Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have put their fattest cat, weighing a whopping 26 pounds (11.7kg), on a Christmas diet in a bid to find an owner.

Weighing as much as an 18-month-old toddler, eight-year-old 'Texas' has now been put on a strict diet andis being made to exercise.

The domestic, long-haired cat is named Texas "after America's infamously larger than life state," read a note on the Battersea website.

Texas was passed onto Battersea after his owner passed away.

"Many people may be starting to think about losing a few pounds in the countdown to Christmas, but for Texas this really is a very serious health issue he's battling. At Battersea we take in around 3,000 cats every year, so we see cats of all shapes and sizes, but Texas is by far the biggest cat we've ever seen," said SuiLi Weight, the team leader at the London cattery.

SuiLi further noted that: "We have had to specially kit out his pen with a double-wide staircase up to his bed and extra bedding to make sure he is comfortable. Some people might think it's funny to see a cat this big, but it is in fact extremely sad to see an animal which is suffering so badly.

"Overfeeding your cat is a form of cruelty, you may think you are showing it love by giving it treats and feeding it human foods, but it's in fact an incredibly cruel thing to do in the long run."