Whiskas (formerly known as Kal Kan) is a brand of cat food sold internationally. It is owned by the American company Mars, Incorporated. It is available either as small meaty pieces in sauce, gravy or jelly packaged in tins, foil trays or pouches, as well as in the form of small biscuits sold in cartons or pouches and milk sold in small bottles. Its packaging has a recognisable purple color and a stylized silhouette of a cat's head.
The company was bought by Mars Inc. in 1968,
In 1989, Kal Kan changed its name in the U.S. to Whiskas, to bring it under a single international brand (in line with their European operations) and to help unify advertising campaigns globally. Prior to 1989, Kal Kan's dry cat food had been sold under the Crave brand. Although Kal Kan had more brand equity in the U.S., "Whiskas" was also found to be perceived by consumers a more likeable and "feline-sounding" name.
In the United States, Whiskas is made in McLean, Virginia by Pedigree Petfoods.
In 1999, Australian rules footballer Garry Hocking changed his name by deed poll to "Whiskas" as part of the Geelong Football Club promotion with the company. It was the first such publicity stunt of its kind.
On June 3, 1999, Whiskas singles aired the very first "commercial for cats" on American TV. The VHS release featured a small segment on how the advert worked, and showed several cats' reactions. The advert itself was a collection of clips with contrasting colours, fish and video captured from underwater. The end of the video (before fading out and then running again) claimed that "In our tests, 8 out of 10 preferred it".
In Hungary, the Whiskas advertising slogan is "A macskák Whiskast vennének", which means "Cats would buy Whiskas (if they could)". Slogans with the same meaning are used in Serbia, Germany, Austria, Finland, Estonia, France, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia, Romania, Poland and Slovenia.
In Denmark, there once was an advertising slogan "Katte ville vælge Whiskas", which means "Cats would choose Whiskas." In Sweden, a similar slogan is used: "Whiskas – Om katten själv får välja", which means "Whiskas – If the cat itself gets to choose."
In Russia, the slogan was "Ваша киска купила бы Вискас", which means "Your kitty would buy Whiskas", where the phrase is rhymed, since one of the words for "kitty" and "Whiskas" rhyme in Russian.
In Italian speaking countries the slogan i gatti comprerebbero Whiskas - "cats would buy Whiskas" /ref>http://avanti.senato.it/avanti/files/Avanti%201896-1993%20PDF/17.%20Avanti%20Ed.%20Nazionale%201990-1993%20OCR/Ocr%20-D-/CFI0422392_19911229-19911230.95-283_d.pdf