Socrates isn't such a fat cat now!

A FAT cat from Tyneside has become the biggest cat to ever take part in a pet slimming competition.

But Socrates, owned by Bull Duncan from North Shields, had to settle for second place in the PDSA's Pet Fit Club contest, despite losing 3.3lbs (1.5kg).

The black and white cat weighed 22.2lbs (10.1kg) at the start of the challenge - more than double his ideal bodyweight.

Mr Duncan said: "The most important thing I've learned is that a pet's life is severely compromised by obesity, but you can make a change if you want to."

The champion was another cat, Amber, a 12-year-old from Edinburgh, who weighed 15.7lbs (7.1kgs) at the start of the challenge in September - more than 60 per cent over her ideal weight.

She was put on a vet-controlled diet as part of the animal charity's annual competition, and has lost 2.6lbs (1.2kg).

PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Elaine Pendlebury said: "It is much harder for cats to lose weight than dogs.

"The process has to be done very carefully under close veterinary supervision, as too rapid a weight-loss can be dangerous."

The PDSA Fit Club final was made up of eight overweight pets, including five dogs and three cats. Amber is the first cat to scoop first place in the competition's five-year history.