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Tuesday Tips: Catnip Clues & STARE-‘o-DEATH!

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I’m starting a new feature today because–well, cuz it’s my blog and I make up the rules as I go along. So there! Also, I figured the blog needed a serious influsion of sparkle-icity to keep with the “bling” theme. So at least once a week I’ll post an “Ask Amy” video answering doggy, kitty, writerly–or any other shiny topics that catch my fancy.

To start things out on the right paw, today I’ve posted two. Here’s one about cats and catnip:

And just to offer equal fair play, here’s an Ask Amy about doggy eyeball communication:

Please share–do your cats carry the “catnip gene?” How often do they get a kitty fix? Did you get ’em on film? *snicker*

And for the dog-matic followers, have you ever experienced the canine stare-‘o-death? Of course my Magical-dawg also stares at me when he wants me to read his mind….  “Time for a car ride, yes yes yes???!”

Let me know what topics you’d like covered in future Ask Amy’s –heck, post your question in the comments. I can’t guarantee an answer or how quickly it’ll be included, but want this to be about you and your pets. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll make schtuff up (I’m a writer, it’s legal).

NEWS FLASH! Just learned that my PET CARE IN THE NEW CENTURY: CUTTING-EDGE MEDICINE  is the Book of the Day over at RedRoom, a terrific place for authors of every ilk. How kewl is that? Here’s a tip–go check ’em out, they’ve got some fine writers creating lots of great blog-icity over there as well.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways! REMINDER–the books COMPLETE KITTEN CARE and PET CARE IN THE NEW CENTURY: CUTTING-EDGE MEDICINE are available for a limited time for only $2.99 (Kindle price) to help out during kitten season.

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

14 responses »

  1. Of the ten or so cats I have only a couple go bonkers for catnip. I just thought the others sat around and watched because they were more interested in the catnip kitty’s antics to do anything else. Now I know it’s a catnip gene and the others are really being entertained! Lol.

    Our dogs hate the stare. Belle Amie, our mixed feist, doesn’t get aggressive but acts upset if you stare at her too long. I found this out accidentally when I was trying to see if something was in her eye. Now I try to avoid staring unless circumstances dictate. Jade, our black lab, just avoids our eyes.

    Good info, thanks.

  2. Very good video about catnip. Thank you!

  3. Hi Angela and Lotta, thanks for visiting! I’m fascinated by catnip–for years my Seren-kitty didn’t react and I thought she was that 1/3rd of cats who don’t give a crappiocca. Then I brought home some REALLY POTENT STUFF from a cat show and she went nuts! So sometimes it’s the …er…quality of the weed. *s*

    As for the stare–some dogs will “defer” and look away from a staring human. It’s what they’d do with a dog-stare challenge to ward off any altercation. You might notice some lip-licking or yawning, too. But for those dogs who take issue with being the boss (especially when you’re a stranger and they’re on personal turf) it can be serious biz.

  4. Amy I had a gray and white male tabby named FoPaw (he had extra toes). Anyway he did love catnip to the max, but he also went crazy over the smell of BenGay,Vicks, and any other menthol like smells. You just had to stay away from him if heaven forbid you needed to wear that aroma. He would tear you up! He would also rib into any towel or sheet that had that smell! Have you ever heard of this?

    • Hi Donna, yes, I’ve heard of this! Catnip is a member of the mint family and many cats react to spearmint or other “minty” scents…including menthol. Other cats hate menthol scent, so vets often recommend “painting” around the spay incision with Vicks to keep kitty from licking. *s*

  5. My cats are not that thrilled with catnip, take it or leave it. Jasper will gaze into my eyes like I’m fascinating or he’s trying to tell me something. Not too agressive because if I stare he’ll look away, or lick you to death.

  6. Jasper’s a big luv-puppy, and the cats already have him whipped into shape as to who’s in charge! *s*

  7. Great addition to your site with the video! I have a question for you to answer – do the Gas-B-Gone pills really work on dogs? My vet says they’re safe but do they work?

  8. Ok, evening things up for the Dog Folks… Moose doesn’t give us the Stare o’ Death, but…Ok, our living room has two sets of glass doors, one set from the kitchen, and one from the hall by the Front Door. Even if the kitchen set are open, Moose will go and sit by the other set and stare at us, waiting for someone to come round and open those doors to let her in. You can wave all you like, yell “Go round! Go round! The kitchen doors are open, bonehead!” but nothing. Just the patient stare….

    • Damian, you’re absolutely right! Dogs “expect” us to read their minds and…when we do (you eventually go open the door) you reward their expectation. A friend and I were just talking, and he mentioned his dog has different “looks” for each thing–one for going outside, one for playing ball, another for food. When we live with ’em long enough, we really do get to the point we can read their minds.

      Or at least, we guess and “throw behaviors/options” at them until they tell us we picked right. So who’s training who? *s* Of course this is a very different use of the “stare” but also incredibly interesting.

  9. Pingback: Woof Wednesday: Social Media, Pee-Mail & Doggy Wishes « Amy Shojai's Blog

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