Rescue cat is the 'largest cat' RSPCA has seen for 22 years

A rescue cat has been declared the largest cat the RSPCA has seen in 22 years as she is placed on a strict diet. The cat, nicknamed Big Bertha, was rescued in Calthorpe Park, Birmingham, in October after a member of the public found her in a sports bag.

She was found extremely matted and overweight, weighing in at 11.5kg even after having all her excess fur trimmed.

Bertha was so large that she was unable to groom herself which led to severe matting.

Cattery supervisor Emma Finnimore said: "When she arrived she was 11.800kg. This is the largest cat I have seen in my 22 years working for the RSPCA.

"A vet carefully clipped away her matting but she still weighed 11.500kg and was too large to live in a cat pod as she wouldn’t have been able to use the cat flap, so we had to adapt a cat run for her until she went to a foster home."

Bertha was placed on a strict diet and exercise regime to help shift the weight.

She now needs weekly weigh-ins and regular vet checks to ensure she is on the right path.

Foster carer Emma Cureton, who is currently looking after Bertha in her home, said: "The weight has gradually come off and she’s already lost an amazing 3.82kg – which is a third of her body weight.

"She’s still got a little way to go, but she’ll get there and will soon be ready to find a new home."

"She was in such a sorry state when she arrived at the rescue centre with her matting pulling on her skin,’ Emma added. ‘We don’t know how she got so large as she is only a young cat.

"We think maybe someone had been constantly feeding her as she was so large she was left unable to groom herself."