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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Fat cat crowned pet slimmer champ
Willie the cat - before and after his slimming
Willie lost weight through dieting and daily exercise
A cat from Pembrokeshire that lost 2kg (4.4lb) in weight has been crowned pet slimmer of the year for Wales.

Willie the cat, originally from the United States, lost 20% of his body weight, dropping to 6.9kg (15lb).

He will now compete with six other cats from across Britain for the title of UK pet slimmer of the year.

Owner Helen Ebrahim said: "This is a great achievement for Willie. When he was overweight he couldn't even manage to go for a walk."

Willie, eight, received his award after parading his new svelte figure in front of the judges at the Kingston Veterinary Group, Pembroke.

The national competition will be held in January 2007.

Strict diet

Ms Ebrahim, 43, who moved to Manobier near Tenby, three years ago, said Willie put on weight through lack of exercise when they were living in the US a few years ago.

He and his owner Ms Ebrahim were really motivated to get his weight down and their results have been fantastic
Catherine Raymond, veterinary nurse

"He was always a very big cat in size. We lived in America and he was primarily an indoor cat - we lived in an upstairs flat and he got bigger and bigger," she said.

"When I brought him to the vets here there seemed to be more of a focus on obesity."

Willie was put on a strict diet by his vet and told to exercise daily.

Ms Ebrahim added: "He's definitely much happier now. I can see him jumping up onto things he would not be able to before."

Catherine Raymond, the veterinary nurse who helped Willie lose weight: "I'm so proud of Willie. He and his owner Ms Ebrahim were really motivated to get his weight down and their results have been fantastic.

"Everyone will be rooting for him throughout the national finals - we're sure he'll come home with the trophy."

Hill's Pet Nutrition said it had organised the awards to help raise awareness of the issue of pet obesity.

Up to half of all dogs and cats in the UK are overweight, according to recent figures.

Fat pets win slimmers of the year
10 Jan 06 |  Hampshire
Former fat cat named top slimmer
16 Jan 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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