Grand Prize Winner of National Contest Helps Dispel Myths About Multiple Cat Homes

Portland Cat Owner Wins Purina® Tidy Cats® 'Search for America's Most Welcoming Home' Contest

Mar 02, 2011, 17:21 ET from Purina Tidy Cats


ST. LOUIS, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When asked to describe a home with more than one cat, many Americans use words such as "smelly" and "dirty."  In fact, according to a recent Purina® Tidy Cats® survey, 87 percent of non-cat owners think multiple cat homes have hair all over the furniture, carpet and floor, and 48 percent say they expect a home with two or more cats to have stains on the furniture or carpet.

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Owning multiple cats is a way of life for millions of Americans, with 71 percent of all cats living in the U.S. residing in multiple cat households.(i)  And, based on the response to a recent national online photo/essay contest, many multiple cat owners are eager to open the doors to their homes to showcase just how warm, tidy and welcoming they are. This includes Gretchen Downey of Portland, OR, who is the Grand Prize winner of the Purina® Tidy Cats® "Search for America's Most Welcoming Home" Contest, which invited multiple cat owners to help debunk the negative stereotypes that exist about homes with more than one cat.

Downey, who shares her Portland, Oregon, home with her husband, daughter and two cats, Obie and Pip, entered the contest to prove just how well kept and welcoming a multiple cat home can be.  Downey was one of two finalists in the contest who invited home expert and television personality Evette Rios into her home to show how she keeps it tidy, clean, comfortable and inviting. As the Grand Prize winner, Downey will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a Welcoming Home party for 10 friends and family members hosted by a Portland-area chef, and a year’s supply of Purina® Tidy Cats® that is specially formulated to neutralize odors.

"I am so proud that the home I work so hard to maintain has been chosen to represent how millions of multiple cat owners live," said Downey. "I hope this contest helps non cat-owners change their perceptions about the cleanliness and tidiness of homes with more than one cat."

To enter the contest, multiple cat owners were 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 also had to include a color photo of the Entrant with at least one of their cats in their favorite room of their home.  Hundreds of entries were narrowed down by the Purina® Tidy Cats® team of experts that included Ríos; scent expert and author Bonnie Blodgett; and psychologist, animal welfare advocate and cat expert Dr. Pia Salk.  

"Throughout this campaign, we saw how hard working, proud and creative multiple cat owners are, and how eager they are to put an end to the negative stereotypes about their homes!" said Ríos. "Gretchen's home is so warm, and inviting, with many unique, beautiful design accents and no clutter.  I couldn't even find a dust bunny!"

The Purina® Tidy Cats® survey revealed nearly one in two Americans (49%) has purposely not visited a home with two or more cats.  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.

To view Downey's winning entry and a Webisode showcasing her home, and for more information about the Purina® Tidy Cats®, please visit

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.


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 Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, one of the leading global players in the pet care industry.  Nestlé 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 Nestlé S.A. – the world's largest food company.

(i)  APPA 2009-2001 Pet Owners Survey

SOURCE Purina Tidy Cats