Do visitors guess you have a cat even before Fluffy peeks out from behind the sofa? Or do you work hard to keep your home free of that telltale cat pee smell?

If it’s the latter, your cat’s story could win you $5000.

According to a new Purina Tidy Cats survey, nearly one in two (49%) Americans without cats have purposely not visited a home because there were two or more cats living there. And, three in five (60%) Americans without cats say they would be willing to give up something like shopping, a favorite beverage, cell phone, television or Internet access to avoid spending a week in a multiple cat home.

Enough is enough! That’s the message from Purina Tidy Cats, the leading cat litter brand that is continuing its Campaign to End Cattiness to help debunk the myths about people who have more than one cat. In fact, the national survey of multiple cat owners and non-cat owners revealed that multiple cat owners actually work harder than non-cat owners to make their home welcoming by opening it up to friends and family on a regular basis and cleaning their living space more frequently. According to the survey, multiple-cat homes are more likely than those without cats to receive guests a few times a week (48% vs. 29%) and half of multiple-cat owners thoroughly clean their home at least a few times a week or more, compared to 31 percent of non-cat owners.

To celebrate multiple cat owners and their welcoming homes, Tidy Cats is announcing the Purina Tidy Cats “Search for America’s Most Welcoming Home” Contest that invites multiple cat owners to showcase their tidy, inviting, clean and comfortable homes. Cat owners can enter the contest at www.TidyCats.com from October 5 through November 16, 2010.

“As a multiple cat owner, it’s frustrating that so many misperceptions continue to exist about people who own more than one cat, including the cleanliness and tidiness of our homes,” said Evette Rios, home expert, television personality and spokesperson for the Purina Tidy Cats “Search for America’s Most Welcoming Home” Contest. “I’ve been in thousands of homes across America and there is something special, warm and inviting when you walk into a home with multiple cats. I’m thrilled to be part of a contest that will help negate those beliefs, and demonstrate just how welcoming multiple cat homes truly are.”

How to Enter

To enter the contest, multiple cat owners are asked to submit an essay written in the voice of one of their cats describing why they have the most welcoming home in America and include examples of how they keep their home tidy, clean, comfortable and/or inviting. The entry must also include a color photo of the entrant and at least one of their cats in their favorite room of their welcoming home.

According to the Purina Tidy Cats survey, 70 percent of multiple cat owners describe their home as naturally welcoming and nearly all of them (99%) say that they make an effort to keep their homes welcoming to guests. More than two in five (43%) of the multiple cat owners surveyed say people want to visit their home because it is always tidy, warm and welcoming. This contrasts with the perceptions of the non-cat owners surveyed who describe multiple cat homes as smelly and dirty. Eighty-seven percent of non-cat owners think multiple cat homes have hair all over the furniture, carpet and flooring and 48 percent say they expect a home with two or more cats to have stains on the furniture or carpet from the cats.

“It’s disappointing that 76 percent of people without cats think the odor in a multiple-cat home would be unpleasant,” said Rios. “After all, cats are tidy by nature and a clean home is a nice smelling home. So, it’s not surprising that the majority of multiple-cat owners say that having multiple cats does not prevent them from keeping their home clean and odor free.”

The Purina Tidy Cats “Search for America’s Most Welcoming Home” Contest runs from October 6 – February 2011. The entries will be judged in three phases:

 

  • Round One (Nov. 16-24): Approved entries will be narrowed down to fifteen semifinalists by an independent judging panel based on the following judging criteria: appropriateness to contest theme (photo and essay showcase the most welcoming home) — 40%: quality of essay — 35%; and the creativity of the entry — 25%.
  • Round Two (Dec. 1-15): The fifteen semifinalists will be judged by the Purina Tidy Cats team of experts (90% of the score), including Rios, scent expert and author Bonnie Blodgett and Dr. Pia Salk, animal welfare advocate, animal expert and psychologist. Cat lovers across the country also will be invited to vote for their favorite semi-finalist with the consumer vote counting for 10 percent of the total score. The two Entrants with the highest total scores from the judges and consumer votes will be chosen as the Finalists.
  • Round Three/Part I: The team of experts, including Rios, Blodgett and Salk, will visit the homes of the two finalists in January 2011 to create Webisodes showcasing the finalists’ welcoming homes that will be posted on www.tidycats.com for judging and consumer voting (Round Three/Part II).
  • Round Three/Part II (Jan. 31 – Feb. 11, 2011): The judges will select a winner based on their visits to the finalists’ homes where they will evaluate the tidiness, cleanliness, comfort and inviting feeling of each home (90% of the score). Consumers can also vote on the Webisodes, with their votes counting for 10 percent of the total score.

The Grand Prize winner will be announced in February 2011 and will receive a Welcome Home Party that includes: $5,000 cash award; a celebrity chef guest to throw a welcome party in the winner’s home for up to 10 friends and family; and a year’s supply of Tidy Cats brand cat litter. To find more information about the Purina Tidy Cats “Search for America’s Most Welcoming Home” Contest, the national survey and to enter the contest, please visit www.TidyCats.com.

Survey Methodology

The Purina Tidy Cats Home Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between August 13th and August 19th, 2010 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About TIDY CATS

Purina TIDY CATS brand cat litter is designed for homes with multiple cats and is specially formulated to control odor and keep homes smelling fresh and clean. The Purina TIDY CATS line includes: five scoopable clay litters designed to make clean-up easy and efficient; and three odor-controlling natural clay litters that are non-clumping. Purina TIDY CATS is manufactured by Nestle Purina PetCare Company, one of the leading global players in the pet care industry. Nestle Purina promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. The North American headquarters for Nestle Purina PetCare is located at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Missouri, where Ralston Purina was founded more than a century ago. The company is part of the Swiss-based Nestle S.A. — the world’s largest food company.

SOURCE Nestle Purina PetCare Company

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