First off remember to pack your cat. *smile* With that reminder out of the way the best thing to do is to make a list of all the things you want to do and what you want to take with you. There are a lot of things to do in order to prepare for the show.
First, if the show is out of town for you and you are staying overnight you need to be sure to make hotel reservations early. The cat club putting on the show will have a designated "show hotel" that will be listed on the Show Flyer.These hotels have agreed to allow you to keep your cat in your room. Some hotels may require refundable or non-refundable security deposits. Show management will negotiate blocks of rooms with the hotels. These blocks will usually be released after a certain date. Make sure you make your reservations before that date or a room may not be available for you!
Now that the sleeping arrangments are made, and the cat is entered into the show its time to pack. Now its not so hard to figure out what you need for yourself but if this is a first time for you then you might not know what you need to pack for the fuzzball in your care.
First off you need to consider what you will need for your cat(s) when you are in the hotel room.
Litter Box and Litter - now this might seem easy to remember, it would sure be a mess if you didn't. Now for a litter box in the hotel we have chosen to use tall storage boxes we can pick up from Target. The reason is you want to leave your hotel room looking as if a cat had never been there so that we can use that hotel again next year. Hotels have been very kind to let us stay with our cats, and some hotels no longer allow us to do so because exhibitors have been careless and have left their rooms a mess. Make sure you keep litter boxes scooped and all scattered litter and food swept up and disposed of. If you have a cat that sprays, please confine the cat to an area that you can fully clean, such as a bathroom or a cage. When you check out, make sure that you have securely bagged your litter. Also, a little air freshener also goes a long way to help!
Litter Scoop - Should go without saying but having a list will help you not forget items such as this.
Cat Food - Another easy item to forget, I know we have. Bring enough also for the possibility of a delay in returning home due to weather or other possible cause.
Water and Food Bowls - Its another one that we have missed more than once. You will need them at the hotel and at the showhall.
Trash bags - You will need to empty that litter box and dispose of the cats waste.
Broom and Dustpan - these are an item that will help you so very much in keeping the space clean which is so important for us to do.
In the showhall you will need:
Cage Curtains - You will need to cover the bottom, three sides, and top of your cage. You can do this with towels, sheets, or any other sort of solid material. You will also need something to clip your curtains to the cage. You can use small binder clips (available from any office supply store), clothes pins, or safety pins. There are folks that will make decorative cage curtains for you or if you are skilled in that sort of thing there are directions available for creating your own here. (click here for directions to make your own cage curtains)
-Video of setting up cage curtains and an example of setting up easy cage curtains with 3 sheets if you dont have the seamstress gene.
Small Litter Box - Needs to be small enough to fit in the show cage. Needs to fit inside a 22"x22"x45" cage and leave plenty of room for the cat(s) and those things listed below as well. (see below)
Cat Food - you need to provide food for your cat during the days at the show.
Bowls for food and water - again use smaller bowls than normal in order to fit in the smaller space provided by the cage. (see below)
Cat Carrier - Not needed inside the showhall but you must take your cat into and out of the facility in one for its safety.
Grooming Supplies - This will v
ary greatly based on the type of cat you are showing. You should bring q-tips to clean the ears, wet wipes to clean their backsides if they might get messy. A brush or comb that is appropriate for your cats coat to groom their coats. Nail clippers as you will need to trim your cats nails prior to the show, this is a requirement as is a bath prior to the show.
A couple of days before the show you will need to give your cat a bath. This need not be trumatic for you or the cat. If you are calm and remain in control it is not difficult. Above is a video of our son clipping nails on one cat and giving two a bath at the same time.
Above is a video of how we work on training a kitten before it goes to a show. Also in the video is a judge looking at a kitten of ours at the show. This shows what you need to train your kitten for. It is hoped you will gain a better understanding of cat shows through this video series.
Above left is an empty cage ready for the exhibitor to add their cage curtains. These give the cats a measure of privacy and the exhibitor a way to express themselves with their decorations. Above right is one of our cages that is made up of three parts, the top, the inside/outside of the cage around three sides, and the bottom/table skirt to hide whats under the table. We put our carriers, bags, and other items under there and out of sight.