Of Cats and Men

Representations of Gender in Cat Food Advertising

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Facultad de Humanidades y CC. de la Educación, Universidad de Jaén, Paraje Las Lagunillas, Spain

Abstract

The study analyzes the gender narratives linked to cats in Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company (NPPC) advertising. Out of the ten cat food products lines it markets, each offering from one to nine different formulas, nine are discussed. The focus is on dried food in pouch packages. It is argued that against the traditional association between cats and women, cat food advertising privileges masculine experiences. To support this claim, this article (a) analyzes the relationship between gender and food patterns; (b) probes the background for the perception of companion animals as projections of the human self; (c) examines representations of cats and food on select NPPC labels; and (d) matches gender narratives with the new demographics of US cat caregivers.

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