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Feline obesity problem worsening during pandemic
Five-year-old Paisley (pictured) was brought to Cats Protection last year at double her recommended weight.

More than 3 million UK cats are already overweight

Charity Cats Protection has expressed concern over the rising obesity problem among cats, which, it says, has continued to worsen across the COVID-19 pandemic.

In it's latest CATS report – carried out before the pandemic – Cats Protection found that more than 3.2 million owned cats were overweight.

In a more recent survey of more than 2,000 cat owners, 28 per cent said that they had overfed their pet since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020.

More than a third of owners (36 per cent) also said that their cat often visited a neighbour for extra food.

Overall, 20 per cent of owned cats had gained between one and 2.25 kilos in weight.

Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services for Cats Protection, said: “This survey suggests the extra time we’ve spent indoors with our cats has led to us over-indulging them, which owners did 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.”

The charity shared the story of Paisley, a five-year-old cat that weighed 10.75kgs when she was brought to Cats Protection last year.

Paisley was put on a specially prescribed diet and later adopted by James Frankland from Hove, East Sussex, who continued with her weightloss plan. Mr Frankland now feeds Paisley a diet of normal cat food and ensures she receives responsible portion sizes.

“She is now getting used to normal sizes of cat food and has lost more than three kilos,” says Mr Frankland. “Although she is still two kilos from her ideal weight, she’s already so much more agile and lively. I have no doubt it’s extended her lifespan.”

Image (c) Cats Protection.

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: Applications close on the 2 March 2021.