A COLOSSAL cat from East Lothian, who once stole and ate an entire cheesecake, has been named a winner in a UK pet slimming competition.

Chester, from Dunbar, shed 17% of his bodyweight in just six months. He went from more than 50% above his ideal weight at 7.6kg (1st 3lb) to 6.3kg (1st).

Chester’s owners thought he had a medical problem but when tests showed too much food and a lack of exercise were the problem, he was enrolled in the PDSA Pet Fit Club. Owner Lisa Gilmour said: “It’s made such a big difference to Chester – he’s a completely different cat. Before, he would sleep all the time and do his best to avoid us. But now he joins in and shows much more interest – he greets us at the door and comes to us for cuddles. He is much happier and no longer looks miserable. He runs rather than plods – it’s done him the world of good.”

Chester was top “loser” in Scotland but missed out on the overall UK prize to a King Charles spaniel and a Labrador in England – both lost 25% of their weight.

Another Scottish cat – Elvis, from Clydebank – was praised by PDS for losing 14% of his body weight.

At the start of the competition, the Burmese weighed in at 8.68kg (1st 5lb) but slimmed down to 7.5kg (1st 2lb).

His owner, Carole Sweeney, said: “I honestly believe that if we hadn’t take part in this competition and got his weight right down, that we wouldn’t have him now. He was dangerously overweight.”