Miami Pet Spotlight: Simba, a Domestic Shorthair

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Miami Pet Spotlight: Simba, a Domestic Shorthair

Owner: Marylynne

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  

Author: Meghan Hunter, Equipaws Director of Client Relations and pet sitter in Brickell

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet

pet new year's resolutions

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet

New Year, new you, new routine!  The New Year is a chance for a fresh perspective to better ourselves and our future, but you aren’t the only one in the household who could use a change for the better with fresh New Year’s resolutions. Our pet’s routine, health and overall character deserve a chance at improvement too. Here are ten ways to enhance your pet’s well being moving into the New Year!

10 – Sit, Stay, Come to …Obedience School

Do you have trouble on the leash or is your dog unwilling to listen to commands?  Just as humans, dogs have selective hearing and only listen when they feel necessary. Behavioral problems can affect the atmosphere at home and the full enjoyment of owning a pet.  Do not be afraid to look into intense training programs for dogs of all ages.  A great dog trainer could make this be the year you finally walk Snoopy around the park rather than the other way around!

9 – License and Registration Please

Give yourself and family peace of mind by updating all pet identification on a regular basis.  Information can change in a year!  People relocate, receive new phone numbers and vaccinations expire.  If you have an indoor or outdoor pet, update collar and rabies tags, also all microchip information.  In the frightful case a furry friend does disappear, your odds are much better to find them.

8 – Pamper Your Pet

Who doesn’t like a good massage or clean smelling hair!  Pets love to be pampered!  Form a habit of bathing or brushing your dog (or cat) frequently.  This allows you to have one on one time with them and create a deeper bond.  In addition, it cuts down on shedding and pet hair all over your new black coat!  Even if you’re short on time, treat them to a day at the Doggy Spa, Groomer or Salon.  You will have a happy and fantastic smelling pet!

7 – Yearly Examination for your Pet

As you are scheduling your yearly check up with the doc, do the same for your pets!  To keep your loved one fit, healthy and happy visit your local veterinarian to examine their overall health, continuously changing dietary needs and address any behavioral questions.  This will give your pet a longer lifespan and keep you knowledgeable on your pets needs.

6 – A Healthy Diet …The Correct Pet Foods

Our tastes and nutritional needs change as humans.  The same theory occurs with all animals.  Older dogs may require less of a lower energy food, while younger pups may need larger portions with vitamins and nutrients to aid their quickly growing bodies.  Asking the vet what age appropriate diet your pet needs is important.  Also, the list of pet foods goods on and your vet will have good advice on dry versus wet food, organic versus non.  

5 – No More Table Scraps

We love to spoil our pets!  And we’ve all been guilty of feeding Fido scraps under the table or saying one piece of Christmas ham won’t hurt.  But beware of feeding animals human food. Pets can have negative reactions to our food that could be fatal.  Also, unhealthy foods can cause the same effects on dogs and and humans.  A piece of fatty meat goes straight to the hips!  You don’t want a few innocent scraps to pack on the pounds!  Be careful about measuring food as well.  Loosely measuring a cup, give or take, can slowly add pound after pound to your pooch.

4 – Freshen Up Your Weekend Activities

Find new activities for you and your dog to participate in together.  It not only gets both of you moving, but keeps progressing your loving bond.  Check out animal events occurring in your neighborhood, find a dog friendly trail or get a membership to a local dog park.  These activities will allow you to meet other dog lovers and socialize your pet.  It’s a win – win! We’ve created a list of five Miami “must dos” with your dog. Be sure to read it and share. 

3 – Become a Pet Parent

Are you an animal lover, but unsure you would make a great pet parent?  Becoming a new puppy or kitty parent is a big decision.  Fostering dogs and other animals is a wonderful way to help animal shelters by giving a pet in need a loving, caring and safe home for the time being.  Also, it allows you to make a decision if you really fit the bill to be an owner.  Call your community humane society or foster programs to find out more information.  Who knows, you may even keep them!

2 – Maintaining Weight or Losing it! 

Along the lines of measuring food, watching what you eat and participating in new activities, a regular exercise routine is needed.  Get your pet moving every day.  Try a new walking route or find new toys they can chase around the yard. Invest in new kitty toys to activate their mind and body.  Try making them work for treats!  Hire a dog walker while you are away at work to keep them active throughout the day.  The more they move the longer they will move and hopefully shed a few pounds while doing it.  

1 – Get your Pet Spayed or Neutered

Spaying or neutering your pet benefits both parties.  This prevents overpopulation of dogs and cats and sickness within the breeds.  Also, it decreases your animal’s urge to roam, creates better behavior toward others, and keeps them from marking territory on belongings they shouldn’t. Some veterinarians even offer free spay service to rescue or strays.

Those are a few ideas to kick off the New Year with your pet!  Now put this plan into place and have fun while doing it!

Top 6 Reasons to Hire a Cat Sitter

Kendall Brickell Coconut Grove pet sitting

Six Reasons to Hire a Cat Sitter in Miami

It’s inevitable: all cat owners will be taken away from their home at some point due to holiday travel or work.  Unfortunately, that means leaving a member of the family behind.  You may have to hire a cat sitter or research care for your precious kitty, yet too many cat owners think cats can fend for themselves for a few days.  What more do they need besides food, water and the kitty litter box?  While cats are very independent and spend most of their time sleeping or eating, there is much more to consider than convenience and time before leaving your feline friend alone!

1. Routine

Having a pet sitter visit your home allows your cats to stick to their regular routine.  The same food, water and bathroom breaks stay consistent causing less stress on the animal.  It’s very beneficial if your cat has a specific mix of wet and dry food, specific water needs, or requires medication.

2. Attention: Cats love playtime and affection (most of the time)!  They need interaction, attention, and exercise just as any human would.  Some pets may suffer from separation anxiety and boredom.  All of these factors, if neglected, can lead to negative outbursts (scratching furniture, marking territory, etc.).  Share the love and let your pet sitter pamper your kitty while you’re away.

3. Sanitation

Having a poorly-kept litter box can cause kitties to find new, clean territory to do their business.  Being away for only a day, a cat can use the bathroom multiple times.  Over a few days that could be a sanitary mess!  Having a clean box daily keeps a fresh-smelling and accident-free home.  In addition, if the cat has hair balls or unexpectedly gets sick, a pet sitter is there to clean any accidents and aid your pet.

4. Medical Conditions

Your pet may require medication.  A pet sitter can administer meds as well as check on the animal’s daily health.   Most importantly, someone is responsible if there is an emergency.

5. Logistics

No need to worry about taking your cat to and from a kennel or a friend’s house.  A pet sitter can come directly to your home.  Traveling and staying in an unfamiliar place can be traumatic for a pet.   Staying in a safe environment he or she knows best makes a happy cat.

6. Peace of Mind

With a pet sitter visiting your home daily you have the reassurance your home is secure.   In addition, they can take care of basic household chores like bringing in the paper or watering plants.

This sounds silly, but the next time you are leaving home think from your pet’s perspective.  How would you want to be taken care of?  I’m sure you would want the best for yourself or a member of your family. Equipaws Pet Services provides professional, qualified individuals who not only take care of your pets’ daily needs, food, water, medications, bathroom necessities, but will also give the animal quality time, exercise and TLC.  In addition, all Equipaws employees are Pet CPR and first aid trained, and are trained to handle any emergency situation until veterinary aid is provided.