The call of “CAT OUT” should be a serious concern for everyone in the show hall.
“CAT OUT” means a cat is loose and probably running scared.
“CAT OUT” means an owner is frightened and trying to catch their cat.
“CAT OUT” means you could be combing your cat in a grooming area and suddenly have an upset cat scrambling through your space, injuring or traumatizing your show kitten in the process.
What Should You Do?
When you hear the announcement of “CAT OUT”, do you know what to do? Let’s review…
- If you see the cat get loose from its owner, judge or cage, stand still but shout “CAT OUT” in a clear, loud, but not panicky voice.
- If you are the nearest person to an exit door, quickly step forward and close the door… or bar the exit if there is no door. The first priority should always be to make sure that the cat cannot escape from the show hall.
- If you have your own cat on a grooming table, judging table or in your arms, return it immediately to its cage so it is safe and secure.
- Everyone except the owner(s) of the cat should stand still and be quiet, allowing the owner to see the passage or movement of the cat.
- All judging should stop until the cat is captured.
- Only the cat’s owner or agent should “give chase”. Having too many people trying to catch the cat will only make the frightened feline try harder to elude them.
- If the cat comes near you, raise your hand indicating a direction of flight or location where the cat is hiding.
- Do not attempt to grab a strange cat. If it is frightened, even the most docile feline may bite or scratch a stranger.
- If the cat is under the benching tables in your area, pick up the table skirt to allow the owner to see where the cat is hiding.
- If the owner needs a carrier, lend them yours.
- Once the cat is caught, refrain from cheering or applause as it may frighten the cat even more—or cause it to struggle and escape from its owner’s arms again.
Unless it’s your own cat, it is easy to become somewhat blasé about an announcement of “CAT OUT”… but therein lies the danger. Know what you should and shouldn’t do when you hear that call, and act accordingly.