biggest cat he'd ever seen."
PDSA veterinarian Dr. Sean Wensley said that obesity presents the same problems in pets as it does in humans.
"Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy," Dr. Wensley told VetStreet.com a PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, in a statement. "But the good news is that it's never too late to make positive changes to a pet's diet and lifestyle."
The winner of the competition will be announced in September, and the owner will receiving a year's worth of pet food, and a pet-friendly holiday at a Four Seasons hotel.