But after six months on the diet and exercise programme he’s managed to lose a colossal 17 centimetres from his waist and shed 8% of his bodyweight.
Owner Deborah Bull (55) admitted they had previously spoiled their ‘fur baby’ rotten, ever since adopting him from a rehoming centre in 2011. He used to wake up every morning to find a bounty of food and goodies in his bowl, including cat food, biscuits, a fresh bowl of creamy milk and leftovers. The pampered puss also spent most of his time in the family home, rarely venturing outside for exercise.
But gourmet meals and treats were firmly off the dinner menu during the competition and the 10-year-old ginger cat took exception to his diet.
Deborah said: “It was a struggle to start with and, of course, when you’ve been used to dining on fresh meat like fish, chicken or beef every day to then be served a bowl of diet food, it doesn’t have quite the same appeal!
“But we persevered and Barnaby now loves his diet food.”
When the couple adopted Barnaby he had recently been involved in a road traffic accident, suffering some nasty injuries. Deborah admits that they loved him a bit too much and ended up spoiling him with treats but had taken it “too far”.
She added: “I’m so grateful that we entered him into Pet Fit Club because otherwise we’d still be doing the same thing now.
“It’s been a wake-up call. We knew we had to change drastically and we knew we were at fault for how overweight he was but I’m really proud of how Barnaby’s done and how we’ve persevered with it too.”
Deborah added that they will continue to help Barnaby lose more weight over the coming months and ensure he remains as healthy as possible in his senior years.