The giant Wellesbourne cat having swimming lessons to lose weight

Jenna Joshi and Moses the fat cat who is having hydrotherapy lessons to lose weight in Warwickshire
-Credit: (Image: Avonvale Veterinary Centres © SWNS)

Meet the Warwickshire cat having swimming lessons to lose weight. Nine-year-old Moses, who weighs as much as a French bulldog - making him more than double a healthy size - has started hydrotherapy lessons to help slim down.

His owner put Moses on numerous diets but he only increased in weight after refusing to go outside or do exercise. The chubby cat is now undertaking swimming lessons at Linnaeus-owned Avonvale Veterinary Centre in Wellesbourne.

So far, his weight loss mission is going well. Veterinary hydrotherapist Olivia Stokes, said: "When he first came to us, Moses was nearly 10kg in weight. His owner said he had been on diets and been encouraged to exercise before but had still not been able to lose weight.

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"So, we decided to try a different approach with hydrotherapy. It’s a very unusual approach to caring for cats. I have been in the industry for five years and a qualified hydrotherapist for almost two years and I have never experienced hydro with a cat before, so Moses was a first for me.

“That is because cats don't usually like water and, sure enough, on his first taster session Moses was not impressed at all. He needed a lot of encouragement as he resisted the treatment and I also tried all sorts of cat treats but he wasn't interested in them for long either," she added.

Now, Moses sits in the tank and knows 'exactly what to do', with Olivia adding once he's been walking for 13 minutes, she 'lifts him up' and raises the water level, and swims him for a couple of minutes for a 'full body workout'.

He is now starting to get into shape as his muscles are toning and is far more active and livelier at home. Olivia said: "When Moses was at his heaviest, he was 9.7kg. At his last weigh-in, he was 9.1kg. That’s a loss in body weight of almost four percent in about six weeks, which is perfect as we don't want to lose weight too quickly.

Moses the fat cat at Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Wellesbourne
Moses the fat cat at Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Wellesbourne -Credit:Avonvale Veterinary Centres © SWNS

"The important thing is that his body shape is clearly changing as he loses the fat and builds back muscle. He is also a lot more active at home and generally feels much better about himself. I am very proud of Moses’ progression; he’s even walking with the incline on the treadmill now."

His owner Jenna Joshi, a clinical nursing manager, is thrilled with Moses' progress. She said: "Moses has always been a big cat but has gained a lot of weight over the last three years. I’d been keeping him on a strict diet but this didn’t help at all. He just wasn't interested in going outside, exercising, or playing with toys.

"I asked my colleagues whether we could try hydrotherapy to help with his mobility and, hopefully, help him lose some weight. I could see a difference almost straight away.

"After his first hydro session, he came through the cat flap, which he hadn’t done in a long time. We are still having regular weight checks, still doing hydrotherapy, and making good progress."

"It was difficult at first but now he doesn’t complain and knows exactly what he needs to do when he goes for his sessions," she added.

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