Cat-Munication of the Feline Persuasion New Survey by the Makers of Meow Mix Tender Centers™ Cat Food Reveals Americans Are Very Secure in the Strong Bond They Have with Their Felines

SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Are cats man's new best friend? Perhaps! New data uncovers pet parents share a powerful bond with their furry friends in a relationship only they understand. In a new study conducted by Kelton Research, pet parents were asked to reveal their love of and tender center toward their cat. The results were purrfect – 31 percent of respondents would rather speak with their cat after a long day than their best friend, children, or parents. And it's most likely because one third (33 percent) believe they communicate better with their cat than their significant other.

"Cats are members of the family and we rely on them for companionship," said Sue Resnicoff, Director of Cat Food Marketing for Del Monte Foods. "There is a bond formed between pet parents and their cats that extends well beyond meows to an intuitive relationship that provides a deeper understanding."  

PET OR PARTNER?
Forget romantic partners: according to the survey results, 39 percent admit their cat is more likely to pick up on their pet parents' current mood than a romantic partner. There's no doubt these pet lovers can even pick out their feline friends in a crowd, the same way they would a human best friend. More than four in five surveyed (82 percent) express confidence that they could identify their own cat's "meow" among many others making the same noise.

HOLLYWOOD COOL CATS
Some cat parents have attempted to pinpoint what their cats' celebrity voice would sound like. According to the survey, 18 percent admittedly think if their cat could talk to them, they would sound like popular talk show host Ellen Degeneres. Thirteen percent say Fran Drescher best describes their cats' inner voice, 12 percent say Sean Connery, nine percent say Kathie Lee Gifford, and eight percent say Jay Leno.

CAT CALL CONNECTION
When it comes to communication between cats and their pet parents, 20 percent of parents believe their cat is trying to communicate with them through gestures or sounds. Not all cat-munication is non-verbal, either. On average, cat owners believe their felines understand about 13 different words.

It is clear that cat owners are very secure in the strong bond they have with their felines. According to the survey, almost all (97 percent) of them can name at least one emotion or state of mind that they can easily decipher from the way their cats act. Topping the list of these little clues are those that signify hunger (86 percent), happiness (82 percent) and fear (78 percent).

To satisfy cat's hunger and happiness, Meow Mix Tender Centers™ cat food is available nationwide in Tuna & White Fish Flavors and Salmon & White Meat Chicken Flavors. For more information on Meow Mix Tender Centers™, consumers can visit www.MeowMix.com.

About Del Monte Pet Products
At Del Monte, our pet products nourish and enrich the lives of pets and pet parents by providing great-tasting, high-quality and innovative products for dogs and cats and by encouraging them to enjoy an active lifestyle together. 

With trusted brands including Meow Mix®, Kibbles 'n Bits®, 9Lives®, Snausages®, Pup-Peroni®, Milk-Bone®, Meaty Bone® and Pounce®, our products enrich the connection between people and the pets they love. 

As a premier provider of taste-oriented pet food and pet snacks, our products play a key role in the lives of millions of pet families everyday.

About Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded pet products and food products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.7 billion in net sales in fiscal 2011. With a powerful portfolio of brands, Del Monte products are found in eight out of ten U.S. households. Pet food and pet snacks brands include Meow Mix®, Kibbles 'n Bits®, Milk-Bone®, 9Lives®, Pup-Peroni®, Gravy Train®, Nature's Recipe®, Canine Carry Outs®, Milo's Kitchen® and other brand names. Food product brands include Del Monte®, Contadina®, S&W®, College Inn® and other brand names. The Company also produces and distributes private label pet products and food products.

For more information on Del Monte Foods, visit the Company's website at www.delmontefoods.com.

Del Monte. Nourishing Families. Enriching Lives. Every Day.®

Kelton Research
Kelton Research is a full service market research consultancy with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Kelton serves as a strategic partner to both Fortune 500 corporations and smaller companies, utilizing a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to drive tactical recommendations for clients. For more information about Kelton's services, please visit www.keltonresearch.com

Survey Methodology
The Meow Mix survey was conducted by Kelton between February 23rd and March 1st, 2012 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 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

SOURCE Del Monte Foods



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