Updated Veterinary Guidelines for Cat Health: FIV and FeLV

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has updated their testing and management guidelines for the feline retroviruses FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukemia virus).

These two potentially life-threatening illnesses can be managed with proper owner education, testing, and vaccinations.  As the AAFP notes in an article on phys.org:

“Education and early testing can greatly assist in the treatment and management of feline retrovirus infections. Routine veterinary care, when cats are well and when they are sick, can lead to better care and decrease the spread of infection…with regular healthcare and reduced stress, cats infected with retroviruses, especially FIV, may live many healthy years.”

The new guidelines are designed for veterinarians in private practice, as well as those in shelter medicine, because these diseases can spread in multi-cat environments.

Testing is key to identifying infected cats, especially when they are in contact with other cats.  FIV is often spread via saliva in bite wounds, especially in adult males.  About 3-5% of cats in North America have FIV.  FeLV is commonly passed from the mother to her kittens, often through grooming and feeding.  4% of cats in North America are thought to have FeLV.

Vets can download the 2020 guidelines via the AAFP website HERE.  Cat owners interested in learning more about FIV and FeLV can download an electronic owner education brochure HERE.  You can learn more about how to spot an infected cat, testing and vaccinations, and how to care for a cat living with FIV or FeLV.



“Talking the Dog” – Why People Pretend to Talk Like their Pets

An interesting article in The Atlantic takes a lighthearted look at a common pet owner behavior—why we enjoy talking as our dogs, cats, and other pets!

Many people admit to talking as if they were their pets (we also give voices to human babies).  Why exactly do we do this?

Linguist Deborah Tannen wrote about this habit back in 2004 and called it “talking the dog.”  The official term for this is called ventriloquizing, and Tannen found several reasons that might explain why we do it:  “effecting a frame shift to a humorous key, buffering criticism, delivering praise, teaching values, resolving potential conflict, and creating a family identity that includes the dogs as family members.”

Tannen told the author of the article that sometimes people find it easier to communicate with each other–such as sharing a complaint or critique–by doing it indirectly, through the family pet.  It’s also a way for us to soften self-criticism and guilt (“Why are you going out? I’m going to miss you!”).

Tannen notes that talking like your pet is largely a positive behavior, giving your fur kid a voice and a more active role in the family.  Many people use specific voices for individual pets as a way of reaffirming each animal’s unique personality.

Experts on human-animal interaction say that talking the dog is such a common behavior that many of us do it without even thinking.  Sometimes talking to your pet morphs into talking as your pet before you know it!

Do you “talk the dog” with your pets?


The Most Popular Pet Names of 2019

The 2019 calendar year isn’t quite over yet, but the folks at rover.com have already scanned their database of millions of client pet names to discover the most popular dog and cat names of the year.

Here are some highlights!

Top Male Dog Names:

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Rocky
  • Milo
  • Jack
  • Bear
  • Duke
  • Teddy

Top Female Dog Names:

  • Bella
  • Luna
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Lily
  • Zoe
  • Lola
  • Molly
  • Sadie
  • Bailey

Top Male Cat Names:

  • Oliver
  • Leo
  • Milo
  • Charlie
  • Max

Top Female Cat Names:

  • Luna
  • Bella
  • Lily
  • Lucy
  • Kitty

And one more before we go…

Top Pop Star Pet Names:

  • Taylor Swift
  • Khalid
  • Madonna
  • Ariana
  • David Bowie
  • Lady Gaga
  • Beyonce


Meet FACE Success Story Snuggles!

Poor little Snuggles had a rough start in life.  His mom Debra found him living on the streets.  Snuggles had a mangled leg and his veterinarian suspected that it was due to either a birth defect or a very early injury.

Snuggles needed a limb amputation to prevent infection and improve his overall quality of life.  Debra was unable to afford the full cost of the surgery, so she and her vet reached out to FACE for help.  We were able to provide them with the needed financial assistance.

“I would like to send a great big thank you to the FACE Foundation for donating towards Snuggles’ surgery. He is doing great after seeing Dr. Morris and Rancho Del Oro Veterinary Hospital for his first follow up visit.  Snuggles and I are so grateful.” – Debra