Miami Pet Spotlight: Simba, a Domestic Shorthair
Winning over Shy Cats
Working for a Miami pet sitting and dog walking company, you experience your fair share of animal personalities and entertainment. Cat sitting is becoming more and more popular and recently I was lucky enough to meet a rescue cat named Simba, a domestic shorthair with a gorgeous gray tabby pattern who has curious eyes, a hesitant demeanor, and an enormous need for affection. Simba’s mother warned me he may not come out from his hiding place under the bed for the first few visits. Sure enough, he stayed hidden for four pet sits! I would coo sweetly at him from the other side of the bed sheets hearing his small nervous meows, but no luck.
Finally, on the fifth visit, when I almost lost all hope, he ventured out to quickly sniff my hand. He would meow, come close for a quick pet, then walk away, rubbing on the wall or rolling on the floor. He was flirting with me! Totally playing hard to get. Our next few days together Simba allowed me to pet him without running away and even got playful. Just as we were becoming good friends our time together was over! So much for progress. I was interested to see if he would recognize me the next time.
Sure enough, weeks later I walked in and he was in the hallway waiting for me. He looked at me with uncertain wide eyes and after a moment of hesitation he seemed to remember me. Maybe it was my scent? I’m not sure, but he came right to my feet asking for pets. He was getting braver by the day venturing into the kitchen and dining room, where I had never seen him go before. His big eyes had softened and you could see he was relaxed. His demeanor went from timid and skittish to calm and trusting. He now runs to the door when I arrive, following me around as I do kitty chores, begging for treats and attention, which I am happy to give him! We are long time pals now!
We Learn to Be More Human around Pets
With each day and every pet, I realize how similar behavior is between animal and human. We have common tendencies, habits, and personalities. Very rarely do you become best friends with someone over night. Creating a bond with someone takes time and trust. And who hasn’t played hard to get? People are needy for attention in some form. Also, many people only explore new territories once comfortable with the old. Simba treated me the same way you would meeting a new person for the first time, a bit guarded, but gave me a chance. Simba is a pet dear to my heart and he has taught me, as crazy as this sounds, to treat animals as you would treat humans,with kindness, patience, and an open mind. Most likely they will respond the same way!
What is a Domestic Shorthair (DSH)?
A domestic shorthaired cat does not belong to any one breed. It has a long history of mixed ancestry, in other terms, the DSH is the “mutt” of the cat species. They come in all beautiful shapes, sizes and colors.
Does a DSH own you? Here are a few tips to keep your kitty fit, healthy, and happy:
- Spay or Neuter Is a Must! They will be less territorial, saving you the smell and need for new furniture.
- Yearly Check Ups! The DSH is not purebred, which has given the breed an immune defense against hereditary diseases other cats encounter. More commonly you will see them suffer from diabetes; cystitis, or bladder inflammation; upper respiratory ailments and hyperthyroidism.
- Adjust Their Diet! As your cat ages, nutrition needs change as well. Give them an age-appropriate and proportionate diet.
These simple precautions gives your furry friend the best chance for a long loving life!
Fun Facts about Your Cat:
- The tabby color variation is the most common DSH
- Colors of a DSH include black, tuxedo, silver tabby, ginger, ginger and white, calico, blue, blue and white and white
- Lifespan ranges from 10 – 15 years
- 95% of the domestic cat population in North America is the DSH
Interested in a Domestic Shorthair of your own? Visit your local shelters, like the Humane Society of Greater Miami, for more information. Are you in the Miami area and in need of a Miami Pet Sitter? Please contact us at www.equipawspetservices.com.
Author: Meghan Hunter, Equipaws Director of Client Relations and pet sitter in Brickell