If you have ever helped clean up after a cat show, you are probably aware that some exhibitors can be, putting it kindly, litter-bugs. Their benching area looks like a trash heap. Balls of fur strew the aisle, scattered kitty litter is everywhere. Empty soda cans and used food wrappers are left under the table. This type of person is often likely to be negligent about cleaning out the litter pan during the show. The smell of male urine and poop wafts above their area.
What Makes A Mess?
The things that can leave a show hall looking like Attila The Hun and his troops were camping overnight fall into a few main categories:
- General Trash: This includes package wrappings, empty containers, kleenex, paper towels
- Hair: Loose hair from combs, brushes
- Potty Particulars: Used kitty litter, poops, urine
- Food Stuffs: Anything from half-eaten hamburgers to discarded soda cans
- Spills & Accidents
Be A Clean And Tidy Exhibitor
- Dispose of Your Own Garbage: Bring a small garbage bag with you and use it to dispose of your garbage at your benching area. It can tuck under the table until the show is over. Then tie it shut and put it in the trash..
- Personal Trash Bag: Especially if you have a long-haired breed, clip a small paper bag to your cage or tuck it in a corner of your grooming area and as you comb you cat, place the hair from your comb in the bag. Do not just flick the loose hair onto the floor. The same bag can be used for used eye wipes, kleenex, and q-tips.
- Stud Odor: If you are showing a whole male, bring an ozonal spray that neutralizes the smell of male urine.
- Ziplock Bags: Bring several ziplock bags for disposing of poopies or male urine. They will contain the smell.
- Never dispose of smelly used litter in the trash cans at the ends of the aisle!
- Spraying Male: If you have a male who sprays, line your cage with plastic before setting up curtains so the spray does not wet your neighbor’s cage.
- Food: If you have lunch at your benching area, dispose of empty wrappers and containers.
- Spills: If you spill a drink, wipe it up completely. Never leave wet spots on the floor as they can be slippery and cause someone to fall and injure themselves.
- End Of Show: When you are packing up at the end of the show, take a final look at your benching area. Is it clean? Would you be embarrassed if a picture was taken of it and posted on the internet? 🙂
What The Can Club Do
The smart how club can also do things that will help people keep their benching area clean.
- Have a trash can available at the end of every aisle.
- Assign one club member whose sole responsibility is to monitor the trash cans and make sure they never overflow or smell.
- Provide an area outside the show hall for disposal of used litter. Announce details of this area throughout the show to encourage exhibitors to use it.
- Provide a broom, dustpan and a mop for the use of exhibitors. Make frequent announcements during the show that cleaning supplies are available should an exhibitor have need of them during the show.
- Note the Litter-bug: Because most often the benching tables are covered with paper with the exhibitor’s name on it, after the show, if an exhibitor has left a mess, their name should be noted and a letter sent. The letter should just be a polite note stating the club had been informed that the exhibitor’s area was left in disarray and requesting that a greater effort be made to leave a tidy benching area. The intent is not to insult or embarrass the exhibitor — just to encourage better behavior.