Cats to compete in reality TV show in New York

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    Cats to compete in reality TV show in New York

    By Sarah Coffey
    Tue Jun 13, 10:04 AM ET

    Ten cats in search of owners will spend the next 10 days in a New York store window, their every move caught on camera for a reality TV show on which they will compete for best sleeper and mouse-catcher.

    The show is the creation of a petfood company and will be shown on cable channel Animal Planet, as well as on the Web site where viewers will be asked to vote off one feline contestant each day.

    The cats, chosen from shelters around the country, will compete for loudest purr, most prolific sleeper and who can catch the most toy mice. Kitties who get the boot will be adopted into permanent homes.

    Meow Mix, owned by Del Monte Foods Company, hopes the show will promote cat adoption -- as well as their products, which will be the only thing on the menu.

    Passerby taking a gander though a specially rented storefront on Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan can watch the cats lazing about a luxuriously outfitted cat-sized house that includes scaled-down sofas, beds, a fish tank (with fake fish), kitchen and a porch, all put together by an interior designer.

    "It's a Disney World for cats," said Meow Mix's Ryan Reed, in charge of ensuring the cats are well-cared for and well-behaved. Volunteers from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are also on hand to attend to the needs of the kitty stars.

    Enjoying their final day of obscurity on Monday, the cats seemed unfazed by attention from visiting media -- most of the cats were asleep on the set, which will be unveiled to the public on Tuesday.

    A cat named Sam, from Dallas, Texas, stood guard on the home's welcome mat while Romeo, a Los Angeles native, lazily stretched out his six-toed paws before swatting a toy.

    In the tradition of reality shows, the company will hire the top cat as "Feline Vice President of Research and Development," responsible for taste testing and product feedback.

    Biographies of the cats play up their personalities, but in reality, they're all pretty mellow, if not a bit dazed from all the attention.

    "In real life they're all very sweet," said Meow Mix's Keith Fernbach. "But we try to give them a personality for TV."
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    Claws could be out on cat reality show

    By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer
    Fri Jun 9, 10:15 AM ET

    The fur really could fly on TV's latest reality entry: It stars cats. Ten felines, picked from animal shelters nationwide, will live in a New York house to vie — a la "Big Brother" or "Survivor" — for a grand prize, in this instance an executive-level job with Meow Mix cat food.

    "This thing is very tongue-in-cheek," Ira Cohen, the company's director of advertising and marketing, said Thursday.

    The project will be shown in three-minute segments in the 9 p.m. EDT hour Friday on the Animal Planet channel for 10 consecutive weeks, starting June 16. It had yet to be decided if the segments from the Webcam-equipped "Meow Mix House" on Madison Avenue will air at the same time each night.

    The spots, which Cohen said he preferred to call "a program within a program" rather than commercials, are intended as an eye-catching marketing tool for Meow Mix. But they're also aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of pet adoptions, Cohen said.

    June represents a key adoption period for kittens born in the spring. There also is an ongoing need for homes for older cats, he said.

    The Meow Mix House cats, from shelters or rescue groups such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, Touched by an Animal in Chicago and Kitten Rescue in Los Angeles, will themselves be gaining new homes.

    As the cats are put through their weekly paces in contests including best purr and top post-climber, a panel of judges will decide who stays and who goes. When a cat is voted out, it will move to a permanent home and get a year's supply of Meow Mix as a consolation prize.

    Two winners will be chosen, one by judges and one by viewers in online voting, Cohen said. The judges' choice will get a new family and the title of Meow Mix's "feline vice president of research and development," the company said.

    Another corporate position, as yet unspecified, will go to the cat voted most popular.

    In voiceovers accompanying the kitty action, the cats will be given personalities as crafted by advertising copywriters. Some may be shy, but the Los Angeles and New York cats could turn out to be real glamour pusses, Cohen said.

    The Animal Planet channel is operated by Discovery Communications Inc., which is owned by Discovery Holding Co., Cox Communications Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications Inc. and Discovery founder John Hendricks.
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  3. This Sounds So Incredibly Adorable....
  4. That's so cute. I love their categories, especially loudest purrwe, and the most prolific sleeper. Super cute!
  5. Now that is a Reality TV show I'd consider watching.
  6. I will be watching! But I really hope they give homes to ALL the tv awful to send some back to shelters:sad:
  7. Great stuff! Somehow, I don't think this show will make it here though - is anyone planning to tape the show?
  8. Sounds interesting. When i first read it, I missed the part about 3 minute segments and thought it was an hour long or something like that.
  9. it's really cool..thanks for sharing !!!
  10. I want to see this. Interesting.