May 30, 2015 8:00 pm -


Doctors at the University of Toledo told the Ohio woman her cat caused her to become blind in one eye.

“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,” says Dr. Kris Brickman. A cat also can pass it along through its fur, or if it bites or scratches hard enough to break the skin. It’s extremely rare for the bacterial infection to cause blindness, though people with weak immune systems are more prone to serious complications, explains a CDC fact sheet. More typically, those affected come down with a headache or fever.

“I woke up one day and I couldn’t see out of my left eye,” Janese Walters tells the Toledo TV station. “I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye or something.” Brickman says the eyes are vulnerable because of the way the infection affects blood vessels. The best safeguard is to wash thoroughly after playing with your cat—especially if it’s a kitten—and to immediately clean any bites or scratches.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

13 responses to Woman’s Blindness Blamed On Cat Lick

  1. robert May 30th, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    looking for something good to bring home to mother

  2. Gina May 30th, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    “That’s how you can get it.” It what? What kind of pathogen, please?

    • Obewon May 30th, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      A Ted Nugent infection! Here’s more on Cat-Scratch Disease (Bartonella henselae Infection)

      • katkelly57 May 30th, 2015 at 11:17 pm

        I thought she already had the scratch then got licked…hmmm.

      • Gina May 31st, 2015 at 11:25 am

        Thank you so much for the link!! I have cats and ignored it.

  3. katkelly57 May 30th, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I’m wondering if they’re talking about toxoplasmosis…esp. since they mentioned kittens.

    It is a parasite usually transmitted from animal to animal…can be contracted through the fecal dust from litter boxes as well. That saying about pregnant women not cleaning litter boxes is fact not myth, this can cause severe birth defects and retardation in unborn children.

    I had it and it was the scariest thing ever…would take too long to go into detail here…almost went blind in my left eye as well.
    Because my body did not expel the parasite it made it’s way from my gut to my optic nerve causing all kinds of havoc on its’ journey…sick for over a month.

  4. uzza May 31st, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Speaking from the Vatican, Pope Francis denies cat licks had anything to do with this.

    • bpollen May 31st, 2015 at 4:55 am

      The Catlick Church strikes again!

  5. allison1050 May 31st, 2015 at 6:33 am

    uzza and bpollen, both of you are a hot mess! lots of chuckles here.

    • rg9rts June 1st, 2015 at 6:04 am


  6. Anomaly 100 May 31st, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Oh SURE, blame the cat.

    (my cats made me type that comment)

    • whatthe46 May 31st, 2015 at 8:25 pm


    • rg9rts June 1st, 2015 at 6:04 am