(ST. LOUIS, MO) March 26, 2002 – While dogs will always maintain their status as “man’s best friend,” cats are achieving their own claim to fame – America’s most popular pet. Cats currently outnumber dogs by 16 million, with 75 million cats residing in over one-third of American homes.* And, during the next three years, the cat population is expected to increase 12 percent to 84 million, which is colossal compared to the 3.4 percent increase projected for the human population .**
To support this growing community of cat lovers, the third annual Purina® Cat Chow® Way of Life Tour is traveling to an estimated 30 cities across the country in 2002. The unique mobile cat community will provide cat lovers with free education, information and training.
The traveling exhibit includes free training demonstrations for kittens, cats and senior felines; an entertaining interactive area where owners can use special resources to assess their cat’s complete health; a cat adoption center with an area shelter; and a team of Purina Cat Chow mentors who are available to offer free counsel and advice to visitors.
“The cat population continues to grow, in part, because of lifestyle and demographic shifts that favor pets that are convenient to care for,” said Amy Shojai, author of The Purina® Encyclopedia of Cat Care and national spokesperson for the Purina Cat Chow Way of Life Tour. “Busy professionals and the growing elderly population want the companionship of a pet but one they don’t have to worry about walking at the end of the day or in inclement weather.”
“While cats are convenient to care for because they use a litter box and don’t have to go outside, the misperception persists that they require little time or attention,” said Shojai. “In fact, cats have physical and emotional needs — just like all of us do — that must be nurtured on a daily basis to ensure their total well-being. The Way of Life Tour is committed to educating the growing number of cat owners about the concept of complete cat care for their feline friends.”
Free Training Demonstrations
As part of the Purina Cat Chow Way of Life Tour, a team of on-site mentors provides a series of free training demonstrations and Q & A sessions for visitors that center on the C.A.T. Technique – Cat Attitude Training. This reward-based training system helps cat owners learn how to bring out the best personality in their cats, minimize behavior problems and strengthen the cat-owner relationship.
“Cats have the reputation of being aloof, independent and difficult to train. In fact, they are outgoing, adventurous and playful animals who respond well to training provided their owners are equipped with proper knowledge and patience,” said Shojai. “We call our demonstrations ‘life saving’ training because they are designed to prevent cats from ending up in shelters due to behavior and personality problems.”
The Way of Life demonstrations address the physical and emotional aspects of complete cat care. They include:
- S.H.A.P.E. Your Kitten’s Way of Life – Learn how to shape the perfect home environment for your new kitten by introducing him to new people, pets and experiences in a safe and reassuring way
- P.E.T./P.U.R.R. Technique – Use these easy diagnostic tools to understand your cat’s behaviors and how to modify them
- The Golden Years – Learn the special physical and emotional needs of the senior cat to enhance her quality of life during the golden years
“Frequently, owners think their cat’s behavioral problems can’t be corrected and that’s simply not true,” said Shojai. “The key to successfully training and, therefore, having a positive relationship with your cat is to understand his attitudes and how to meet his physical and emotional needs.”
In addition to the demonstrations, the Purina Cat Chow mentors are available to answer questions from visitors and can tailor training sessions to the specific needs of cat owners. And, at each tour stop, Purina Cat Chow hosts a cat and kitten adoption event with a participating local shelter. Purina donates over 800 total pounds of Kitten Chow®, Cat Chow®, or Senior Cat Chow™ brand cat food to each participating shelter.
The Purina Cat Chow Way of Life Tour is traveling across the country from March through November 2002. For a complete tour schedule or more information, log on to www.catchow.com.
Purina Cat Chow, Kitten Chow and Senior Cat Chow are manufactured by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. The North American headquarters for Nestlé Purina PetCare is located at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Missouri, where Ralston Purina Company was founded more than a century ago. Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. One of the leading global players in the pet food industry, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A. – the world’s largest food company.
* NPD Group “Pet Ownership Forecast, 2005”
** United States Census Bureau website, 2002