Woman goes blind in her left eye because of her cat

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Without any warning signs, a woman in Ohio says she woke up and was blind in her left eye. For more than a month, doctors were puzzled until they discovered she owned a cat.

Then, they realized she had “cat scratch.”  As the name suggests, it’s a bacteria passed along by cats and kittens through their saliva or even their fur.

It doesn’t hurt them, but it can harm humans.

Anything that is exposed to the cat’s mouth, including if you have a little scratch – that the cat licks – that’s how you can get it,” said Dr. Kristopher Brickman, University of Toledo. 

According to Brickman, only about 40 percent of cats carry the bacteria.

“It can affect the eyes because what it does is increases blood vessels that creates problems – called antinomies, it can also cause some liver problems and can get into the spinal fluids and create meningitis,” Brickman explained.

People with weak immune systems are at a higher risk.

I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye, or something…I went to the doctors and they couldn’t figure out for some time what it was,” said Janese Walters, the cat owner.

Doctors don’t say you should stop playing with or petting your cats, “but wash your hands afterwards. Don’t let them lick any open wounds, and try not to get bit by any cat.”