A CHUNKY cat who once stole and ate an entire cheesecake has reached the finals of the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.

Chester, from Dunbar, is one of 13 pets, including cats, dogs and even a rat, taking part in the PDSA Pet Fit Club.

Together they weigh more than 200 kilogrammes and need to shed 75kg to reach their ideal weights.

Ten-year-old Chester, who lives with the Gilmour family on Newhouse Avenue, is looking to shift 2.6kg – or six pounds – to reach his ideal weight.

Chester, who tips the scales at 7.6kg, was gaining so much weight that his owners thought he must have an underlying medical condition. But when tests came back negative, it was clear Chester’s appetite and lazy ways were the root of the problem.

Owner Lisa said: “We realised everyone in the house was feeding him without knowing he’d already being fed, so he was getting fed by all four of us every day!

“We’ve tried to help him lose weight, even putting a collar on him that says ‘Do not feed me!’ for the neighbours, but that hasn’t worked.

“He eats whatever he can find; including crisps left on the floor by the kids. He even stole my dad’s cheesecake that was on the kitchen counter! Another time my son woke up to the sound of rattling and he was trying to claw his way into a box of chocolates.”

Lisa, along with partner Lindsay and sons Rhys and Ryan, got Chester when he was just a kitten.

Now they are determined to do what they can to help their pet lose some weight and be happier.

Lisa, who works in the family newsagent, added: “He’s getting older now and his weight will play on his joints if we don’t do something to help him. He can’t be comfortable carrying all that weight around and we want him to be happier and healthier as he ages.”

Chester’s six-month Pet Fit Club diet and exercise programme will be specially tailored and overseen by the vets and nurses at Edinburgh PDSA Pet Hospital.

He is up against seven dogs, including a Cavalier King Charles spaniel who once ate a set of false teeth, a cat too fat to fit through the cat flap, and a rat who is double his ideal bodyweight.

If crowned the winner, Chester will receive a year’s supply of pet food, a pet-friendly holiday and a pet hamper.

Kathryn Marshall, PDSA Veterinary Care Assistant, will be helping to oversee Chester’s diet.

She said: “With the help of PDSA and Pet Fit Club, Lisa and Chester are making the necessary diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to help get Chester down to a healthier weight.

“We will support them every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.”