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Lawsuit over Clorox cat litter ads dismissed

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The fur has stopped flying in a lawsuit over cat litter.

A lawsuit by Church & Dwight Co to halt advertisements for Clorox Co's Fresh Step cat litter that it said disparaged its own Arm & Hammer Super Scoop cat litter has been dismissed, court records on Wednesday show.

In an emailed statement, Church & Dwight said it dismissed its January 5 complaint "because Clorox pulled the challenged ads and promised not to ever run them again."

Clorox spokeswoman Kathryn Caulfield said "we are pleased the case was dismissed, and we have every reason to believe the matter is behind us."

In its complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Church & Dwight said Clorox's advertising misled consumers by showing cats that refused to use litter boxes containing Super Scoop, and instead preferred boxes containing Fresh Step.

It also challenged Clorox's references to "lab tests" said to show which litter cats prefer, on the grounds that cats perceive odors differently from people and "cats do not talk."

Clorox is based in Oakland, California, and perhaps best known for its namesake bleach. Church & Dwight is based in Princeton, New Jersey, and known for Arm & Hammer baking soda.

The case is Church & Dwight Co v. Clorox Co, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-00092.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr and Tim Dobbyn)