Stephanie Merlin CFTBS FFCP
Certified Cat Behavior Specialist (CFTBS)
Fear Free Certified (FFCP)
Stephanie started working with cats in 2013, volunteering at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando without any idea it would lead her into a career path with cats. Stephanie felt an immediate intuitive connection to cats when working in the shelter and calling to become their advocate.
Stephanie knows cats are sensitive beings who are often misunderstood and underserviced, leading them to be relinquished into shelters and not receive quality care in homes. Through her shelter work, Stephanie found a passion for helping people better understand the needs of cats to improve their emotional well-being and enhance the cat-human bond.
In 2017, Stephanie became a Certified Feline Behavior Specialist via the Animal Behavior Institute to gain better insight into the feline mind and behavior. In 2022, Stephanie became a certified Fear Free Professional to further help educate people on the emotional well-being and welfare of cats.
Additionally, Stephanie’s years of working in the shelter environment and caring for cats made her recognize the severity of compassion fatigue, caregiver burden, and burnout among animal welfare professionals and cat guardians. Stephanie is equally passionate about advocating and supporting the people who love, care for, and work with cats as cats themselves. Stephanie has pursued and received additional education and training in compassion fatigue and trauma-informed care to help support the humans too who so selflessly support our cat friends.
While Stephanie has education and training in conventional behavior practice with cats, she integrates that with an emotionally-attuned, intuitive, and holistic approach to her practice. Stephanie believes addressing and nurturing all areas of the cat, mind, body, soul, emotions, and the cat-human bond is integral in helping cat parents seek meaningful connection and a greater understanding of their cat’s emotional wellness and their own
Exploring emotions with cats and their human counterparts is particularly important to Stephanie’s practice as she sees emotions as the root of behavior. Stephanie believes exploring our cat’s emotions and our own open us to greater understanding and connection with our cats and ourselves.
Stephanie would love to be your supportive guide in helping you, your cat, and your bond.
2017- Certified Feline Training & Behavior Specialist (CFTBS)
2021- Fear Free Shelters Graduate
2021- Usui Reiki First Degree
2022- Usui Reiki Second Degree
2022- Fear Free Certified Professional (FFCP)
Continued Education & Training Courses:
2020- Compassion Fatigue & Resiliency Educator Certificate (Traumatology Institute)
2022- Trauma-Informed Coach Certificate (The Centre for Healing)
Professional Organization Memberships:
Human-Animal Bond Association
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
American Association of Feline Practitioners
Pet Professional Guild
Cornell Feline Health Center
Shelter Animal Reiki Association
2013- Present- Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
2022-Present- Orange County Animal Services
Sun Sign: Cancer Moon Sign: Capricorn Rising Sign: Capricorn
Myers Briggs Type: INFJ
Human Design: Generator
Please note that I am not a veterinarian and cannot treat or diagnose medical issues regarding your cat. Behavior modification and emotional/energy healing modalities complement conventional medicine and should never replace medical guidance and advice from a veterinarian. If I suspect your cat may have a medical issue, I will always refer you to a veterinarian.