Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reality Show Has Gone To The Cats In THE MEOW MIX HOUSE

It′s For Real! Meow Mix Announces World′s First Cat Reality Show

10 Cats to Live Together in a House and Vie for Job with The Meow Mix Company

Reality show contestants will do anything to win. Whether it′s living on a deserted island, undergoing plastic surgery or eating cockroaches, they will stop at nothing to be the best. In the latest twist on the reality genre, competitors will be asked to lick themselves clean, chase balls of string, and relieve themselves in a litter box as they scratch and claw their way towards the grand prize. However, for these particular participants, accomplishing the tasks will be second nature. After all, they are cats.

Ten felines from shelters all over the country will be selected to compete in the inaugural edition of THE MEOW MIX HOUSE. The cats will travel to New York City and live together in a specially-designed house from June 13th to 23rd. These cat-testants, selected from geographically and culturally diverse backgrounds, will share a kitty crib that will rival any loft ever featured on the REAL WORLD. Thanks to webcams equipped in every room in the house, peeping tomcats with internet access will be able to view all the action in real time-and find out just what cats do all day when their owners aren′t around.

People can also go to to vote for their favorite feline, and the cat with the fewest votes will be evicted from the house. All the kitties in the Meow Mix House are winners, since whichever puss gets the boot will then be adopted into a permanent home, and receive a one-year supply of Meow Mix as a consolation prize. One by one the cats will be sent packing, until only the pick of the litter remains. In addition to winning a new life with a new family, the last cat standing will also receive a job working for The Meow Mix Company as Feline Vice President of Research and Development. He or she will be responsible for taste testing and offering valuable feedback on new Meow Mix product launches and line extensions.

The participating shelters include: Touched by an Animal (Chicago); Operation Kindness (Dallas); Houston Humane Society (Houston); Kitten Rescue (Los Angeles); Nashville Humane Association (Nashville); The Cat Network (Miami); ASPCA (New York); P.A.L.S. (Philadelphia); Cat Adoption Team (Portland, OR); and the St. Charles Humane Association (St. Louis). Working with local animal shelters, Meow Mix will pre-select a family in each city to adopt the cats after their tenure in the house ends.

The Meow Mix Company will be producing the show along with Grand Central Marketing, Meow Mix′s event marketing and promotion agency, and MMB, Meow Mix′s advertising agency. All the action will be filmed inside the Meow Mix House and packaged into a series of episodes. Since not everyone can understand what cats are saying, pop-up dialogue bubbles will be used to help translate the meows into English. Negotiations are currently underway with several cable networks regarding the airing of the show.

Although reality television may seem an unlikely departure for a company known primarily for its cat food, Meow Mix CEO and Top Cat Richard Thompson explains that the show is a logical extension for the brand.

"At Meow Mix, we are cat people first and foremost," said Thompson. "We all own cats, we love cats, and we′ve been making great-tasting cat food for over 30 years. You might say we′re the industry leader in understanding cats. If anyone has the insight to explore the reality of cats′ lives, it would certainly be us."

Meow Mix will use the reality show as a platform to showcase its products. The cats will eat Meow Mix Indoor Formula and the brand′s newest offering, Meow Mix Market Select wet food, which comes in easy-open cups. In addition, the company′s new line of cat treats will be offered to winners of reward challenges.

Dr. Lewis Berman, one of the country's best-known and most-respected animal practitioners, will examine all of the cats before they come to live in the house. In addition, he and his associates at Park East Animal Hospital will be on call 24 hours a day in the event that any of the cats need medical assistance.

Several sponsors will be donating furniture, accessories, and services to The Meow Mix House, including Furniture for Pets, who will be providing beds for the cats, and Cats Rule, who will provide bowls, litter mats, and litter scoops. Fat Cat Inc. is supplying cat toys, and Lucky Litter is donating scoop free automatic litterboxes. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts will provide hotel accommodations for all shelter volunteers who accompany the cats to and from New York.