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

What is a professional pet sitter, anyway?

dog walker sitting

What is a professional pet sitter, anyway?

Many people in Miami don’t seem to know what a pet sitter is or what pet sitting services are. They board their dogs at the vet or have their neighbor or maid take care of their furry loved one but don’t know how much they’re missing out on when they don’t hire a pet sitter! So, what is a professional pet sitter? The short answer is, pet sitters are like professional baby sitters for pets.

The longer answer? We are reliable professionals who specialize in pet care, be it pet sitting while you’re away on vacation, daily dog walks or runs, cat sitting, or sleeping over your home to help your pets stay comfortable in your absence. In our case, we take care of dogs, cats, small animals (rabbits, sugar gliders, hamsters, to name a few), fish, reptiles, and birds.

What it means to be a professional pet sitter:

What is a pet sit? A pet sit is when one of our employees goes to your home an dcares for your baby in his or her environment. We typically visit dogs two to three times a day, and at least once for a cat and other pets. We feed, exercise, and love your babies in the comfort of their own home. This means less stress for your fur kids; cats especially benefit from staying at home- they are highly sensitive and territorial animals who definitely need someone to peek in on them once a day. Even if you have an automatic feeder and water source, they could get sick or get into trouble.. In our experience, birds and reptiles can also be highly sensitive and should be monitored by a professional who knows how to care for them. The added benefit of pet sitting is that we also provide a mini-house sit which includes bringing in the newspaper, turning lights on and off, and being your eyes and ears while you’re away.

During a pet sit, professional pet sitters will:

  • Make sure your pet is healthy and happy! They check for emotional and physical well-being and love them the way you would.
  • Check the premises, making sure your home is secure.
  • Perform light house sitting duties, including taking out trash, bringing in newspapers, watering plants, and making your home look lived in.
  • Administer medications or fluids. For example, we have several diabetic cats who get insulin twice daily.
  • Follow your pets’ feeding and care instructions to the letter. We have a great online software, Power Pet Sitter, where we keep all our pet’s information on hand in their profiles. Pet parents update it whenever something changes for their pets, be it type of food, medications needed, etc…
  • Leave detailed notes about your pets’ progress and notice if anything is amiss with your pets or home.
  • Take photos so we can post them on social media for your enjoyment!

More qualities to look for in your professional pet sitter:

  1. A professional pet sitter should be bonded and insured.
  2. A pro hould be ready for any emergency thanks to experience, being trained in pet CPR and First aid, and their networks. We pride ourselves on knowing the community; we connect with relevant professionals such as plumbers, veterinarians, pet food specialists, dog trainers, and more to help our clients with their needs
  3. A professional pet sitter will be reliable; no last-minute cancellations just as you’re leaving on your trip! Our pet sitting company has 10 employees; we always have back-up plans if something happens.
  4. A pet sitter should be reachable- Equipaws Pet Services’ owner and founder, Flavia Berti, is available via text or email, as are photos of your pets.

Professional pet sitters are responsible pet caretakers, so hiring one should help you breathe a sigh of relief and bring comfort when you have to leave your pets away We strongly believe that you should hire a pet sitting company with employees over one with Independent Contractors. Flavia, owner of Equipaws Pet Services, personally trains all of her employees in the Equipaws way. Our employees are answerable to our pet sitting policies as well as our quality control; we can and do tell them what time to be at the pet sit, how to perform at the pet sit, and more.

Would you like to speak with Flavia about your pet care needs? Please call her at 305.794.3733. She’d be happy to steer you in the right direction for you and your pet. You can always email us at as well. You can also book your pet care now if you’re ready. We look forward to serving you!

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