Posts By: Caroline Kellam

outdoor exercise for your cat

How to Get Your Cat to Exercise

how to get your cat to exercise

When people have dogs, they will typically walk them every day or have them engage in play time in order to keep them healthy. However, when it comes to cats, because many are indoor-only, they end up leading a sedentary life, which can lead to a cat becoming overweight and even getting sick. So, you may be wondering how you can get your cat to exercise. First, let us consider some of the benefits of exercise for your cat.

Benefits of Exercise for Your Cat

Exercise helps your cat to keep physically fit. Just as with humans, cats need proper exercise to maintain optimum physical health.

It releases anxiety. Excercise helps to release anxiety and tension. If a cat has no way to release stress and anxiety, it can build up and cause damage to the cat’s health and well-being.

Exercise alleviates boredom. Cats are hunters by nature. They are also very curious creatures. Exercise helps to fulfill a cat’s hunting desire and keeps the cat stimulated mentally. Mental stimulation and well-being, in turn, translate into a healthy and happy cat.

It makes your cat feel good. Who doesn’t like to play? Cats are no different. They enjoy playtime because it’s a break from the ordinary and make them feel good.

It promotes bonding time. Playing promotes bonding between cat and human. This builds up a strong and loving relationship.

How Can I Get My Cat to Exercise?

Getting Your Cat to Exercise Indoors

Getting a cat to exercise may involve patience and creativity, but it is well worth the effort.

Cat toys. For inside playtime, you can use cat toys that you purchase or those you make yourselfBe sure to supervise your cat during play and be careful of which toys you decide to use for your cat.

Lasers. You can also use lasers to play with your cat, but be sure to follow it up with a real, tangible toy. If you use only the cat laser, your cat can develop frustration and fixation because he is unable to physically catch or touch the laser. The advantage of the laser is that you can have your cat running quite a bit trying to catch it.

Cat trees or window perches. Cats love being high up and this gets them moving. Give them plenty of perching options throughout the house.

Catnip. You can also use catnip to provide enrichment and stimulation for an indoor cat. Make your own catnip toy by adding some catnip to an old sock and knotting it. Or, you can add some catnip to a paper bag and crush it into a ball. Another option is to rub it on your cat’s scratching post.

outdoor exercise for your cat

Getting Your Cat to Exercise Outdoors

It may be a little trickier to get your cat to exercise outdoors, but here are some suggestions:

Let your cat out on the porch. If you have a covered porch, this is a great option for your cat because it provides options for exercise as well as allowing your cat to get some fresh air and sunshine, which are also crucial to his good health. Your cat will get exercise chasing lizards and bugs. He will also get stimulation observing the birds, squirrels, and other animals that may be out and about.

Use a harness and leash. This is the one that may be a bit tricky. It will take quite a bit of patience to get your cat used to using a leash but they payoff of doing so is great. Your cat will have the opportunity of exploring the outdoors, which is something cats love to do, but at the same time, he can remain safe.

What is your cat’s favorite form of exercise?


how do I know I can trust your sitters

How Do I Know I Can Trust Your Sitters?

how do I know I can trust your sitters

A fair question to ask of any pet sitting service is, How do I know I can trust your sitters?

When selecting a pet sitting or dog walking company, it is vital to feel comfortable and confident in that company’s hiring process. After all, those sitters will be the ones interacting with your pet each time you go out of town on vacation.

Why We Have a Team of Pet Sitters in Windermere Working for You

At PAWSitive Strides, we are a team of pet sitters. If you depend on just one person to pet sit for you when you are out of town, the chances are that, sometimes, you will be left having to make other arrangments. It is unrealistic to expect that one person will be available 24/7/365. That is just not feasible. Things come up, and people have emergencies.

So, at PAWSitive Strides, we provide a team of sitters for your peace of mind. We are typically able to cover emergencies and last-minute visits because we are a team of sitters.

checklist for hiring a pet sitterHow We Hire Our Team of Pet Sitters in Windermere

How do we go about hiring our team of sitters? We do all of the research and legwork for you, so you don’t have to. Once again, if you depend on just one person, you will often have to interview someone else when that person has an emergency. The process can be daunting but, at PAWSitive Strides, we take care of the process for you.

Interview Process

First off, we have a rigorous interview process. It begins with a screening interview and survey with our office manager. Those who pass the screening will attend a second interview with me. And, those who make it past the second interview will get a final interview with both business partners.

During this interview process, we look not only for people who love pets (a must!). We also check for qualities like dependability, integrity, honesty, and a positive attitude (after all, we are PAWSitive Strides!).

Having people go through such an extensive interview process also helps to weed out those who do not have a strong work ethic.

Background and Reference Check

The few who make it through the full interview process go through a thorough background check, and we will also check their references. As a pet parent, you may not have thought of doing a background check on a potential sitter, but we do it on all of our sitters. This is a vital portion of the hiring process and not one to be skipped!

Orientation and Training

Once a pet sitter comes on board, we have an orientation session (followed by a quiz) that goes over all of our policies and procedures. Sitters also agree to adhere to the PAWSitive Strides Code of Ethics.

After completing the orientation and passing the quiz, we train the sitter at different visits. The sitter will shadow another sitter and learn how to do things and how to follow proper protocol at each visit.

Client Feedback and Quality Control

Once we feel the sitter is ready to do visits on his/her own, we still make sure we follow up with clients using surveys sent out every time a client checks in from a vacation. We rely on customer feedback to ensure that our sitters are doing good work.

We also do quality control visits periodically. These are unannounced drive-bys to check on sitters while the job is in progress, or unannounced visits done once the sitter has completed a job. We go in and check to ensure that the sitter completed everything according to our standards. Sitters don’t know when these visits occur, so we can check on the work they are doing.

Doing the Work for Your Peace of Mind

Why do we do all of this work? For your peace of mind and ours. It is important to be able to trust the people coming into your home. If you choose to hire a pet sitter on your own, be sure to follow the procedure outlined above for the best results. Having a rigorous hiring process is vital to finding the right pet sitter for you.

Interested in hiring PAWSitive Strides for your pet sitting or dog walking needs? Contact us today!


dog groomers in windermere

Dog Groomers in Windermere

dog groomers in windermere

Trying to find out who are the best dog groomers in Windermere? Finding the right groomer for your pet is important because you want your pet to be happy and you also want it to fit your needs.

This to Consider When Choosing a Dog Groomer in Windermere

You will want to take several things into account when deciding on a groomer for your pet.

Find Out How Experienced the Dog Groomer Is

How much experience does the groomer have? You will want to find someone with the experience level with which you are comfortable. Find out if the groomer has gone to grooming school or apprenticed with another groomer. In addition, you will want to learn if the groomer has experience grooming your particular breed (or even size) of dog.

Check Out the Reviews of Dog Groomers in Windermere

What do others have to say about the groomer, either online or in person? Often, a good way to find a great dog groomer is to ask others who have pets to find out who they use to groom their pets. If you don’t know anyone who has a pet and uses a groomer, the next best thing to do is to go online and do some research. Do a search for reviews of dog groomers in Windermere and see what you can find. Read the reviews, but always remember to take negative reviews with a grain of salt if they are few and far-between.

Check Out the Facility

You will want to check out the facility to make sure that it is clean and that the animals are treated properly. Some things you will want to check for are

  • Does everything smell clean?
  • Do they sweep up and clean up frequently?
  • How are the staff handling the pets?
  • Do the pets seem relaxed?
  • Are the groomers giving the pets their full attention?
  • Is there a lot of barking and stress?
  • How do they handle more difficult dogs?
  • Does the groomer ask you questions about your dog?

What Does Dog Grooming Include?

Grooming may include some (or all) of the following:

  • Brushing
  • Clipping
  • Bathing
  • Drying
  • Nail clipping/grinding
  • Sanitary clip
  • Feet and pad trimming
  • Ear cleaning
  • Face and eye trim
  • Anal gland expressing
  • Tick removal
  • Dematting

Dog Groomers in Windermere

Looking for a dog groomer in the Windermere area? Here are some of the groomers we found on Google. Please note that we haven’t tried these groomers ourselves, so use the tips above to choose the perfect groomer for you and your pup.

Windermere Mobile Pet Grooming

Aussie Pet Mobile Windermere

The Spaw Groom

Which dog groomer do you use in the Windermere area?


cost of dog walking in windermere

Cost of Dog Walking in Windermere

cost of dog walking in windermere

You may be wondering what is the cost of dog walking in Windermere. The answer to that questions is going to depend on whom you choose to walk your dog.

Options for Dog Walking in Windermere

There are many options for dog walking, ranging from using the kid next door to using a professional dog walking service. The cost, too, will vary depending on the option you select. What are some of the factors that will affect the cost of dog walking?


One of the biggest factors that affects the cost of dog walking options is insurance (or lack thereof). When using the kid next door, a friend, or relative to walk your dog, typically, that person will not have insurance. Therefore, he or she can afford to charge much less for walking the dog.

There can be a difference even among professional dog walking companies in the type and amount of insurance offered. For instance, some companies use independent contractors, while others, like PAWSitive Strides, use employees. This means that, at PAWSitive Strides, we have worker’s compensation insurance, in addition to our liability and bonding.

Therefore, when deciding which option to use for walking your dog, be sure to consider things carefully. You can read more about the importance of insurance and bonding here.

Flexibility and Availability

When using a neighbor, friend, or relative, you may not get as much flexibility as you would like, since you depend on just the one person to walk your dog. That person has to work around an existing schedule of school, another job, and so on. Therefore, he may be limited in the flexibility and availability he can offer.

On the other hand, if you decide to hire a professional dog walking service, you have more options regarding flexibility and availability. Typically, when a dog walking service has a team of dog walkers, flexibility is great, and they can typically accommodate even last-minute visit requests. Also, availability is also greater, as you do not depend on just one person with a set schedule.

Cost of Dog Walking in Windermere

The total cost of a dog walking visit with PAWSitive Strides will depend on factors such as how many dogs you will want us to walk and the length of time of the walk. Most clients choose a 25-3o minute visit for their dog walking, and that starts at $23. We do offer longer visits and shorter ones as well.

And, for that rate, you are getting much more than just a dog walk. Read more about that here.

What to get a quote tailored specifically to your needs and those of your dog? Contact us here or fill out or Request a Quote form. We look forward to hearing from you!


things to consider when adopting a cat

Things to Consider When Adopting a Cat

things to consider when adopting a cat

Thinking of adding a cat to your life? Here are some things to consider when adopting a cat.

Is Owning a Cat a Big Commitment?

Having a pet is a big commitment of time, expense, and energy. It is not something that a person should get on impulse. It is vital to consider if you are able to commit to this pet for the rest of his life.

How Much Time Does Owning a Cat Require?

Consider: do I have enough time to take care of a cat? How much time is involved in caring for a cat?

Many people think that a cat is a low-maintenance pet. That may be true to a small extent, but no pet is truly low-maintenance unless you get a pet rock.

#1 Cats Need Attention

Cats need attention and exercise just as much as dogs do. Even though they express themselves differently in terms of their need for affection, they enjoy having human companionship and interaction. Will you have the necessary time day in and day out to devote to your cat?

#2 Cats Need Feeding and Grooming

Cats require feeding and possibly daily grooming, depending on the fur. You can make feeding easier and quicker by using automatic feeders on timers. However, it is still important to do research when deciding the best diet to feed your cat to ensure optimum health.

Cats with long fur will need consistent brushing to prevent matting of the hair. Cats do not enjoy having mats in their fur.

#3 Cats Like Clean Litter Boxes

You will also need to budget time for cleaning litter boxes. Cats love to use a clean litter box, so it is important to clean the litter box often, at least once or twice per day. An option that will save time for this is to use a self-cleaning litter box. Do your research, though. Not all self-cleaning litter boxes are created equal! As a pet sitter, I have seen a lot of self-cleaning litter boxes, and some can be a huge hassle to maintain and sometimes clog easily.

#4 Cats Need Daily Exercise

You will want to exercise your cat daily as well. Cats need exercise, even if they are indoors only, in order to maintain good health. In addition, exercise can alleviate boredom and stress for your cat.

how to choose the right cat for you

Is It Expensive to Own a Cat?

It is important to also consider the expense of owning a cat. You must be willing to foot the expense of the cat for his entire lifetime. It is not simply a matter of having fun with a kitten and then abandoning him once he grows old. A person wanting to get a cat must consider if he/she is willing to commit to the expenses that will occur as the cat ages.

#1 Vet Bills

Usually, when pets are younger, the vet bills are lower because they are generally healthier and only need their routine vet check-ups. However, as pets age, they may develop different health problems and, addressing these problems will involve an added expense. It is the saddest thing to see pets abandoned by their owners when they need them most, as they get older.

#2 Travel Arrangements

An added expense that you need to consider is what you will do with your cat if you need to travel. Sometimes people feel that cats are self-sufficient and can stay for long periods of time while their owners travel. But, even if the cat has food and water, he still needs companionship and interaction. You will want someone to check in on your cat daily to make sure that all is well. It is a good idea to set up a pet sitting service once you get your cat. You will want to have someone you trust to take care of your cat when you travel.

What Kind of Cat Should I Adopt?

Another thing you will want to consider is what kind of cat to adopt. How can you go about deciding?

#1 Analyze your lifestyle

You will want to analyze your lifestyle to decide whether you want to go with a kitten, an adult cat, or a senior cat.

For instance, a kitten is going to require much more attention and playtime than an adult or senior cat will. A kitten will also need a lot more exercise and playtime. Kittens are fun, adorable, and a source of lots of laughs, but do you have the necessary time to keep your kitten happy and healthy so that he can grow into a stable adult?

A senior cat will need less time than a kitten but the expense may be greater depending on health issues. Senior cats are less likely to be adopted, so if you don’t have enough time for a kitten but have weighed the expenses carefully and can make room for a senior cat in your life, he will be forever grateful to you.

On the other hand, an adult cat may just strike the balance you need at the moment between time and finances. There are many wonderful adult cats that need good homes.

#2 Analyze your personality

You will want to find a cat that works with your personality. You and your cat should complement each other. For instance, if you are a quiet and lower energy person, you will most likely not be too thrilled with a cat that is bouncing off of the walls and demanding a lot of attention. You may enjoy it for a while, but it could get old. Also, you may not be inclined to provide the cat with the attention and exercise he needs to be happy.

On the other hand, if you want to spend a lot of time playing with your cat, you will want to look for a very playful and active cat.

What tips do you have for someone who wants to adopt a cat?

Do You Do Time-Specific Pet Sitting Visits?

time specific pet sitting visits in Windermere

At PAWSitive Strides, we love to offer our clients flexibility while at the same time keeping up with their pet’s routines. Pets love to be in the comfort of home and they enjoy very much getting visits for playtime and walks when their owners are away. Sometimes clients ask us if we can do a visit at a specific time each day. Rather than working with time-specific pet sitting visits, we work with time windows. In other words, when clients schedule visits with us, they select from a variety of time windows that we have available.

Why We Work with Time Windows Rather than Time-Specific Pet Sitting Visits 

We are in the business of taking care of people’s pets and, most people who own a pet know that, sometimes, they can be unpredictable.

For example, sometimes you can just tell that a dog really needs to go to the bathroom, but he just can’t quite seem to find the right spot. In a case like this, we may spend a few extra minutes to see if we can get the dog to find the perfect spot, so he does not have to hold it until the next visit, or until his owner gets home. Rather than saying, “Oh well, time’s up,” we will go the extra mile for the pet’s well-being.

Pet sitting and dog walking are not an exact science since we are dealing with living beings. Sometimes a kitty may be feeling lonely and need a little extra loving. Or, occasionally, a pet has an accident in the home and we need to clean up. There have been instances when a pet has not felt well and had explosive diarrhea all over the crate. A visit like that is going to take a bit longer than anticipated.

Our clients appreciate that we go above and beyond in our service by handling these unexpected scenarios.

In addition to the pet unpredictability, we deal with other factors we cannot control, such as bad traffic or very long lines to get into gated neighborhoods.

Our time windows also allow us to accommodate some of these unpredictable factors and it also allows us to help clients out as much as possible if they have an emergency and need a last-minute visit scheduled.

What Are Our Time Windows?

Our typical starting time windows are as follows:

Morning – 7 AM to 9 AM

Late morning – 9 AM to 11 AM

Midday – 11 AM to 1 PM

Late midday – 1 PM to 3 PM

Afternoon – 3 PM to 5 PM

Early evening – 4 PM to 6 PM

Evening – 6 PM to 7: 45 PM

We also offer an early-morning time window between 6 AM and 6:45 AM and a late-night time window between 8 PM and 9 PM. Both time windows have an additional surcharge.

Special Circumstances

We do accommodate a one-hour time window with clients who have one of the following special circumstances: an older dog with incontinence, pets who need insulin administration, or very young puppies who are being potty trained.

Clients who do not have these special circumstances can always let us know what their preference is within the above time windows and we always do our very best to accommodate them as well.

 Interested in learning more about our pet sitting or dog walking services? Contact us today!

Will I Have the Same Pet Sitter or Dog Walker Each Time?

same pet sitter or dog walker each time

Sometimes people wonder if they will get the same pet sitter or dog walker each time they go out of town, or the same dog walker every time they need their dog walked.

At PAWSitive Strides, we strive to keep all of our sitters working as a team. This means that every sitter is trained and familiar with the policies and procedures of our company. Every sitter is able to do the job with the same level of care and attention to detail.

Why We Use More than One Sitter

Imagine if your boss said to you that, from now on, you have to work 7 days per week. Not only that, you have to work morning, noon, and night, and that sometimes you will have to spend the night at work as well. How would you feel about doing that job? Would it be something you would look forward to doing? In addition, as you went on working without much of a break, what would happen to the quality of your work?

Even though we work with pets, the same reasoning applies to pet sitters and dog walkers. They need consistent days off and they need to be able to spend time with friends and family each day. They need time to do all of the things you like to do when you are off from work.

For our pet sitters to have days off, we must use more than one pet sitter per client.

Thus, even though it is not the standard of the industry, we have our sitters enjoy consistent days off each week. We also work our sitters in two shifts so that they have part of their time each working day to eat with their families, run errands, or just unwind.

We have seen that this keeps the quality and level of service high since sitters have the appropriate time needed to rest and recharge.

Why Our Clients Love that We Work as a Team

This is something that our clients have come to love because they know they will receive the same level of care no matter which sitter or walker takes care of their pet.

In addition, our clients rest easy knowing they can count on us when they need care for their pet. They are not depending on just one person, but they have a team of highly qualified and dedicated sitters at their service. They are not left in a bind if there is an emergency with a sitter, if someone gets sick, or must take a vacation. There is always someone else to take care of the pet.

One of our clients, Marysa Sobral, in Windermere, had the following to say about our team of sitters: “All of the sitters we’ve used from Pawsitive Strides have been wonderful! Our kitties are very well taken care of and our house is in perfect order when we return home.”

Another client, Kris Dhanani, in Orlando, said, “Your service is a Godsend for us! We know that our dogs are in good hands when we are away. We would never leave them before we found you. No improvements needed! All of your sitters have been awesome!”

Interested in getting our team of sitters to work for you? Contact us today!

Best Pet Boarding Places in Windermere

This article will discuss some of the different options for pet care available to you, how you can go about choosing the right options for you, and some of the best pet boarding in Windermere.

Many times, when people are planning to go out of town, they are unsure as to what options they have for pet care. Many people rely on friends, relatives, or neighbors to help out when they have to be away, but some have found that this is not always the best option for them. Some feel that they do not want to bother their friends and put a strain on the relationship. These people may be at a loss as to what to do. Sometimes, clients tell us that, before they found out about our pet sitting services, they would never go out of town because they just could not leave their pet.

Pet Care Options in Windermere

There are many pet care options available to pet parents in the Windermere area. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Pet Sitting in Windermere

One of the options many people use when they go out of town is pet sitting.

How do you decide if pet sitting is a good option for you? Consider a few questions you can ask yourself:

Does my pet prefer to stay at home?

Pet sitting is an excellent option for pets who prefer to stay at home. Many pets are shy by nature and all pets are creatures of habit. Therefore, for a lot of pets, staying at home is a preferred choice. They enjoy the comfort and security of being in their home environment and of keeping up with their favorite daily routines. Cats, especially, typically hate to leave home and do very well with daily visits for feeding, love, and attention.

Do I have time to plan pick-up and drop-off at a boarding facility?

If your schedule is tight and you do not want to add drop-off and pick-up times to your already busy schedule, pet sitting is also a good option because all you have to do is schedule the visits (once you have registered with a company), and your pet sitting can begin. No need to pack supplies and transport your pet. If you do prefer to have your pet boarded but do not have time for pick-up and drop-off, contact us for more information on our pet taxi services.

Do I have someone to check on my house, pick up mail, newspaper, etc?

If you do not already have someone who can come over and do those things for you, pet sitting may be a good option for you. In addition to caring for your pet, a pet sitting service will pick up mail, rotate lights, open and close blinds, and give the house an appearance of being occupied while you are away. Having someone come daily or even several times per day can be a crime deterrent.

Pet Boarding in Windermere

Another option for pet care in the Windermere area is pet boarding. How do you decide if pet boarding is a good option for you and your pet? Consider some questions you can ask yourself:

Does my dog come to the boarding facility for daycare on a consistent basis?

If your dog is used to coming to the boarding facility for daycare on a consistent basis, using pet boarding is very likely a great option for your dog. He is already familiar with the environment and associates it with playtime and fun. He knows that, once he is dropped off there, he will be picked up again, so it is not traumatic for him. It gets to be his vacation while you are on vacation.

Does my pet need veterinary care while I am away?

While a lot of pet sitting companies and boarding facilities can and do administer medications with client instruction while clients are away, sometimes it is best to board your pet under the supervision of a vet, at a veterinary clinic boarding facility.

Best Pet Boarding Places in Windermere

As a pet sitting service in the Windermere area, we know that we, unfortunately, cannot be a fit for everyone. However, our ultimate goal is to help all pet parents, be it through our services, or by helping with the process of finding the perfect place to care for their pets.

With that in mind, we have done a Google search and compiled a list of pet boarding places in the Windermere area. The Google ratings are as of the writing of this article.

Pawsh Pet Resort and Spa

(I have personally taken client’s pets here as part of our pet taxi service and can testify that the staff was always very friendly and the dogs were always very happy to go there for doggie daycare)

300 Countyline Ct, Oakland, FL 34787

(407) 654-7297

They have a 4.8 Star rating on Google

Best Friends Pet Care

2510 Bonnet Creek Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

(407) 209-3126

They have a 4.3 Star rating on Google

Paws and Play

11790 W Colonial Dr, Ocoee, FL 34761

(407) 656-7529

They have a 4.5 Star rating on Google

Fur and Feathers Pet Resort

1230 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787

(407) 905-6088

They have a 3.9 Star rating on Google

Best Vet Boarding Places in Windermere

If you have a pet that is ill and needs medical supervision by a vet, boarding at a vet clinic is probably your best option. Here is a list of vet clinic boarding places in the Windermere area:

Luv-n-Care Animal Hospital of Windermere

8940 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL 32835

(407) 217-7700

They have a 5 Star rating on Google

Windermere Vet Services

Lake Burden Shops, 7315 Winter Garden Vineland Rd #109, Windermere, FL 34786

(407) 217-7635

They have a 4.8 Star rating on Google

Windermere Animal Clinic

1909 Maguire Rd, Windermere, FL 34786

(407) 876-3676

They have a 4.7 Star rating on Google

How Can We Help You?

Do you have questions about the difference between pet sitting and pet boarding? Want to learn more about the pet sitting services we offer and get a tailor-made service for your pet? Contact us now! We would love to help!

Whom do you rely on for pet care when you go out of town?

The Orlando Cat Cafe

The Orlando area has its very own cat café, the Orlando Cat Café! It is the only cat café in all of the state of Florida as of the writing of this blog. Cats and coffee, along with a dash of caring, can you get any better than that?

I contacted the founder of the Orlando Cat Café, Sandra Cagan, to get more details on how the whole thing started. Read on to learn the story of this charming café.

What is a Cat Café?

First off, you may be wondering what a cat café is.

A cat café is the fusion of a coffee bar and a place where you can go to get your kitty fix. In addition, in the case of the Orlando Cat Café, the cats that you see there are all available for adoption. This is a wonderful way to find a perfect cat to adopt.

What is the Orlando Cat Cafe?

“The Orlando Cat Café is a collaborative project between The Animal League, Axum Coffee, and Cagan Management Group,” says Cagan. “It is a cozy coffeehouse with comfortable furniture, premium coffee, delicious sandwiches, and pastries where you can enjoy the company of cats and kittens all of which are available for adoption.  This concept comes from Japan where it is very popular.  Like all good things, it spread throughout Europe before eventually coming to the United States.  The Orlando Cat Café is the first and only Cat Café in the state of Florida!”

I just love the idea that these cats in need are getting help and a chance at adoption.

According to the ASPCA1.4 million cats are euthanized each year. Forty-one percent of cats that enter shelters are euthanized. It is a staggering number and a very sad statistic. A place like the Orlando Cat Café can do a lot to help cats in need. They give cats a chance at adoption and help to save them from euthanasia.

“We are really blessed to have such good partners in this venture,” says Cagan. “Axum Coffee not only provides delicious coffee, sandwiches, and food, but they are extremely philanthropic in their own right.  They were the perfect match and we could not have done this without them.  The Animal League has also been nothing short of fantastic.  It is a pleasure dealing with such a professional organization that also wants to do good in the world.”

Cagan with two of the kittens from the Orlando Cat Café

How the Orlando Cat Café Got Its Start

Cagan tells the story or the start of the idea for the Orlando Cat Café:

“On December 31, 2014, NBC Nightly News did a story on a Cat Café that opened in New York City.  The story stayed with me for several days and a few days into the New Year I sent an email to Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks outlining my idea to start a Cat Café.  I started my email with the words “you’re going to think I am crazy…”  Commissioner Parks responded within the hour and thought it was a great idea and helped get the ball (of yarn) rolling by introducing me to Doreen Barker, Executive Director and Jessica Whitehouse, Director of Development for the Animal League (formerly the Southlake Animal League).  2015 was an important year for me as I was turning 50 (gasp!) and looking for a way to “give back” to the community.  I can’t do anything about the situation in Syria or Darfur or stop global warming, but with my lifelong love of cats and my 20+ years in property management, helping homeless cats was something that I could do.”

Cats, cats, and more cats!

About Cat Adoption

I asked Cagan what the most important things someone should consider when choosing a cat to adopt. She mentioned that it is vital to remember that, when adopting, you are making a commitment for the life of the cat.

“Kittens are very cute, but kittens eventually become cats and as cats become older there are sometimes medical issues that arise,” says Cagan. She continues, “Pets are a wonderful addition to a family but a long and sometimes costly commitment.”

Adopting a cat (or any other pet, for that matter), is not something that should be done on impulse. It is a serious decision and the proper amount of time and thought must go into making it. That is the beauty of a place like the Orlando Cat Café. You are able to interact with different cats several times, as often as you wish. This will allow you to have the time to think through the decision. In that way, you can make sure it is the right decision for you.

Another plus of the Orlando Cat Café is that all of the cats and kittens are spayed/neutered, microchipped and up to date on all vaccinations.

Since the Café opened on September 8th, 2016, 47 cats have been adopted! Two of the cats even traveled out of state – one to New York and one to Minnesota.

For those kitties, life has forever been changed for the better! “Every time I see that one of our cats has found their “forever” home, it makes me want to cry (tears of joy),” says Cagan. “I have had the pleasure of seeing many families find their perfect cat or in some cases, the cat chooses the perfect family and it is really a joy to behold.  I have had cats for 37 of my 51 years on the planet and so I know firsthand how much joy a cat brings a family.  It is a privilege to play a tiny role in that process.”

One of the cuties at the Orlando Cat Café

The adoption process at the Orlando Cat Café

The Animal League handles the adoptions at the Orlando Cat Café. I love their mantra for adopting out cats: “Our adoptions are NOT first come, but FIRST BEST MATCH.” The goal is to create the perfect match by pairing the cat’s personality and needs with the adopter’s needs and lifestyle.  Doing so goes a long way to ensuring a strong bond between the cat and its new family, thus fostering a wonderful, lifetime relationship.

The safety and well-being of the cats are of primary concern at the Orlando Cat Café. Therefore, there is an application process and reference check, among other things. You can read more about the adoption process here:

Volunteer Opportunities at the Orlando Cat Café

“We are always looking for volunteers,” says Cagan. “Simply go to  and  click on “Help” on the top of the page, and then Volunteer and then check the box for Cat Café.”

What is your favorite thing about the Orlando Cat Café?

Crate Training Your Puppy

What is crate training and why can it be useful to have your dog crate trained? This article will discuss what it is, when it is appropriate, and how to go about crate training your dog in such a way that he enjoys being in his crate for small periods of time.

Why It Is Important to Crate Train Your Puppy

Crate training is very helpful especially in the initial stages when potty training your puppy. However, crate training is not something to be done in order to have your dog spend long periods of time in his crate without breaks and without human interaction. The crate is not his permanent home, just a tool that can be used to further other portions of your dog’s training.

The most important reason to crate train your dog is that it will help with potty training. Dogs do not enjoy soiling in their dens. So, while in their crates, dogs will be less likely to have an accident. This can speed up the potty training process.

In addition, your dog should be comfortable being in a crate so that you can easily transport him in a crate, if needed.

Tools and Materials Needed to Crate Train Your Dog

A crate – it should be just large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in

Food or treats

How to Crate Train Your Dog

A lot of the process of crate training involves how you make the crate seem to your pup. You should never use the crate as a place for punishment. This will make your puppy have negative associations with his crate and you do not want that.

First, allow your dog to get to know the crate without any pressure. Leave the crate in an area where you and your pup can be together. Keep the crate door open and pup your dog’s bed of favorite blanket in the crate. Allow your dog to explore the crate, going in and out of it freely. Do not rush to shut the door. Your goal in this step is to have your dog feel safe and comfortable in and around the crate.

You can add some treats or food to the crate to entice him to go in and explore if he is a little fearful. If your dog is not interested in food or treats, try tossing his favorite toy in the crate.

It is very important that you do not rush this step! The crate must be a place where your dog feels comfortable, so take your time and allow him to explore it on his own terms. Never force your dog into the crate.

Once your dog is comfortable with the crate and shows no signs of fear, you can begin feeding him in the crate. This will allow him to experience something pleasant in the crate, thus making it a safe space for him.

While your dog is eating in his crate, close the door. Leave him in there for a short period of time after he has eaten (10-20 minutes) and then let him out again.

When your dog gets to the point where he loves going into his crate for his meals, you can start to leave him for longer periods of time. Before leaving the house and leaving your dog in the crate for the first time, try it out while you are home but out of sight. That way you can assess your dog’s reaction to being left in the crate while no one is around.

Some Points to Keep in Mind

Do not make a big deal out of leaving. No long goodbyes to your dog as this can generate anxiety and create separation issues. Crate your dog normally and always remember to have a positive association. Tossing a treat in the crate is usually a good way to get your dog to go in happily.

When you get back home, do not greet your dog enthusiastically or reward hyper behavior. Wait until your dog has calmed down in his crate before letting him out. This will teach him that calm behavior will be rewarded, rather than hyper behavior. This will also decrease the chances of him undergoing separation anxiety.

Do not leave toys in the crate that he may choke on. Most times it is best to supervise your dog while he plays with his toys.

Consider taking off his collar while he is in the crate so there is no change of it getting caught in anything.

And, do not forget this crucial point – the crate must be a positive place. Never punish your dog by sending him to his crate!

Hiring a Dog Walking Service Can Help

You do not want the crate to be a place of confinement for your dog for hours on end each day. If you have to work long hours, it is a good idea to hire a dog walking service that can come and let your puppy out one or more times during your work day.

Want to set up dog walking visits tailor-made to your puppy’s needs? Contact us today!

What Do the Experts Say?

Cesar Milan

Puppy Crate Training Made Easy

Victoria Stilwell

How to Get Your Puppy to Enjoy the Crate

Read More Dog Training Articles

Did you enjoy this article? Read more articles in our series:

Train Your Dog to Leave It

Teach Your Dog to Drop It

How to Train Your Dog to Heel

Train Your Dog to Come When Called

Potty Training Your Puppy

Teaching Your Dog to Sit

Does your puppy love his crate?